Monday, August 30, 2010

Silk Chiffon Dress - Ta Daaaaa!

The pictures just don't show the depth of the colour of this dress, and my attempt at taking pictures with the wind blowing while also worrying that threads on the fabric wouldn't catch on the wall ......

This is the back. The slit at the back started out as a pleat - nearly broke my heart trying to finish it and attach it to the lining - so it had to become a slit.

This is the front. The dress looks better worn, because the bodice is very close-fitting, so the waistband hangs smoother.

The front skirt part is cut larger (wider) than the back, which means that it skims over the stomach without clinging to lumps and bumps!

What I learnt:
*Muslin, muslin, muslin - meaning I didn't make one, mostly because I was trying to keep the try-ons to a minimum, so my friend wouldn't find the experience too stressful.

*Don't be afraid of fabrics like chiffon, satin, or anything slippy. However, read up about the fabric, to know what to be careful about, such as
the cutting out - very difficult to keep the fabric straight,
needles to use - really sharp,
thread to use - polyester is fine, though sometimes silk is recommended
Interlining - the bodice is lined, but the best decision I made was to interline it as well (with the satin also). It gave the chiffon more strength, especially to support the straps

Think through each step whether or not a pattern is being used - anything to reduce the amount of ripping out which can cause the fabric to fray terribly.

Very large seam allowances - allows for errors, And means that some alterations can be easily made
Related to the last point is to pay attention to body measurements - if a pattern piece is much smaller than the body measurements taken, be sure to either increase the size of the pattern piece, or allow extra in the seam allowances - obviously a mistake I made, which I had to fix by adding a piece under the arm. Am I thankful that it's not noticeable because of the fabric colour!!!?

When I took the dress to my friend she was quite upset when thanking me for it. I think it meant a lot more to her than I can imagine. I didn't charge her, simply because I was glad to be able to do something to help her.

There's an Irish belief that butterflies represent the souls of people who have died. The day of the wedding (of a sister of our friend who died) I woke to find a butterfly on the bedroom curtains, I can't remember that happening before.

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  1. Such a beautiful's a credit to you. The colours and lustre of the fabrics are fabulous. I hope the wedding went well.
    Funny thing about the butterfly.....

  2. Millie, The wedding went well, but it was a difficult day too. Thanks for following the progress of this dress, and for your lovely compliments :)