Welcome to the Jungle

The dress with draped design is finished, and….  I had some issues with it.

  1. This is not the right sort of fabric for this design.  The georgette is way too slippery and hasn’t enough body to hold the drape at the front.
  2. It’s too long.  I know, the last dress I made I thought was too short, this is just a bit too long.
  3. In the book, Tomoko Nakamichi says that if you don’t want the skirt flopping open in the front, just sew it up.  This doesn’t work, as it twists the “twist” in the front to the wrong side.
  4. Trying to stick to my “don’t buy anyting unless absolutely necessary until Sewing for Pleasure” rule was sorely tested.  I had a turquoise silk satin blouse that I didn’t like and was happy to chop to make a camisole, but I had absolutely nothing for lining the bottom part of the dress.  I bought some crepe de chine from the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham to make a slip in the end.  Of course, the colours are not the same, so it’s an un-matching set, which is not ideal.  Luckily all the lace and picot elastic was in my stash.
  5. I am not entirely sure this shape works for me, and that is a real shame because I really wanted to make something I’d get lots of wear out of with this fabric.  Maybe it will grow on me.

So this is it with the cami and slip.

Jungle dress.
Jungle Dress and slip

And this is it styled slightly differently, an idea from the mum of a friend of mine.  She said it may look good with a pair of fitted silk trousers…  lightbulbs went off in my head.  I had made a pair of stretch satin trousers from a Burda magazine 12/09, no 104 about 2 years ago, and they are pretty fitted.  So what do we think?  Maybe with the trousers the dress does need to be shorter…

Jungle Dress with Trousers

Or maybe I should just leave it in the “remake this” pile.  Maybe if this dress was made in a different fabric, something with more body, it would be better.  Either that or it needs a body in it with smaller boobs and more of a waist!  I have a very good feeling this style will look fantastic on Daughters 1 & 2!

So to cope with the disappointment of this dress, I have made 4 Renfrew t-shirts and a vintage cotton dress in 3 days.  Sometimes you just need to get it out of your system by making something that someone else has spent time and effort perfecting, and all you need do is cut and sew!  I may feel better by Monday.  🙂

Fancier than Casual

The things I do for my girls.

Friday.  The day everyone says;  “Phew, glad that week’s over, time to chill.”  Not me.  Not today!  There is something guys just don’t get.  Girls need advance warning of plans.  Girls need to plan.  And daughter no 1’s boyfriend stumbled into this one.  He texted her last night to say he wanted to take her out to dinner tonight.  Where?  That’s a surprise.  Ok, what is she to wear?  Not jeans.  Fancier than casual.  See daughter go into a tail spin!!  She had almost her entire wardrobe out and covering every surface in her room before you could say mushroom ravioli.  Everything was either too casual, or too fancy – prom fancy.

And I walked into the next one.  Remember my New Year’s resolution to say “No”?  I forgot.  I heard myself say, “Do you want me to make you something?” before my brain had engaged to stop those very words leaving my lips.  Thank goodness I have a pretty good dress pattern run up and a stash box cupboard!  A quick rumage revealed some black silk linen, perfect for the top half, and a grey crepe backed satin, perfect for a skirt.  I intended to use the pattern I used for the Liberty Dress and the Reception Dress, with some slight modifications.

Belt made from layering grossgrain ribbon and metallic lace

The pattern I had made for the other dresses has a gathered skirt.  I couldn’t do that for this one, as the grey satin I dug out of the “fancy fabrics” box had been a dress skirt in a previous life.  It was 4 sections of a very gathered, full circle skirt.  The problem was that it was too much just to re-use onto the tiny waistline I was working with.   I halved the skirt and adjusted the top of the seams so it would just ease onto the width I had, but I left the lower width of the skirt alone.  Satin has such a lovely drape, and on this dress I am glad there is no gathering.  The silk linen bodice was completely interfaced with a fine sheer fusible interfacing for support, and I lined it with a cotton voile.  I didn’t have any black lining in my stash.

Now I am happy just to wear black and grey, but daughter no 1 needed some colour.  I fished around in my ribbon box crate, and found a length of 40mm wide black grossgrain and a length of 20mm wide dusky pink.  She was intending to wear nude shoes with the dress, so I thought I’d work this pink in somehow.  Diving into the lace box I found a left over bit of old-gold coloured metallic lace.  No idea where I got this from, I have tried to buy some recently and got nowhere fast.  I layered the three and I love how they look together.

Fancier than casual?  Check!