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.
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. :)
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.