Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's official - I've completely lost my mind

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.

Oh boy.

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!

19 comments:

alyssa said...

Can't wait to see the final product!!!

Andrea said...

Good luck with your project. Crimson or plum sound divine. Can't wait to see what you come up with. :)

wan said...

like i already told you, i'm not surprised in the least :) i think you can rock it, and i also think that because you have support and can run it by your instructor (who is already aware of your skill level), it's completely doable!

and it'll probably be the most flattering dress you've ever worn :)

The Lazy Housewife said...

I'm sure it will look beautiful! I would go with a jewel tone.

merry-one said...

I vote for the jewel tone! Good luck.

Lindsay T said...

Just check first that floor-length is the way everyone goes for this event. I have had to endure my share of black-tie events with my lawyer husband too, and it's not always long for the ladies.

Tip-wise, I would plan on interlining with silk organza. Makes a huge difference in how your fabric looks and "behaves." I've always regretted it when I didn't interline. Good luck!

Kristine said...

Like Lindsay said, double check the length with other attendees...
Amber, you can do this! It's a great style, a little gathering, and should be easy to fit since it's just the waistband and halter. Excited, and keeping my fingers crossed, you'll do great!

selfishseamstress said...

Shhhh... don't stress. You CAN do this. Your skills are TOTALLY up to this. Formal doesn't always mean more complicated or more difficult, so don't psych yourself out :D I think your choice of dupioni or shantung is a good one- satin scars easily especially if you end up having to rip any seams out. And I vote for plum- it's such a lovely shade on you. Whatever you end up doing, I'm sure it will be a success and you will be stunning in it!

Nanette said...

Wow! I was kidding when I suggested it in your FB comments, but that's not because I don't think you could totally pull it off. I imagine your sewing room is going to be a lot like the Project Runway room during their weekly challenge.

AllisonC said...

If you keep it simple you can definitely do this in 2 weeks, and your pattern looks great. Dupioni will be ideal and with that full skirt personally I would skip underlining that and only and underline the bodice. If you find a colour you like when you shop then get it and have black as a plan B! How exciting, keep us posted!

Serendipite said...

I know nothing about it, but good luck!

redsilvia said...

I love the pattern (I own it too, so that's my proof). I'd suggest you read the reviews of the pattern on patternreview.com. They've stopped me from making some mistakes patternwise.

The only thing I'd advise is to make a muslin of that bodice so you don't have any wardrobe malfuntions at the party. Good luck.

Pyjammy Pam said...

oooh, it's going to be so awesome! i can't wait to see the process...

Karin said...

Go for it! I am sure you can do this, and your plan sounds lovely. I agree with the others that you might find out that floor length isn't necessary.

tam pham said...

can't wait to see it....

Aline said...

I'm so excited to see!! SQUEAL!

feminist gold digger said...

Wow. Good luck. You are completely mad.

Winnie said...

Def. jewel tone, so you can stand out in a sea of black :) Can't wait to see the final product!

Jen said...

Wow, good for you!