Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The Shining, Shimmering, Splendid Dress

Happy Valentine's day, everyone! Whether or not you choose to actively celebrate Valentine's Day (my partner and I don't), I think it is a nice reminder to appreciate those we love, and maybe do something nice for ourselves, too :) And I have a somewhat appropriate make to share today - this little number that I made to wear to the wedding of two close friends of ours!

The details:
Pattern: Out of print Butterick 3735 (from the 1980's)
Fabric: A black glitter mesh with a navy lining
Size: 10
Special touches and alterations: Replaced skirt with a circle skirt and cut away lining to create a sheer panel.
This dress was made quite a while ago, more than a year, but I am slowly trying to catch up on unblogged items! (Am I the only one who feels like there is something incomplete if a piece of clothing hasn't been blogged?!) I recall that I decided only a couple of days before the wedding that I was actually going to make something, so I had a quick look through my stash of patterns and fabrics to find something suitable.
I settled on this retro/vintage Butterick pattern from the 1980's, which has simple but elegant lines. I had picked it up in an op-shop without really checking the size, and only on opening it up did I realise the copy I had was for sizes 6 to 10, while my measurements put me in a size 14! However, I decided to make a quick test version of the bodice out of an old sheet to check the size, and surprisingly it fit me just fine! It must have a bit of ease built in, but for the formal look I was going for a well-fitted bodice was just what I wanted. I did add 2.5cm to the bodice length though, to get the waist to sit at the correct level for my body.
For the fabric, I found this (hard to photograph) black mesh that I had originally purchased for my Black Swan costume from way back, and underlined it with a mystery navy fabric I think I had picked up from an op-shop a few years ago. I decided to try something a bit different for the skirt, and create a sheer panel along the circumference, which I've seen in a lot of skirts and dresses recently.
Instead of using the skirt pieces from the pattern, I cut a circle skirt from my lining and mesh, and stitched them together along two big circles at the length that I wanted the sheer panel to sit. I then carefully cut the lining fabric away to create the peek-a-boo sheer panel effect, leaving some of the lining along each edge which I folded back and stitched in place. I was worried halfway through that the fabrics wouldn't sit well together and would bag, but it seemed to work quite well!
I decided to make a quick belt to finish off the look, using this pretty buckle I found from (you guessed it!) an op-shop. Seems this is the ultimate op-shop dress! I didn't have any real belt making supplies on hand, so I just interfaced the lining fabric and sewed it into a tube, then attached the buckle pieces to each end. It doesn't adjust in size and it's not super stable, but as a decorative belt it does the job!
I've worn it twice now, from memory - once to the aforementioned wedding, and again to a different friend's hen's night. I think it is the perfect mix of elegant and subtly sparkly and slightly flirty :) I'll leave you with a pic of me and the bf all spiffed up at the wedding. May your Valentine's day be as lovely as I hope ours will be (we plan on cuddling up with our cats and binge watching Parks and Recreation :P)

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