Hello! (Yes, omg, an actual blog post!)
Today’s post is about an outfit I made for my bridal shower back in May last year (I know, belated, but who isn’t terrible at keeping their blog updated when they have Instagram 😉 ). This was the next item I made for myself after the wedding dress. I only decided to make an outfit for this event in the week before we had to leave for the city, so it was super rushed. I’m fortunate to have a kick-ass fabric boutique in my town where the service is just fantastic, and after I picked a pattern, the ladies spent a good hour or more helping me choose my fabrics and notions.
I chose this pattern, Burda Young 7308. How adorable is it?! I loved the soft pink colour, but instead of the black accessories, I wanted to wear ivory with it to make the outfit more “bridal”, I suppose. I ended up making the whole outfit in this pattern, which meant four pieces! The dress, the bolero, the belt, and the petticoat. I learnt HEAPS making this outfit, with a good list of firsts:
- Setting in sleeves
- Sewing with lace without a backing
- Overlocking lace
- Using satin bias binding for a neckline
- Sewing with tulle
- Inserting an invisible zip
This also meant I had a huge list of materials…
- Scalloped lace fabric for the bolero
- Satin bias binding
- Stretch satin for the dress
- Bemsilk for the dress lining
- Tulle for the petticoat
- Elastic for the petticoat
- Bemsilk for the petticoat
- Lace trim for the belt
- Satin for the belt
- Hooks and eyes for the belt and the bolero
- Invisible zip
- Thread in pink and white
- I’m sure there’s something else I’ve forgotten 😛
What a fun collection of stuff. Once I brought it all home I couldn’t WAIT to get started. Luckily I had that week off work so I could just focus really hard on it :).
I started with the bolero. I bought some beautiful ivory scalloped lace (of which I have so much left, because I only used the bits with scallops!). I made a mock-up first just to make sure it would fit me. Fortunately, the size 12 fit straight out of the envelope and needed no adjustments. So here it is:
Those damn sleeves. Mum has often reminded me of a tale of her grandmother, carefully setting sleeves into a dress by hand, perfectly neatly, only to turn the garment and realise they were inside out. So she patiently unpicked everything, and proceeded to do the exact same thing… twice. Then gave up in frustration and decided it was destined to be a sleeveless dress. I’m sure I felt her frustration when I did the same thing here! Must be a family thing 😉 However, I stuck it out and eventually got the sleeves in the right way (and even the right sleeve on the right side! That took a bit of dopey head-scratching)!
Sewing and overlocking with lace was a challenge. Where are you supposed to put the pins? Is there a better way to hold the fabric pieces together? How do you know the machine is even going to catch any fabric with its needle? I was freaking out a bit, but just went for it and it worked out okay. I think the next time I sew something with lace that is not underlined with a sturdier fabric, I should probably sew by hand.
Once the bias neckline was attached (I originally sewed the tape to the inside first, meaning my hand stitching would have been visible on the outside, so had to unpick and start again, guh!), the bolero was pretty much finished. I love how the scalloped edge of the lace meant no hemming!
The last step was to sew a hook and eye at the front closure. I’m not the biggest fan of how it turned out and may yet replace it with a little pearl button and loop, but it’s alright for now.
The dress came together pretty quickly! Again, I made a mock-up and was okay with the fit so I went ahead and cut into the satin without making any adjustments.
The dress consists of princess seams, a lined bodice, a full circle skirt and an invisible zip. It’s really rather simple (and I’ve since made a number of dresses from the same pattern with minor modifications). The invisible zip scared me a bit because I’d never done one before, but it came together pretty well!
Sewing with tulle. Oh God. that was a nightmare. Probably because I was so rushed and couldn’t find the patience to do it properly and I was running out of time… but I got there eventually.
The petticoat was basically just loo-ooo-ooong strips of tulle all gathered up and sewn to one another and then onto a half-slip skirt made of bemsilk, gathered at the top with elastic. Super simple, but holy smokes it took a lot of time and patience. It kinda worked out in the end but by that point I’d almost given up and had decided not to wear it with this outfit after all. I kept it, and I have worn it since, but I know I could do a lot better if I tried a second time.
The very last thing was to make a strip of satin and lace the size of my waist and get my mum to sew the hooks and eyes in, on me, the morning of the event (have I mentioned I was a bit rushed with this outfit?). Put it all together and here we are (sans petticoat):
Success! Sweet little thing (although I must admit I haven’t worn it since the event almost 12 months ago… but it’s too pretty not to keep!). On the day I wore it with patent nude heels and a matching clutch. And since then it has sat in my wardrobe waiting to be blogged about!
And thus concludes the first of a long list of catch-up blog posts I plan to write. Thanks for stopping by! ❤