I want to start this post with a question - where has this year gone? It makes me smile because I'm sure we say this every year, but this year in particular seems to have gone incredibly fast! It feels like only last week that one of my closest and dearest friends got engaged and now she's married! Crazy. Congratulation Becci - what a great day. So happy to have shared it with you.
Moving on - the dress! This dress has been a year in the making. Ever since my friend got engaged I knew I wanted to make my own dress to wear. However, what dress remained a mystery! I went through several different ideas and plans before finally settling on the Kim dress. I really fell for the faux wrap tulip skirt when I saw it. It's not really a style I wear very often and I thought it would do nicely to go for something a bit different to my norm. I also liked the fact that version 2 of the dress is more my style - so it's a pattern I feel I will get a lot of use out of!
Next choice was the fabric! My favourite colour is green, in particular, emerald green so that was my starting point. I had a quick search online but couldn't see anything that ticked all the boxes. Then I went to Goldhawk Road in London and one of the first things I saw was this:
Emerald green - check. Navy swans - CHECK MATE! I absolutely adore this fabric. The colour was exactly what I wanted and the navy swans add the right amount of interest - I loved that they're artistic but not too in your face. It's subtle but fancy at the same time. Plus, like the faux wrap tulip skirt, it's a bit different. Not too out there, just, different. I felt they were a match made in heaven!
The fabric itself is a polyester crepe de chine and it was £3 per meter. Yes, just £3 a meter. That in itself is amazing. However, the cheapness of the fabric in no way depicts the quality - it's still gorgeous. It drapes really well and feels divine. I love the sheen it has too. Just beautiful!
The bodice is lined and for that I choose a navy cotton lawn. I figured it would be too hard to try and match the emerald green and navy is much easier to get hold of!
On to the pattern- I made a full bust adjustment straight off the bat. I have never sewn a princess seam before nor had to make any adjustments to them, but fear not, the By Hand London ladies had me covered with an excellent tutorial on how to do it!
When I made my first toile there were just a couple of other tweaks to make. I took in the side seams by 1.5cm on either side and then I made discovery - I have narrow shoulders!
I noticed the strap kept falling off (something I also note when wearing my Betty dress). I did a bit of research online and I couldn't quite tell if it was narrow shoulders or a forward rolling shoulder. I came across this tutorial online which was really informative and helpful. This could be another 'must do' adjustment before other makes. Though I mostly only notice the problem with strappy tops but then it could just be because it's more obvious!
I made another toile to assess the fit and everything was good to go!
This dress is amazingly easy to sew (I did make several bodice toiles so maybe it was partly down to all that practise!). It also comes together really quickly. I really loved sewing the princess seams and didn't find them nearly as scary as I thought I might.
I will admit I was pretty terrified cutting out the fabric and my heart definitely nearly popped out of my chest from all the palpitations I was having! I normally get a few jitters when I first cut into a fabric but this was so slippy and I wanted it all to be perfect! I decided to use a rotary cutter and a shed load of pins! Worked like a treat.
After all the scariness of the cutting process the actual sewing of fabric was pretty smooth. It puckered in some places but overall I'm pretty pleased with it!
The invisible zip is actually invisible - yeyy! However, it does poke out ever slightly at the top. D'oh! I could unpick and re-sew but at the moment it doesn't bother me quite so much to (ahem) bother. I think I will do this eventually but it's winter, so let's face it, I'm going to be wearing some kind of cardy/ bolero with this dress for the foreseeable future. It does annoy me though. I could kick myself for not noticing until it was a little too late... Oh well. We live, we learn!
I finished the hem by hand using the blind hem technique. I love the finish. I also really enjoy sitting on the sofa with a bit of hand sewing. Perfect way to end the day if you ask me. Especially if you have a gin on hand like I did. Only a little mind you, drunk sewing is probably not the best of ideas!
As a whole, I'm super proud of this make. It was such a fun, relatively easy project and I learnt along the way. I'm really pleased I went with this pattern in the end. Variation 2 of this dress is a super cute sweetheart neckline with a gathered skirt which is, as I've already mentioned, the kind of dress I wear all the time. So I will definitely be making that soon. I may or may not already have some fabric picked out too...