Peacock dress

I went to a wedding last weekend and of course finished the dress I was going to wear on the same day. Luckily, we were only going to the evening reception. But I’m glad I wore my own dress. There is no better ego boost than hearing “I love your dress” throughout the night and being able to say “Thank you. I made it!” As I haven’t made that many clothes for myself yet, the statement is accompanied by a smug grin that will hopefully wear off before people think I’m arrogant. For now, I think I’m still allowed to be proud of myself.

And this is said dress:

DSC_0246What I am most proud of is that I adapted a pattern for it. The pattern I used was the Ultimate Shift Dress by SewOverIt but I added an inverted pleat in a different fabric at the front, which meant I also had to change the back pieces to match the new shape of the front. As you can see, the pleat had created more of an A-line shape than the original shift dress had. I also made my own bias binding from the peacock fabric (another first) and used it on the neckline and armholes.

When I first made the dress, the front gaped open far too much, which made it look like maternity wear. I like a bit of attention but I didn’t want to be asked about the due date all evening so I edge-stitched along the sides of the pleat on the inside so they would keep their shape and it made a huge difference.

Both fabrics are from Croft Mill: Poplin print Nala in green for the pleat and Old Smoothie in lime green. Old Smoothie is a cotton sateen and feels beautifully soft. It doesn’t crease much either.

The last bit of finishing off I did on the day of the wedding was this button loop.

My first hand-sewn button loop
My first hand-sewn button loop

I would have used a hook and eye fastener but on the shift dress I made previously, it keeps coming undone so I thought a loop and button would be safer. I’d never done a button loop before and I didn’t have time to watch a whole YouTube tutorial so I read the beginning of some online instructions and then guessed the rest. It seems to have worked (I basically made three loops and then made little knots all around the loop) but I have no idea whether this is what a hand-sewn button loop should look like. If you have any advice, do let me know.

As I write this, the dress is in the wash. I seem to have spilled red wine on it and one of the few things I remember was drunkenly telling my boyfriend in the hotel bathroom while he was trying his best to wash out the stains (he’s a keeper, I know) that I could just make another one. Sewing your own clothes is great in every way.

Happy wedding season!

Meike

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