I decided to whip it up for a wedding I was going to. Teamed with some pretty brocade style fabric from Clegs (thanks to a birthday voucher from Mr ZoSews) this is how she came up.
The gory details
- If you haven’t already seen the gorgeous packaging BHL are using, you’re missing out. When I first saw it, it absolutely delighted me.
- Personally, I’d really like to see some finished measurements and a hip measurement included. I know that the skirt’s huge so there shouldn’t be issues with hip size if you get the waist right, but for a hippy gal like moi, I just like to know. Ease and height of fit model would be useful too…
- The instructions are written in very accessible language, and provide the sort of information that’s helpful for those just dipping a toe in sewing land, for example, “Back stitch at the start and finish of your line of sewing”.
I traced and cut the bodice in a size 10, but then…
- I’m long in the body, so I slashed and spread and added 4 cm to the bodice length, so the waistline would actually hit me on my waist.
- I moved the bodice princess seams across towards the centre 1.5 cm so the line went right through the apex of the bust.
- I did some shaping from under the bust down to the waistline for a closer fit.
- I used a pink cotton voile for lining, and in addition to lining the bodice, I lined the skirt. All I did was reuse the skirt pattern, and cut it at around 26cm length.
- I couldn’t find a 30 inch zipper on the face of this planet! Well in the few stores I went to anyway. So I got a 24 inch and just free-styled the insertion, hand picking it in.
- Instructions say to machine hem the sleeves. Not for this little black duck, so I blind hemmed the sleeves by hand.
- Because I didn’t make a toile of the skirt (bodice only), I cut it out in a huge size to start with (18 I think… ridiculous now but it made sense at the time). Not surprisingly, cut at an 18, the skirt was frickin huge and looked ridiculous. I went back down in size in stages by just basting my side seams together until I hit what I liked. I now have ENORMOUS side seams, but no-one can see that :)
- It’s probably due to my giant skirt plus shaped bodice, but, sheesh, easing that skirt on to the bodice almost killed me. I reckon I had at least 4-5 tries and she wouldn’t play ball. So in the end I have some tiiiiny gathers between the two waist darts, and more annoyingly the waist darts don’t perfectly match the bodice seams – but I managed to deal with that because I don’t think anyone else would notice. Phew.
- Pattern suggests top stitching around the neckline, but in this case I under stitched.
At first I was worried that it wasn’t very flattering around the hip region. However, I’ve since decided it’s a winner. I reckon I’ll make this bad girl again. In a less ‘icing’ fabric, I think this would be a goer for the office. I also want to try the bodice with a pencil skirt. Overall, I’m very happy with it :) And it seems I like grey and pink…
I almost forgot. Walking around in Toorak between this wedding ceremony and reception, I crossed the road at a pedestrian crossing and heard two women talking about my dress as I walked past them. It went something like this, “Now THAT, is a nice dress”. Oh yeah, as you’d expect, I was quite chuffed! Especially as I had just finished the thing standing in the kitchen hand sewing while Mr ZoSews packed my bag to leave to go to the wedding. Last minute much?
Thanks for reading. I hope I’ve enticed you to give Elisalex a go?