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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sewing for Others - Bridesmaid / Cocktail Dress

Phew, apologies for the lengthy absence - I was making a bridesmaid dress for a friend and whilst I had the intention to blog about it on the way it quickly became clear that I had better focus on actually sewing it so she would have something to wear at the wedding.

I delivered the dress last night and it fits perfectly and looks fantastic on her so although it was a lot of work I am feeling very satisfied, confident and relieved right now.  The dress will also be worn as a cocktail dress after the wedding, it is purple silk with a purple lace yoke.

I am no pattern drafter so this began life as a combination of 3 Burda magazine dresses and gradually came together after a muslin and 2 fittings.  Here are some photos of the dress in various stages of construction, I hope to get some of the dress being worn at the wedding to show you later as trying to pad out my dressform can only do so much!

I also - after procrastinating nervously for days - managed to do the best baby hem ever so I will explain that in a separate post, not least so I can remember how to do it again!


The finished dress - hard to photograph satin at night but this shows the true colour - a Cadbury's Dairy Milk Chocolate purple!

Interior of the bodice which was interlined with interfaced cotton lawn, boning channels and catchstitched seam allowances.  I referred to Susan Khalje's Bridal Couture book a lot for this stage.

Hanging loops - and another Susan Khalje tip to add thread loops to hold the hanging loops in the interior of the garment while being worn.

Inside the finished bodice, the lace was handstitched to the inside of the bodice and the lining handstitched on top of that.

Cover button on the back lace fastening.  I experimented with ways to finish the lace edges  - in the end I faced them with a strip of the lace and then wrapped it round the edge and stitched again.

Back of the dress, I think this is my favourite part!

Front bodice

I added a strip of gathered net to the lower edge of the lining,  it sits between the skirt and the lining and gives great volume to the lower part of the dress without adding any bulk to the hips.

The net effect!

40 comments:

Make Me Over said...

That's absolutely beautiful! Your friend must be very pleased with it. :)

Dilliander said...

Wow, great job!

coffeeaddict said...

Oh this is incredible! What a beautiful dress and your sewing is just inspirational. Great little details.

Anonymous said...

That is really, really lovely - be careful, as your friend is bound to want more dresses when they turn out so well!
Your work with the lace is stunning.
Kind regards
Juliet

Summerset said...

That is a gorgeous dress! Well done!

Lori said...

So gorgeous, great job on all the construction details.

JoanneM said...

Excellent construction. I love the reference to Cadburys...

Fran said...

Very beautiful!

Amanda S. said...

What a beautiful dress!!!

Nancy K said...

A beautiful dress! Your friend is a lucky woman.

Sew-4-Fun said...

Beautiful dress, Allison, and a lot of work!!! I can see why you had to concentrate on getting it finished.

littlebetty said...

Wow so much work - you are a good friend!

Miku said...

Absolutely beautiful! You have made something really special.

Karin said...

It's stunning! Be careful, now that she knows you have skills, she'll be back for more :-)

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

Very pretty and I like that idea of the little bit of net in the lining hem, I will have to steal that trick.

Rachel said...

That is really beautiful!!! You are very kind to sew for other people.

toboldlysew said...

What a gorgeous dress - fab colour, and I love the lace and the hem netting! Can't wait to see the dress on your friend!

Adelaide B said...

Wow. Very nicely done!

Trisha said...

Oh my goodness-- I can't believe you made a bridesmaid dress for someone else. You are brave!

It looks fantastic! Love all of the details! I'm sure your friend will look stunning in it.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Gorgeous!!! Your friend must be highly appreciative.

Handmade said...

That's a lovely dress - you did a great job with the lace - that's very nice of you!!

Vicki said...

So pretty. Reminds me of a RTW dress I had way back in the early 80's. Mine was blue and had chiffon instead of lace. Actually come to think of it, my sister did make one very similar again back in the early 80's. So pretty and retro.

Sophia said...

This is absolutely beautiful! I'm sure she looks beautiful in it and is truly appreciative. I love the extra couture techniques you added. Truly impressive.

Lisa said...

Allison this dress is beautiful and it looks extremely professional.

themateriallady said...

Fabulous dress in a lovely colour. I jope your friend appreciates you!

gwensews said...

That is a gorgeous dress! I would hate to give that one up!

Gail said...

Just breathtaking. Love the lace and the small details that make it a cut above the average.

Cennetta said...

The dress is outstanding. Lucky friend.

Candice said...

This dress is stunning!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

It's so beautiful! Your friend must be thrilled!

Dressed2atee said...

Wow, you did a fantastic job! I just took "The Little Black dress" class with Susan Khalje, it was so very nice. We learned a lot of techniques from that book.

amber said...

You did a really fabulous job on this! The interior is just as pretty as the exterior. You must be very happy with this. :)

senaSews said...

Stunning dress! You did an amazing job. Your friend must be very glad and thankful!

ELMO said...

How did I miss this post? Lovely dress, and you did a great job with the boning construction. I might have to try this next year..

Beth said...

I love the lace top. Beautiful!

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