Well, I've been asked about the dress I'm making for the second wedding.
Like I said, I didn't have anything in my closet suitable, so I went through my clippings - and decided on this -
It's beautiful, isn't it? But don't get excited. I knew I wasn't going to find that wonderful, embroidered fabric; and I don't have her slim, long waist or broader shoulders either.. What appealed to me was the gracefulness of it, the long, sleeveless coolness for the dog days of early August.
So my first task was to find a pattern. I didn't think I could just come across a dress pattern like this one, but was pretty sure there must be a blouse pattern which I could combine with an a-line skirt design I already have. And I was right - I got Butterick 5890 on sale - almost exactly what I was looking for. My idea was to buy some cheap but pretty fabric to try it out on and get it perfected, then buy some nicer fabric and make another one for the wedding. A suggested fabric on the pattern envelope was eyelet - everybody loves that! I found some on fabric.com which was only four dollars and something per yard and I bought plenty. I think this is about when I found the Chinese seamstress on Etsy and ordered my other dress - which took much stress off me; but I still wanted to continue with my creation. The fabric was a poly/cotton, which I really don't like, but since this was to be an experiment, I wanted to spend as little as possible, so I put up with the fabric content I didn't want. Here it is waiting to be hemmed - pretty, at least.
Like I've said, I make lots of mistakes when sewing, so I went very slowly, in between household chores; it took far longer than anticipated. I realized I didn't need to combine it with my skirt pattern - I just extended the line of the blouse, which is rather long and full - much easier! I cut out my size on the pattern piece but it was huge and I had to take in the sides more than once. The armholes were quite big and needed adjusting. It also took me a couple of tries to get the bias binding on the neck edge to lay flat. (much spraying and pressing!) Oh, and the invisible zipper - after sewing it in twice with a method from Threads, I ended up stitching it in by hand. After three rows of stitching, now it's perfect.
Since the fabric quality is cheap, it's kind of thin and I realized early on I'd need an underdress for it. I used some bleached muslin I bought for quilt backing and just made another dress (which went quite fast, by the way). I left out the zipper, feeling I should just tack it inside somehow.
So I decided to hand-stitch it to the zipper tape all the way down, and also a little on the shoulder seams.
I got it to fit in nicely (praise God and all the saints!) As there's no time to make another version, I think it'll do well enough with my white sandals, silver hoops, and my mother's white beads. I also trecently bought a green cardigan which just happens to look very good with this dress - I always have to be sure I won't freeze in air conditioning.
So, there it is - not as flowing as the inspiration - I will have to try it again with a wider fabric than the usual 44" to get that effect, I think. Yes, I definitely plan to make it again.