Sunday, March 21, 2010

Final Dress Update - All Done!

I'm not gonna lie, getting this dress done by Saturday was one of the more stressful things I've done in recent memory. I didn't sleep much this week and there were moments when I was convinced it wasn't going to come together at all. Thankfully, by Friday night, the dress was done and Saturday was all about getting pretty before the event. :)

I'll leave most of the sewing details for my review at PR (will get that up later this week), but I did want to note a few things here. This ultimately became a frankenpattern as I used the bodice and midriff pieces of Butterick 5209 , but I modified the skirt pieces from Simplicity 2587 for a full a-line skirt.



The original pattern has instructions for the bodice lining, but I also added a skirt lining from the same pattern pieces I used to cut out the outer skirt. To reduce bulk, I pleated the skirt lining at the top, which turned out much prettier than I was expecting. (Thanks to this great review from The Slapdash Sewist for this idea!) To provide stability in the midriff sections, I interfaced these pieces with silk organza, which gave it a little extra body without being too stiff. Lastly, I added a bit of ease stitching at the outer bust area to help prevent the fabric from gaping when it was sewn together with the lining.

And here is the finished dress:

After my near melt-down on Tuesday night, I actually think the bodice looks pretty good. Attaching the skirt and lining and installing the invisible zipper all went so very smoothly for which I was incredibly grateful - I'm not sure my nerves could have taken any more snafus at that point.

This is the final look - these pictures were taken just before we left for the event last night.

I think it ultimately turned out well. I had to attach the halter straps higher than I anticipated for the bust to sit correctly, which raised the waist seam to above my natural waist. I typically don't love this look on me as I prefer to highlight the smallest part of my waist, but I think it worked out okay. I was comfortable, felt pretty and more than fit in with what the rest of the women were wearing, so I'd say it was a success. And can I just say - I can't belive I made my own dress!!Sorry, even after wearing it all evening, it still hasn't quite sunk in. Even though it didn't turn out exactly as anticipated, I'm still so proud of it and amazed that I was able to put together a full-length gown in less than 2 weeks. :)

While I would have loved to have snapped a bunch of pictures from the event, it really wasn't that kind of night. Trust me though when I say that this was easily the fanciest event we've attended and we were both blown away at the food, drink and decor. Really amazing. I did bring my camera out right at the end of the night to have a quick picture of us taken. Even after several tries, this was the best we could get.
Since I wasn't happy with the above, I had Jim take a quick self-portrait of us, which is marginally better.


We had a great time last night and I felt gorgeous in my dress. Even though it was a rough week, I think in the end, it was worth all of the stress and crazy. :)

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After all of the work I put into getting this pattern right and what not, I'm a bit reluctant to just pack it all away and forget about it. We have a family wedding to attend in May and while I was originally going to tackle this pattern, I just don't think I have it in me to fit a dress that is so complicated right after this project. So, my new thought is to remake the above dress in a shorter version and a bright spring color. My current plan is a kelly green dress in silk shantung. I figure I can put the waist back where it belongs and maybe add some pockets for an additional kick. Not only would I have a dress for the wedding, but I could also use it this summer for one of the many dinners I'll be attending for Jim's work. I know it sounds ridiculous to sew a second version of a very specific dress, but it would be nice to have a version of it that could be worn to more than just black tie affairs.

31 comments:

KID, MD said...

Absolutely amazing!!! You did beautiful work on this dress. The fit is amazing. I think with a shorter skirt and in a less fancy fabric, it would be such a different dress that you'd never guess it came from the same pattern. Definitely use it again!

Kristine said...

Bravo! You did a fantastic job, and you earned that wonderful sense of accomplishment! Now watch and see what a project like this will do for your sewing confidence (added bonus)!!!

tam pham said...

you look GORGEOUS! that's so amazing that you MADE that dress! so proud of you!

AllisonC said...

Brilliant - well done, the dress looks gorgeous on you.

Shannon said...

