I finished hemming it and binding the waist seam this morning.
It may be the only wedding dress in the world with nice, deep pockets.
I'm pretty pleased with it.
The pattern is the Crepe Wrap Dress from Colette Patterns. It is categorised as a 'Beginner' pattern, which at times I thought was wrong, but now I've finished I think is pretty fair. There are no zips or buttons in this dress, which is primarily why I think it gets its classification. However, it is full of curved seams and darts, which I always find very fiddly, despite having done them many times before. I personally find putting in a zip much easier than sewing facing into curved armholes! I think the arms and neckline would be pretty challenging to someone brand new to sewing, but if you've made a few pieces of clothing before you wouldn't find any of it too tricky.
And all the swearing over getting the neckline to curve correctly is completely worth it. I think this is such a pretty pattern. It is hard to photograph nicely without a mannequin, or someone to model the dress, because it has a 1950s-style, flared, curvy shape to it, but you can see a little of what it will look like on, from these pictures. I think I may try and get hold of a 1950s petticoat to go underneath it on the day and flare it out a little more.
I've made it entirely with vintage fabrics that my Grandmother has given me. My Grandmother won't be at the wedding next month so I like the idea of her contributing via the fabrics she has given me. The main fabric is a vintage sheet which is machine embroidered with trailing pink flowers. I spent an entire afternoon working out how to place the pattern pieces for the bodice and one of the skirt panels on the sheet, so that when it was finished, the flowers would trail diagonally across the dress.
The sash is made from a piece of vintage yellow silk tafetta. It is the perfect fabric for a structural sash like this - stiff, thick and full of shape and texture. It feels almost papery when you sew with it. The sash fastens the dress and ties in a big bow at the back.
The last fabric I used was a length of yellow vintage ribbon to bind the inside waist seam. You can see the binding in the second photo, at the top of this post. Binding an inside seam is not something I would normally do, but I'm glad I bothered this time, as it makes the dress seem that little bit more special.
The Colette pattern was very clear to follow, and as I mentioned in this post, the booklet format is an absolutely genius idea. I would love to make more clothes from their patterns. I particularly love the Parfait dress and the Nutmeg underwear patterns.
My next sewing project though needs to be a wedding outfit for O, who has very clear ideas about what she would like.... I should have started negotiating with her a long time ago.