When I arrived at The Gables, I was struck by the number of beautifully dressed women that were arriving. They stood out, because they weren’t in the usual Melbourne black. They were in dresses! Wonderful dresses! In colour! Pattern! Lace! Detailing! High SewcieTea!
Photo courtesy of Rachel.
There are a few blog posts about the event now, many with wonderful photos and more detail of their garments - and the general consensus was that we had a superb time. It is so much fun to talk fabric, patterns, alterations, and generally ooh and ah over one another’s clothes. And there is always the challenge of playing “pick the pattern” – a fair few of us demonstrated considerable skill in identifying the pattern company, name and/or number of many of the garments worn! And the crinolines – oh girls, it was wonderful to see so many crinolines in action! And the food, yum, champagne, another yum – the afternoon flew by.
Photo courtesy of Leith. That’s her on the right, next to Rachel, then Anna, then me!
So, to my dress! I ended up making and wearing Vogue 1027 (as did Kat, who is 8 months pregnant! It looked wonderful on her, but I’m still hoping that I didn’t look 8 months pregnant in mine).
So, what is there to say about this dress? It was a Pattern Review “Best Pattern of 2008″. Yes, I am behind the times, but I can see why it has retained its popularity. It seems to flatter everyone! I know that is a much overused saying, but I haven’t seen anyone yet that doesn’t look good in this dress. Some might look better than others, but they all look good! The fabric is a lovely quality jersey from Darn Cheap Fabrics – probably polyester, but with a beautiful handle and drape. And those colours! Divine!
I had been lucky enough to have tried this pattern on before in a size 8, so knew that I’d be better off in size 10. This pattern really does run large – I measure somewhere between a 14 and 16 for this pattern according to Vogue. The 10 fits absolutely fine! There are no alterations other than folding the tie in half and seaming the edges together rather than leaving the tie edges flat showing the wrong side. Hmm, did that make sense?
Frustratingly, I’m all out of Vliesofix tape. It’s so hard to source! Instead I used Heat’n'Bond Lite in the neckline, and I’m not at all happy with it. Normally I would just iron the tape to the wrong side of the neckline, peel off the paper, fold it to the inside, iron it in place, then twin needle stitch it all from the right side. Well, I still did that, but the Heat’n'Bond is just too thick. It has really stiffened the fabric and even makes it a little wavy. If (when) I make this dress again I’ll be certain to have Vliesofix at the ready or otherwise cut a strip of fabric to face the neckline. Lesson learned. Use the good product. Keep the Heat’n'Bond Lite for wovens or for much heavier weight, stable knits.
The skirt was cut to the pattern length, and it’s beautifully swishy and sway-ey (another technical sewing term) since it’s basically a half circle skirt. So nice to wear. I used Lite Steam a Seam in the hem, which gave a much better result than the Heat’n'Bond I’d used in the neckline. An acceptable substitute for Vliesofix tape. The sleeves are faced, then sewn with my friend the twin needle. I was very pleased with my dress! And it was comfortable, so that I could fit in all the food.
Another photo stolen from Leith.
Thanks again to Melanie for organising such a pleasant afternoon – and it looks as though we will be having Frocktails later in the year! Hooray! Maybe I’ll get the chance to chat to everyone next time – because there were 26 of us this time and although I can talk quite quickly, there were a few gorgeous women that I didn’t get the opportunity to meet and actually say “wow, your frock is fantastic”! Do pop around to all the links and check them all out.