My relationship with this dress began many months ago when I watched Great British Sewing Bee in April this year. I was in awe of all the contestants who had the guts to not only make wonderful creations under the scrutiny of judges but to do it on the TV in front of millions of viewers too (sends shivers down my spine at the very thought). One of the finalists made this dress as her last creation and immediately I thought, I have got to make me one of those. I bought the pattern Simplicity 1874 straight away but due to other projects I already had in mind I didn’t start making it for a few months.
Now I will share with you the most magical experience of my sewing journey so far. It has been such a joy, the familiar excitement of creating something new (and much much more). The fabric I used to make the dress is Duchess satin (it’s luscious!) I interlined it with cotton, a variation which I decided to do myself to give more definition to the bodice, it was also part lined. The construction began with cutting out somewhere in the region of 40 pattern pieces (I have to admit cutting out doesn’t really tick my box, but it is always worth it). All the front bodice panels were put together first then attached to the front skirt. The back was then created with each piece sewn individually and then put together to create the detail. This was attached to the skirt, as with the front. The lining, which finishes at the hip line was sewn together next and attached to the bodice around the neck edge and underarm. The most difficult part for me is usually the zip and with using such a lovely delicate satin I was very nervous about inserting it but I have to say it went in first time without any problem (wahoooo!) All that was left on the construction was the hem, a little bit of hand stitching and there we have it – job done.
No, no, no, most definitely no. The pièce de résistance of this dress are the flowers, the little beauties. I started off following the pattern, creating the various sized petals and tweaking them, building up the design, as I created more and more I added leaves, twisted the petals to create little buds and before I knew it I had a full-blown bouquet on my shoulder – it is a work of art.
I knew this dress would be special before I even started it, although I have never been (and never will be) confident enough to assume it would turn out really well. As the end was in sight I decided to have it photographed in a different way than I have previously, I called upon the my extremely talented brother in-law to help me out. What a wonderful job he has done. I feel about 10 feet tall and probably won’t come back down to earth for some time. I often look back to a couple of years ago before I started my sewing and wonder what filled me with so much excitement then…….as the saying goes what you haven’t had you don’t miss.
And that, my friends, is my story. I always have to have another creation ready and waiting for me to rush headlong into, how on earth can I follow that you may ask, well funnily enough my daughter took a liking to my dress and I have found just the right pattern for the job……..