One advantage I’ve found of writing this blog is that it does give me a record of things I’ve made over the year, I can look back and look at what worked, what didn’t, what I enjoyed making as well as things that were more of a challenge.
Looking back this year, the item I’m most proud of has to be Helen’s Prom dress. I’ve been making Helen dresses since she was born (well before actually!) smocked dresses, pinafore dresses, pretty little summer dresses…as she grew up it was Carnival Queen dresses, bridesmaid dresses…Now she’s a trendy young 17 year old I rarely make her every day outfits, but when I do make her something she is still proud to say ‘My Mum made it!’
I was chuffed to bits when she asked me to make her prom dress, we spent hours deliberating over style and colour, she wanted a strapless fitted bodice with either a long or short tulle skirt…I found a pattern, researched where I could get tulle from…and suggested a trip into Leeds to try some on to check that’s definitely what she wanted.
We finally found a short, strapless tulle dress…it didn’t suit her!! We then spent hours trying every type of dress on I could think of, short ones, long ones, meringues…
She finally decided on a straight strapless dress with a split up the side, I found a pattern she approved of, Style and after pulling out what seemed like dozens of rolls of fabric at Samuel Taylors she finally chose a beautiful ice blue soft sheen satin, a nice weight for the style she had chosen, I thought.
I made the dress first in the lining as a toile to check our sizing was correct, after a few alterations I cut out the satin. I interlined the lining bodice with pelmet Vilene to just above the waist and stitched boning to the Vilene, hoping it would help keep the dress up on a very petite figure!
The dress has a two drapes criss-crossing the bodice, the main one draped beautifully, but I couldn’t get the smaller one to sit right, so in the end I made a plain bodice for the left side and just had the one main drape, she was happy again!
This dress was the first time I have ever put an invisible zip in, a side one at that! I checked out some instructions on the internet before tackling it, it went in a lot easier than I thought, and it’s certainly invisible! The only problem we have had since is that where the gathered drape attaches it is quite bulky and that makes it quite difficult to open and close, it was a bit of a concern on the night as I couldn’t be there to help her get dressed!
She looked gorgeous on the night and was very proud of her dress.