I know last the last post was a bit of a tease, hehe. But rest assured, this post is all about my wedding dress! So, the last time I spoke about a pattern, I’d chosen McCalls M7154 over the Anna dress. I was looking forward to a challenging sew and thought our wedding might be a good opportunity. So I set out with my poly charmeuse, tracing, cutting and tacking all 25 pieces, labouring through all 57 sewing steps. But I don’t know what happened – maybe it was the fabric (ugh, poly charmeuse), maybe it was just the bazillion steps, or the idea that I’d have to do it all again with the real fabric: I fell out of love. I tried to keep going, but in the end I didn’t finish my muslin. It wasn’t even that it was too hard or too difficult, I did learn some interesting techniques and I did love it at first. But in the end I left it unfinished and went back to my original plan: a modified Anna Dress.
It was on our 10 day hike that I decided to quit M7154 and thought out how I wanted to modify the Anna. Nothing better than a break in nature to give you a clear mind! When I got back I drafted my changes and made a quick muslin of the bodice to see if they’d work. With some minor tweaks to the pattern I moved on to the silk. The major changes I made were self lining the bodice, and drafting an open back. The minor changes I had already made with my first Anna: an SBA, lowering the neckline, lengthening the bodice, and a sway back adjustment. For the lining, I changed the two waist pleats into darts and rotated one of them to the side seam, creating a bust dart. This way the lining wouldn’t create extra bulk below the bust. And a lining eliminated the need for a facing or bias tape, so an easy finish for the neckline and armholes.
Now let’s stop with those technical details, and talk about the fabric! Guys this is the most luscious fabric I’ve ever worked with. It’s very lightweight but not at all slippery, so really easy to work with. Because of the texture the layers kind of grab each other so everything stays in place. For cutting I just used some paper weights and my rotary cutter. For sewing I used a 60/8 needle. And to wear it is just a delight, it’s a lot of fabric but it’s so lightweight that you hardly feel it. The split makes it even more flowy. And it really makes this design special, I wouldn’t make the maxi version without it. I Frenched all the seams of the skirt, but hand rolled the hem and the split. I really enjoyed this slow process and felt that this dress deserved the attention. It gives a lovely light and almost invisible finish. The photo is after the wedding, the fabric has become a bit fuzzy at the bottom from snagging in rosebushes and such.
I didn’t do an extra photoshoot, so that’s why all the photo’s are kind of un-posed. We also didn’t hire a photographer, these photo’s are a collection from peoples phones and our camera. Stef wore the Negroni shirt I made for him last summer. The funny thing is that everyone wore blue, purple or grey by complete coincidence. As you can see we had an amazing day, we were as happy as can be, the weather was great and we just had a great time. It was also wonderfully relaxed, for an hour after eating cake we just hung around in lounge chairs and played some table tennis. It was just the way we had wanted it to be.
Now I’m hoping I have more weddings to attend, so I can wear my dress again… Even though it’s not as fancy as M7154, there’s no opportunities to wear it just for fun. Unless I don’t work in the garden, don’t walk the dog or do groceries, which is not very likely. But I’m very happy with how it turned out. It did what a dress like this should do: it made me feel special, pretty and feminine. It’s not even perfect: the lining pokes out at one armhole, and the darts on the inside stretched a bit because I didn’t leave enough ease. But that’s allright: it could not have become what it is if I had strived for perfection.
Even though I might not wear the dress again anytime soon, because I changed pattern plans I do have some already painted fabric left over. I’m thinking those would make a great pair of PJ’s, something like the Lakeside set. At least then I’ll get to wear that fabric more often. It will be like a souvenir from our wedding, that reminds me every night of that special day. And then maybe I’ll also have the courage to use that other piece of silk that’s been in my stash for years. If I can’t wear silk during the day, then at least I can wear it every night. Ha!