I'm plugging along at work yesterday, when Jim calls and asks what we're doing for the evening of March 20th. After confirming that it looks like a free night, he says to block it off as we have an event to attend. Long story very short, he has been doing legal work for a non-profit and we've been invited to their yearly black-tie ball and gala. And we all know that translates to floor-length gowns for the ladies.
After squealing in excitement over the event, I then started to panic a bit. Really, I have less than two weeks to come up with a dress and get it altered?! Yikes! I quickly perused the offerings online at Bloomie's and Nordstroms and was less than inspired. At which point I started thinking that maybe I could make something. Something simple, of course, but something that I would like and that would cost less than the ho-hum options I was finding in RTW.
And that is when I realized that I might have officially lost my mind - thinking of making a formal gown in less than 2 weeks. :/
I poured through the pattern books last night and after rejecting a few options because they didn't really scream "gala" and others because they were too intricate for my current skill level and time restrictions, I think I've found a good option - Butterick 5209, a '47 retro pattern:
I would take the skirt to the floor, but otherwise, I think the halter style and open back would be very pretty and classic. I also like that the bodice and midriff come with lining instructions, so I would just need to add jerry-rig a skirt lining. I am seeing my sewing instructor tonight anyways, so I'll run my plan by her and see what she thinks. My goal would be to get a muslin done by then end of the week, get the fashion fabric Friday or Saturday and then work like a dog to get it all done in time.
I have a pair of black Stuart Weitzman D'orsay pumps that I'm planning to wear, so the dress needs to match those, for sure. I'm currently debating whether to do a deep jewel tone for the dress (teal, plum or crimson) or go classic and opt for black or a deep gunmetal grey. What do you guys think? Either way, I will likely choose dupioni or shantung silk, but that could change after tonight.
When Jim heard that I was trying to actually make a dress, he just shook he head, smiled and said that he knew that was going to happen. Heh. Guess I'm not much of a surprise to him anymore. ;)
So, any tips on sewing formal dresses or this pattern, in particular? I'm equally scared and excited by this project, but forsee that it's going to be a very long 2 weeks. Keep your fingers crossed for me, folks!