Here’s the inspo pic to show what she had in mind...
The remnant warehouse stocks beautiful ex designer fabric and I found the perfect shade of blue on their website. After checking with DD that she liked the colour I bought ten metres, since they have a discount when you buy ten or more. I knew DD wanted it longer and I thought it’s best to have spare.
First I traced off the pattern, adding 15cm to the length, and made a toile for fit purposes using some lining I sourced from vinnies. The bodice was a bit long so I cut 2cm off the length; and also took it in by 1cm at CB. I reattached the skirt, installed a zip and she tried it on again - and decreed it a success. Phew. She had one more request - could I scoop out the back to make it a bit more glamorous? I said of course..
We cut out the dress on the big tables at school. Having a helper was essential as the fabric was rather heavy and kept trying to slide off the table. We needed five skirt panels, on the pattern they were identical but DD wanted a split so we added 1cm to the seam allowance of two of them. DD decided she’d like the crepe on the outside for a matte effect.
Sewing up the dress was relatively easy, apart from the weight of the fabric which tended to drag the garment out from under the needle making my seams a bit wiggly. When DD tried it on minus zip, the bodice was dragged down by the weight of the skirt and met the skirt at a place which wasn’t terribly flattering: so I took the skirt off, cut off 2cm from the length of the bodice and also brought it in st the side seams so it would fit more snugly. Once I’d made those changes I sewed the skirt back on, added the zipper and made a rolled hem with wooly nylon on the overlocker. I would have preferred a hand stitched hem but since it was the NIGHT BEFORE the formal I decided a rolled hem would be expedient.
Then she tried it on again. I was hoping after my adjustments that it would fit. However, the fabric must have been much stretchier than the lining I used for the toile as the bodice once again was stretched out towards her hips and she declared it made her look like a rectangle and could it be more figure hugging please?! Also she wanted the slit which I’d made mid thigh to start much higher - 13cm higher to be precise. Back to the sewing room!
I unpicked the zip then unpicked the skirt for the second time (well the third time if you count the toile) cut another two cm off the bottom of the bodice, removed about 3cm from CB and put it all back together. I also re did the slit.
When I reinserted the zipper I worked out the CB skirt seam needed to be redone as it had a big pucker at the base of the zip; so I unpicked that seam down to the hem and resewed it, which meant my rolled hem also had to be redone. I took a short cut - sewing the lining to the zipper SA by machine rather than by hand, then did the world’s dodgiest blind stitch to attach the lining to the SA of the skirt. It was so loose and loopy I had to warn DD not to put her fingers through it when trying on the dress! We had no more time for any further fittings since the formal was THE SAME NIGHT, so I felt Very nervous while she tried it on and ta-dah... it fit!
Slit perfect height for showing off the tan!
Back of bodice looks nothing like a rectangle!And some photos of the dress on the night:
Sadly we did not manage a photo together with her dad
The only thing I would change was that I sent her out on a solo mission to buy a strapless bra to wear with it, and she picked a lacy one which slightly showed through. I’d have chosen a seamless type. Also, I’d added some reinforcing stitches to the original slit which turned out a bit hard to unpick, so when I remade it I wasn’t happy with the finish at that point, but you’ve got to be up pretty close to notice it so that’s ok. The kid was thrilled, and it sounds cheesy but if she’s happy I’m happy! Every time someone complimented her on her dress she told them her mum made it, so that made me feel pretty good too. ❤️❤️❤️