I know I said I would post about more fabric shopping, but I have been sewing today, so there is a detour.
A few weeks ago, I posted at Stitchers Guild about a dilemma. I am attending a conference next week, at which there is a Saturday night Ball. Initially I was quite excited about the sewing possibilities, but then I discovered that this was a black and white ball. Not a problem for many people, but as I generally look like death warmed up in either black or white, I felt rather disappointed about the theme. I also felt rather scared of sewing a formal dress.
Fortunately, as usual, the ladies at Stitcher's Guild had some very good advice for me. In a nutshell, the overall theme seemed to be, show plenty of skin, and keep the black away from your face.
I started to investigate patterns. Actually I bought patterns.
My early choice was Vintage Butterick 4919, photo credit Butterick patterns
which I really fancied making, and which looked a bit like the glamourous gowns suggested by the ladies at Stitcher's Guild. However, I showed this pattern to my daughters, who both said I would look as wide as I was tall, so this gown was scratched.
Next, I bought some Vogue patterns.
Vogue 1108, photo credit Vogue patterns,
I thought this might be a smart dress, maybe with a smaller bow . I showed it to my husband. He said it looked matronly. Now my husband has an endearing habit of thinking I look the same as I did when we first met, around 22 years ago, so I don't entirely trust his sartorial opininon, but he does not like this dress, and he is attending the dinner with me, so it was scratched too.
I sought some opinions on my Burda magazine collection. My daughters and my husband both liked this dress, BWOF 2008-12-102.
I was not so sure. It is rather bare. However, I have a nice stole as a cover up, only 8 years old (my brother's wedding) and black (no other colours available in the shops at the time), so I thought I would try this pattern.
I have not made a formal evening dress for 17 years. My figure was considerably smaller 17 years ago. I have not worn a formal evening dress for 8 years. My life does not generally call for formal clothing. This is an adventure. Somehow adventure sounds better than "I have no idea what I am doing".
Surprizingly, this dress is not terribly difficult to date. Abolishing the upper chest, shoulders and sleeves elimates a lot of of fitting issues. Remaining are my usual full bust adjustment
I guessed - the lining is wider and longer, so I adjusted the pleated thingy the same amount as the lining horizontally and vertically.
So today I sewed it up in black silk shantung from Gorgeous fabrics. Nearly done, and the only problem is getting in to the dratted thing. Women with my waist/hip ratio need a long zip, but a long zip in a dress with no back means unsightly bubbles at the bum - I will have to lie down to get this dress on! I should have put an extra zip in the side seam. I hope for dressed up photos later in the week. I wonder if my husband still fits into his dinner suit? Knowing him, it will be too big, and I will have to take it in!