Recently, my friend C was a bridesmaid for her sister’s wedding. Her sister decided to buy multiple Colette patterns for the dresses, and 5 different shades of green-ish raw silk for the bridesmaids dresses to be made out of. Four of the bridesmaids had their dresses made for them, but C (who’s still a relative sewing beginner) decided that she wanted to try and make her own (with my assistance). Fun!
When C asked me to help, she’d already had a first go at making the Crepe dress pattern up. The Crepe dress is a beginner-level wrap dress pattern. I’ve made it multiple times for myself! In C’s first version, there were some clear fitting issues, mostly related to the placement of the darts, and the length of the bodice. So, we did some fitting of the dress bodice to begin with. We made up a couple of muslins, in order to test moving/shortening the position of both the bottom and side bust darts slightly, and shortened the bodice. These changes made a huge difference – I wish I had photos to show you!
Going through the muslin-making process, I had to explain to C how important it is to be really accurate in sewing your darts, and keeping your seam allowances just the right width. In the early stages, I even drew 1.5cm red lines for her to sew along (on white fabric) in order to keep the muslin accurate, and make my point! Sorry I don’t have any photos to share of the muslin stage to show how big the difference in the before/after was… 😦
Here’s the dress we ended up with, the photos of which were taken at the end of the wedding evening, so please excuse the slight crumpledness etc!
Isn’t that back neckline gorgeous?! Unfortunately the bride decided that she wanted the ties to be tied in a bow at the back (rather than wrapped again and tied at the front as the dress is designed). This made me sad – IMHO, it looks much better with the fabric ties running around the waist twice, rather than once… but the bride gets what she wants on her wedding day!
There was lots of hand sewing in this dress – the hem (which is very, very long) was invisible stitched (I had to teach C how to do this), as were all the facings – I didn’t want visible top stitching lines on a bridesmaids dress! But otherwise, it’s really quite a simple dress to make. Oh, and did you notice the pocket, just visible, in the second picture? Pockets in dresses… even bridesmaid dresses… #FTW! 😉
Unfortunately, C has just moved with her family to Albany, so I won’t be able to drag her along to any meets in coming months… but I reckon she’s got the sewing bug now (and a well-fitted pattern to re-make!).