For this version I wanted to go down a different route to the other two, which were both more casual day dresses in a viscose print and polyester crepe. This time I wanted to try out one of the other fabric suggestions on the pattern and go glamorous! I suppose this could count as my first foray into evening wear, although this dress is so simple to sew up I don't feel like it can! I used a silk crepe de chine which I got for a bargain price from Fabric Land on Goldhawk Road. I was really having a hard time choosing the fabric (should I go classic black, or emerald green?) but then this beauty made my mind up for me. The colour changes slightly in different lights, from a heathery grey to a deep navy, plus it didn't have too much of a sheen which I like.
Speaking of Goldhawk Road did you all hear the awful news that the shopkeepers there have lost their petition against the demolition of the row of shops they want to knock down to 'redevelop the area'? I'm really disappointed as I don't think the council realise how much of an impact that's going to have on a wide range of people, not least the shop owners themselves. It's not like it's a derelict area, it's thriving in fact, those shops are always packed. For me personally, working in the costume industry, it's going to have a big implication on budgets as EVERYONE goes to Shepherd's Bush for affordable good quality fabrics. Apparently shop owners will be offered retail space in the new development at 'affordable' rates, but how quickly are those rates going to increase either pricing the shop keepers out of the area or forcing them to increase the price of their fabrics, which let's face is not good news for any of us! Plus where are these shops going to go in the meantime while the area is being redeveloped? All just to put a shiny new commercialised face on an area which doesn't need changing to match it to the local Westfield.
Anyway, back to the dress! Construction wise it went pretty smoothly as let's face it I've had plenty of practice with this pattern plus I chose the same slash neckline as I have with my other Anna's, I just love the style. The only thing I did differently was...
|No, that's not a wind machine, just the beginnings of the storm!|
Yes I went for it and included the split! When the pattern was first released I never could have imagined making myself one with the thigh high split but as usual the power of you fellow bloggers convinced me otherwise! I saw some beautiful versions with the slit which were not at all over the top or showing off too much flesh, for example Lizzie's beautiful Anna Rose and Karen's test version. After seeing these and seeing a fair bit of sunshine over July and August I was convinced that maybe I could pull it off, even with the temperamental UK weather!
The fabric pressed really nicely and was surprisingly easy to get a neat and tidy finish with despite being silk. I think crepe de chine has that little bit more texture to it which means your pieces hold together in place nicely as they go through your machine, well better than a satin would anyway! Look at those lovely bust pleats!
I french seamed all the seams with the exception of the waist, which I wanted to keep nice and flat and the centre back zip seam. Both of these I pinked, along with the edge of the facing, again to reduce bulk. The pinking actually worked really beautifully on this fabric and is holding up well.
I'm really really pleased with my invisible zip and how all the seams match up. I again used Karen's tutorial for inserting a concealed hook and eye and managed to get a nice crisp corner at the top there once I'd slip stitched down the edge of the facing.
Also some of those long skirt seams are a little bit puckered which is disappointing. I wish I'd done a bit more research into how to work with silk and perhaps tried the cutting and sewing using a sandwich of tissue paper and fabric trick but lesson learnt and perhaps next time! I'm really pleased with how the bodice came out at least so I think the problem was perhaps more to do with the fact that I was getting impatient with french seaming all those long LONG seams between the many panels of the skirt. Patience next time!
Having said that when I put it on to take the photos I liked it a whole lot more than I remembered and now I can't wait to have an occasion to wear it, perhaps if the Spoolettes' Christmas Cocktails plan comes off this could be a winner?! If I lived a MUCH more glamorous life I'd love to make this same version entirely in gold sequinned fabric...though I think maybe I'd need to be Beyonce to pull that one off...