I sewed this dress up for Antonella’s wedding, a friend of mine who got married last Saturday. This final version came out after a long series of indecisions and mistakes, hence it’s not exactly perfect. Anyway I like it very much and I’m sure I’ll wear it a lot over this summer. I wanted to make something to wear in different occasions and to match with both elegant and casual accessories/garments. Let’s start from the beginning…after a long period of indecision, I chose to make a dress in a grey/light pink floral silk chiffon I bought at Gloriatex in Milan some months ago. It was a 1,80 mt remnant. Being sheer, I had to match it with a lining. I found a beautiful crepe de chine in the same shade at Beviltex Tessuti, a local shop in Brianza. The dress is made up of a loose sleeveless bodice with V-neckline both on the front and the back and of a A-line skirt. Bodice and skirt are gathered and sewed together in an elasticated waist. I designed the pattern on my own starting from a basic bodice with bust dart. I used the darts to create the looseness for the gathering on the waist. At first the bodice was completely different and was made up of two different pieces (a bodice in chiffon with drop shoulder sleeves and a separate sleeveless lining piece), but, once I put the two bodices and the skirt together I didn’t like it at all. So I unsewed everything and cut again the same pieces of the bodice to make this final version. Luckily I managed to recycle every piece without fabric waste.
The bodice and the skirt are both lined in the final version.
I didn’t make a test because I had no time. After sewing it up, I realized that the bodice has a little defect on the armhole (it’s a little bit loose). I hadn’t got enough fabric to make the bodice again and I didn’t feel like unsewing chiffon, so I kept it as it is. It has to be modified in a further version, if I decide to make a similar dress. I’m satisfied with the neckline instead, both on the front and on the back, because it’s tight. I cut the chiffon and the crepe de chine with the paper’s trick: I put some tissue-paper under the fabric and I pinned both of them together with the paper-pattern. In this way the fabric is stable and doesn’t slip while you’re cutting. Even so I have to admit that cutting chiffon is a challenge, you have to be extra-careful and, above all, patient! The cutting stage has been demanding :)
I used a very thin needle (60/8) for sewing both the fabrics and, only for the chiffon, I used tissue-paper even at the sewing stage (I put some tissue-paper under the fabric while I was sewing it, so chiffon could run better over the sewing machine). I used french seams for the inside. On the waist I used a 1 cm white elastic. I put together bodice and skirt and made the elasticated waist with the same method of Leini Dress, that I made last Autumn.
I had some difficulties in choosing how to hem the chiffon skirt and in the end, after lots of attempts, I decided that turn the bottom hem twice and topstitch was the best method. Chiffon tended to curl a little while I was topstitching it and I found out that if you stretch the chiffon very slightly it come out perfect. Furthermore I had to get a trim to the hem before sewing it, because it was longer on the sides (the chiffon skirt came out a little bit out of shape after the sewing stage). So I left the dress on my dress form for a day and then I trim the hem directly keeping the dress on the dress from, trying to make it as uniform as I could. I made a simple waist band with a little crepe de chine’s scrap, that I tied in a bow on my waist for the wedding day. I matched the dress with a navy blue jacket and a matching pochette. Shoes are not exactly matching, I know , but I didn’t have time and will to find something different :) And in the end, here is a rock and casual version of this dress, matched with a black leather jacket (and black sandals! I didn’t manage to end the day with those high heels), I wore at night. Obviously I be at my ease more in this last sports version :)