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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bridesmaid Frocks

Here's what I am working on - not much to show you yet, but it's a big project with a fast approaching deadline and I need some accountability!

My very close friend in the UK is getting married at the beginning of May and asked me to be a bridesmaid. I offered to make my dress and the dresses for her baby daughter (yes she is doing things backwards!) and her 3 year old niece-in-law-to-be. Since then we have been emailing pattern ideas and mailing swatches of fabric back and forth across the oceans, made all our decisions and I figured I had plenty of time. I suddenly realised that we have visitors coming to stay for 10 days at the end of this month, then we are moving into a small serviced apartment mid April while the new place gets renovated and I have booked a flight to go back to the UK a week ahead of the wedding and actually I have very little time left.

Last night I made a decent start on my dress and I expect a few late nights ahead! Here are the plans, more details will follow soon;

My dress - a shortened, modified hem version of Vogue 2134 (now OOP) which I have sensibly made before

Baby dress, McCall's 5791

Niece dress, Simplicity 3943

Finding the girls' patterns was such fun. I have never made kids clothes before, does anyone know if the sizing is generally reliable or is it safest to do the whole flat pattern measuring thing?

The bride is wearing a lovely long ruby coloured strapless dress (no point trying to kid anyone wearing white lets face it) and has chosen a gold silk dupioni for the bridesmaid dresses, with ruby sashes for the girls - I will decide later whether to add anything to mine. You can see the fabric draped on my dressform here. I expect I will be heartily sick of it by the time these dresses are finished but right now I love it.

Expect regular progress reports or please give me a kick in the rear will you?

And last but most definitely not least a big thank you to my fellow BWOF addict, Sigrid who nominated me for the latest blog sisterhood award. Thank you! I need all my fabulous sewing sisters to keep me inspired!

16 comments:

Rachel said...

That dress on your dress form is super gorgeous!! It reminds me of a dress Cate Blanchett wore to the Oscars a few years ago that Valentino made.

cidell said...

BEAUTIFUL fabric. Wow. I even like how you have it draped!

Cindy said...

What a fun project. Can't wait to see the progress!

Lindsay T said...

Yes, sizing on kids' patterns is generally accurate by the measurements. I sew for my now 3-year-old niece and I measure her first then pick the closest size. One thing I always do is add some length to the dress as I like deep hems in little girl dresses (classier I think). The patterns only give you about 1.5 inches for a hem and I like at least 3 inches. Good luck!

J-Mac said...

You fabric is stunning and your patterns look great! Those little girls are going to look soooo cute. Can't wait for the updates! xx. j.

Lindsay T said...

I just wanted to add that with kids' straight little bodies it's hard to go wrong fitting them.

kbenco said...

The fabric is beautiful, it will be a gorgeous wedding party. Re the children's patterns, it is very important IMO to make the size according to the child's chest measurement (rather than height), and then to alter the length as required. There is also likely to be a considerable amount of wearing ease, which you may not want in a formal dress. (I guess I don't entirely agree with Lindsay!) In my experience, big 4 patterns are often very wide for the height measurement given for the child, a 3 year old may only need a size 1 or 2 for width. When I made flowergirl dresses for an overseas wedding I whipped up a toile - those dresses don't take long, and posted them over for a fitting. It is easy to fit the garment once you have the right chest measurement! and non sewing friends are not always the best at measuring.

Vicki said...

Plenty of good advice already on sizes for children already! Kids come in all diffent sizes and shapes so measuring is necessary.

Good luck with the project - sounds like fun.

Susan said...

The color and dress itself is gorgeous!

Birgitte said...

Great pattern choices, and your friend chose fabulous fabrics!
I agree with kbenco; I always have to take in quite a lot in the bodice if I want a fitted/formal little girl dress. And Lindsay is right on with a large hem.
Have fun :))

gwensews said...

Wow girl--you have much to do! Sewing the dresses will be a priority though, and you'll get it done, one stitch at a time.

Good luck.

Sew4Fun said...

Totally gorgeous fabric. Love the colour! As for children's patterns they can (and usually do) run *really* big, especially McCalls. My advice would be to go by the finished garment m'ments, and seeing you are sewing from a distance I'd also construct the garment in the manner that allows for alterations if necessary. Kids tend to grow in large spurts. :)

j.kaori said...

Gorgeous fabric and pattern --- what an elegant bridesmaid dress! The children's dresses are both so cute too. I know you'll get everything done in time!

melissa said...

ooh the gold is lovely! Fingers crossed you'll have some nice weather here in May! And if you're anywhere near London, please let me know. :)

Summerset said...

What elegant colors for a wedding! I agree with Sew4fun - carefully check the chest measurement against the patten envelope for the correct size to cut. Many Big4 patterns seem to run big!

Berry said...

I totally relate to your situation but I have more time than you ;o) I am looking forward to seeing how this project unfolds, the pattern is beautiful and so is the fabric!