adult's clothing · sewing

a little bit of sparkle….

I haven’t been blogging, but I have been sewing!  Once again my sewing mojo has run far, far ahead of my blogging mojo.  I blame instagram – it makes it so easy to share a little snippet of what I’ve been up to.  So, have you been waiting with bated breath to discover what resulted from the sequin cutting that I did a couple of weeks ago?  Well, it was my dress for Melbourne Frocktails last weekend (Helen, Oanh, Liz and Neeno have already blogged about their gorgeous frocks and our lovely evening of food, cocktails and chatter).

Vintage Vogue 2055 copyright 1988 in sequins from Darn Cheap Fabrics

Well, hello! This dress is certainly an attention getter. I’ve never sewn with sequinned fabric before, and bought this remnant from Darn Cheap Fabrics a little while ago. It is an imperfect piece and was sold very cheaply, so was the perfect candidate for learning to sew sequins. I paired it with a vintage Vogue Designer Calvin Klein pattern (copyright 1988) that I recently won from Valerie in a giveaway. I bet that she didn’t expect it to be used so quickly!

vintage Vogue 2055 Calvin Klein

I made the size Medium (12-14) and petite-ed it through the body and the sleeves. I was rather glad that I did! As the pattern wasn’t designed for sequinned fabric, I did have to give some thought to how I would construct it. In the end I cut a full lining from black viscose/lycra knit, and basically bagged out the entire dress. I sewed it with a jeans needle on the sewing machine and left the edges unfinished. The lining enclosed any rough sequins around the neckline and sleeve openings, and covered them on the inside as well. I under stitched the neckline, but it still had a tendency to roll to the outside a little. There were a few things that were not done to a high standard. Firstly, the hem. It wasn’t noticeable in wearing, but it certainly is in these photos. You can see every stitch of the hand done hem in these shots!

Vintage Vogue 2055 copyright 1988 in sequins from Darn Cheap Fabrics

The light was fading rapidly when these photos were taken, and I just haven’t managed to get dressed up again to retake them. I really don’t think that the hemline was as obvious when I wore it, and I did stitch the hem down fairly loosely. It shows how the light reflects off every angle of the sequins. You can also see that definite ’80s silhouette with this dress, and some of the dodgy patches where sequins flipped up rather than down. I did say that it was an imperfect remnant!

Vintage Vogue 2055 copyright 1988 in sequins from Darn Cheap Fabrics

I also made a big error when cutting out – I cut the sleeves with the “nap” of the sequins running up instead of running down. This definitely is not a couture item. No-one else noticed, or at least they didn’t say anything! I didn’t hem the lining, as the dress was rather weighty and had dropped a bit while hanging on my mannequin waiting to be hemmed. I needed the lining to cover as much of the sequinned seams and hemline as possible – those sequins can be a little scratchy.

Vintage Vogue 2055 copyright 1988 in sequins from Darn Cheap Fabrics

My husband named this the “rainbow fish” dress, as he thought that the sequins were reminiscent of the fish scales in the children’s picture book. There’s not much more to say about this dress – it’s a bit of fun, not one of my finest examples of sewing, but certainly a statement piece! To finish off, a couple of photos from the night:

Carita and Helen at Melbourne Frocktails

Carita (in her stunning wool crepe Anna maxi dress) and Helen

Lara and Oanh at Melbourne Frocktails

Me with Oanh

Vintage Vogue 2055 copyright 1988 in sequins from Darn Cheap Fabrics

A sack style dress is actually very comfortable for an evening of eating and drinking!  Who knows if this dress will ever get another outing, but it was an enjoyable exercise either way.  The pattern definitely will get another run, but in one of the recommended fabrics.


14 thoughts on “a little bit of sparkle….

  1. I love the rainbow fish book! And your dress is totally worthy – such a beautiful and striking green and a fun style. And well done for having a shot with sequins. I had a play with a small sequin remnant about a year ago and realised just how messy they are, and the extra work that needs to go into making something with them – even if it isn’t couture. Looks like it was a fun evening. I wish I was there!

  2. Love it! I sewed this pattern in college with a little help from mom as I was new to sewing. I wore it to a wedding and to meet my hubby’s family when I met them ALL to announce our engagement! Mine was made from a beautiful silk that I picked up at the local buyout warehouse store. Yours is lovely and brings back lots of memories! Love your sewing and blogging. You inspire me

  3. I am so sad I missed the Sydney one, although my friends went up. And had a fabulous time. But next year is in Melbourne again and oh, I am SO THERE! Hopefully you will sew up something as fabulous as this number!

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