As always, I’m catching up on posts to share with you all! I know most of you may have seen, but a few weeks ago Crafty Sew and So in Leicester hosted the first ever (and hopefully not last) Dressmakers Ball! Held in the beautiful City Rooms, I snapped up a ticket when the event was first announced – how often are there fancy events to make clothes for?!
I had originally planned to make New Look 6393 using a reversible gold, pink and green floral design I had picked up from the Rag Market in March (you can find it in my instagram feed), but then I went to China and fell in love with an incredible sequinned tulle in Shanghai (as I mentioned in my last post). As soon as I could get on to wifi I ordered Simplicity Amazing Fit 1606 so it would be on the doorstop once we arrived back home! I knew I wanted to use the sheerness of the tulle to its advantage and I liked the classic cocktail dress styling on this pattern.
I’ve never used an Amazing Fit pattern, but after my experience with 1606 I will definitely be using others! The Amazing Fit range has been drafted specifically to include different options on the pattern to accommodate different cup sizes or body shapes. Simplicity patterns are drafted for a B cup as standard, but 1606 includes pattern pieces for A, B, C and D cups. I used the D cup bodice patterns, and I was very impressed – for the first time probably ever, a dress fit more or less perfectly straight out of the packet! I made a few very minor tweaks at the top the side and bust seams to take it in a bit across the chest, but I could have got away with leaving as it was – if I had bought RTW that fit like that I wouldn’t have complained! I had to shorten the back waist because of my sway back my back waist isn’t level with my front waist, and I also shortened the skirt a little, but otherwise didn’t have to do any difficult fitting at all. It was brilliant!
I made view D with the overlay, and chose to make the under-dress in a black duchess satin from John Lewis. I wanted something stable and comfy to wear, and at just £8 a metre this fit the bill. I lined it in some cheap cotton lawn that came from John Lewis too. I used the sequinned tulle for the overdress, placing my pattern pieces so that the design extended beyond the top of the under-dress bodice.
As I’ve not sewn with sequins before I did a bit of research on the best way to approach it. This guide from By Hand London was really informative, but I ended up winging it and not doing anything I was supposed to! I used my normal machine and used a slightly thicker needle, and only unpicked and trimmed sequins in a few places. I didn’t really have the time to remove every sequin from every inch of seam allowance, and definitely did not have the inclination. The only time this laziness caused any problems was when I inserted the invisible zip. The seams were a bit too bulky so I did reduce bulk here and got the zip in on the second attempt! 1606 is a straightforward, easy sew and I think a halter version might need to be made over the summer!
I was really pleased with the finished dress, even though it turned out I had shrunk a bit since I did the original fitting and did have to hitch it up a few times throughout the evening! I received lots of really lovely comments from other guests at the ball which was really lovely. I felt comfortable and I thought I looked pretty cute, so it was definitely a success all round! I took very few photos, and the ones I did were rubbish haha! I had a really fabulous time, got to hang out with some of my favourite sewing people – fingers crossed there is a ball in 2018!
Bonus photo – deeply attractive outtake. Didn’t want you think my life was all glamour…