All your work paid off - you look gorgeous! That colour is stunning on you!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

You do look awesome in the dress! And no I don't think it's a bad idea to use this pattern more than once. Fabric, embellishments and maybe a little lace will make this look different every time. I say go for it!

kenpen said...

This would be beautiful as a short green silk shantung.

The Lazy Housewife said...

That's amazing you finished in two weeks, and you look AMAZING in the final product!

Pyjammy Pam said...

Wow, that color looks stunning on you! I'm so, so impressed with your skills. The dress looks fabulous!

stitchywitch said...

It looks beautiful - I love the color, and the fit is wonderful!

Leslie said...

Wonderful job, Amber! You look beautiful!

alyssa said...

So great! I bet a kelly green short dress would be beautiful, too!

Karin said...

You look beautiful in this dress! Your figure looks amazing and the colour definitely suits you. It makes sense to me for you to re-make the dress in a different colour and length when it has been so successful.

You now have your very own dressy tnt pattern.

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

You look so wonderful in your dress. Hubby must have been so proud of you. Congrats on getting it done. I just adore the color!

Seriously, after all the work you put into that dress, it'd be a shame for you not to make the pattern again.

wan said...

you did a fantastic job! i think it's pretty stinking awesome that you made your own dress for a black-tie event. as always, you are so inspiring.

i find that arm's length self portraits are often much nicer than ones that others take for us :/

Karin said...

You look stunning in your gorgeous dress. What a wonderful job you did, my compliments!

feminist gold digger said...

You are freaking insane!

Serendipite said...

I love it! It looks amazing, and I think I would love a short version even more, so I say go for it (for the wedding)!

Angie Eats Peace said...

You look beautiful!

Lindsay T said...

Wow! You look fabulous! This turned out great! Can I give you any more exclamation marks?!!!

weezermonkey said...

Incredible!

Elizabeth said...

Your dress looks beautiful on you and you did a great job figuring it all out. And you are right it is a success when you feel good wearing it. And you didn't have to finish it in the car on the way to your event! I speak from experience on that one.

selfishseamstress said...

You look so beautiful in that gown! Congratulations on a superb job. I bet you were the belle of the ball :) I think the idea of doing another shorter version in a different fabric is a great idea-- if you've gone through all the trouble to get the fit perfect *and* it looks terrific on you, wouldn't it be a waste not to do so?

I knew you could do it :D

Cara said...

Thanks for stopping by and your kind words on my blog! I do hope you find some recipes you like :)

And how awesome that you sew - something that I am definitely jealous of, given how hard it can be to find clothes that fit my proportions!

Violet said...

HOLY CRAP!!! That dress looks awesome! I cannot believe you made that. You have some definite talent!! Obvs it goes without saying that you looked gorgeous, too.

Also, I don't think you're crazy to "remake" the dress. It's basically a different dress if the waistline is lower, the straps will sit a bit differently, it's shorter, and in a different color. It'll be like the cute, fun cousin to your purple gown. Maybe like what the Skipper doll was to Barbie?

Da Fashionista said...

AAAAAAAAAAAAA. Amazing. When do you make me one too???

Big congrats!

Little Hunting Creek said...

Beautiful dress - you look gorgeous!

Carol said...

Your dress is stunning and the colour works perfectly for you! I've been thinking of making a short version of this same dress. It's a very flattering style.

helen ethel studio said...

Hello. I just stumbled across your blog and had to comment on this dress. It is stunning- the pattern, the color, everything. Wonderful job!! I think that remaking this dress in a shorter version in kelly green would be fantastic! You must do it. Must!

Winnie said...

You looked amazing! Love it. I def. think you should make a shorter version of it.

Summerlea said...

Beautiful dress! You look lovely. It's a style I tried and gave up on fitting to myself so kudos!

You could add some bust support to the bodice lining, you can buy pads or foam cups or use an old bra. Or do that to your next version. Beats a backless strapless bra every day and twice on Sundays!