My advent calendar has reliably informed me that there are only 6 sleeps until Christmas!
So I thought this would be a great time to show you the dress I've made for Christmas day!
First of all I'm a tricky customer for dressing on Christmas day. My anxiety skyrockets and that triggers my IBS and makes my tummy bloat and feel really uncomfortable.
So number 1. The dress has to be comfortable enough to wear for the majority of the day.
2. I have to be able to wear it with regular underwear [IE. not spanx. Spanx is the devil]
3. There has to be enough room for me to eat my body weight in roasts potatoes, Yorkshire puds and piggies in blankets....and then there still needs to be enough room for half a tub of quality street.
4. I must look and feel pretty darn good, and it must photograph well because those pesky camera phones are everywhere now days]
Its really hard to see the details because the dress is black and black doesn't photograph well. But to start with the fabric this is a Stretch viscose from sewalicious [they kindly sent it to me in exchange for a blog post I wrote for them.]
Its a fairly thick fabric with a flocked velvet diamond pattern on it. Its special enough for Christmas but not so special that I'll feel like a bauble on the tree.
I lined it with a purple cotton that I had in my stash and I think originally came from my friend Jeanette - [Instagram Pin_n_tonic]
Pattern wise I used threadcount 1613 which I'm fairly sure someone gave me but I can't for the life of me remember who!!! [so sorry if its you, hit me up with a message so I can credit you!]
The pattern is printed on tissue paper and I cut a size 12. For this dress I chose to do the pencil skirt version rather than the full skirt. And I opted out of the sleeves and weird hip flaps. Because well hip flaps? Really? We want to add more volume to my hips?
Construction wise I lined the bodice in cotton and I REALLY struggled with the instructions. Because of the wrap over top style I think I must have lined it and unpicked it about 6 times before I was happy. Next time I think I'll just follow my instincts and do the construction my way.
I also struggled with working out which way round some of the pieces were meant to go and which pieces were which, especially with the shoulder yokes. I think this issue came about because the notches also line up with other notches which meant I got really confused. I think the pattern could do with some better markings so nothing gets confused.
I also had to add some extra gathers on the shoulder straps [you can see the ribbon I gathered it into on the picture above]. Basically when I tried it on, it looked really matronly and I nearly cried because it wasn't the Marilyn Monroesque look I was going for and I was worried I had wasted the beautiful fabric. I looked online and the neckline looks okay on other people but it was just too much on me. Rikki has since suggested that its because I have little shoulders. Anyway I added some gathers in which just opened up the neckline a bit and made it more flattering. I think I gathered about an inch or two? But it makes a huge difference.
Apart from the shoulders the rest of the fit wasn't too bad. I did shorten the skirt by about 4 inches and I had to take two inches out of the back seam. Now the dress fits really nicely without being uncomfortably tight.
Because of the weight and thickness of the fabric I decided to use a metal zip rather than a plastic or invisible zip. I personally don't trust invisible zips on thick fabrics or places where there are lots of bulk on the seams [like the waist seam because I ended up having to bias binding it to make things look neat] And in my experience metal zips hardly ever break no matter how much you abuse them.
Style wise I think the gathered wrap over bodice is really flattering and I love how the skirt skims over my curves. I think this is because the skirt is made up of seven panels so you can really tweak the fit and contour it to your own body.
All in all I really love this dress and I can't wait to wear it! The fabric works perfectly with the pattern but I have no idea how this pattern was given the beginner rating? I mean this bodice was head scratchingly hard. That or I can't read and understand simple instructions? It could be that one...but I don't think it is? I personally would say this pattern is more suitable for a intermediate sewer who not afraid of their unpicker.
In other news!
Every single present is wrapped.
School finishes today, so tomorrow I am going to have a big ole lie in and watch Disney movies under a blanket with my lil man!
My cold still sucks, I think its reached into my sinuses BUT I have high hopes that a few days of rest will leave me feeling perky for Christmas!!!
[Disclaimer: Sewalicious sent me this fabric free of charge as a thank you for a post I wrote for their blog. They did not ask me to review it or link to it]