Today I am finally posting about the project that has been keeping me busy for the last month!
My daughter has just finished her GCSEs and it was her school prom last week. As I have said previously, I am away from home during the week until we can move house and the last thing I needed was a stressful project, but she asked me to make her a prom dress.
The wrap bodice proved a bit of a challenge – I made a quick muslin of the bodice out of cotton and found it quite baggy along the wrap edges and there was excess fabric under the bust. I moved the waist darts slightly closer to the centre and I took a wedge of about an inch out of the wrap edge, tapering to nothing at the side seam. This worked really well in the cotton fabric and it felt as if we were good to go!
The fabric for the dress is cupro – which I hadn’t used before – it looks a lot like silk, but it is viscose based and is washable. I hoped that it would be easier to sew with than silk (which I also haven’t used before). I bought the cupro fabric on Goldhawk Road – I think in UK Textiles. It doesn’t fray and was happy to be pressed with a medium hot iron, it was as shifty as I assume silk is, creases the minute you look at it (as you can see in the pictures after a short wear) and the bias edges stretched like crazy…
My fabric was slightly narrower than the full 150cm needed for the circle skirt, so I had to narrow the side of the skirt to fit onto the fabric. I lengthened the front skirt so it fell slightly below knee length and lengthened the back skirt even further so that it was almost ankle length for a dramatic swirly high/low skirt.
After cutting out the pieces I started pinning the darts and then realised I had forgotten to stabilise the wrap edges. I went back and sewed twill tape along the edge of the outer bodice and stay stitched the bodice lining edge. When I came to sew it together though I realised that I had already stretched out the wrap edge – just handling the fabric enough to make the darts had caused it to grow by a couple of centimetres! I ended up cutting another bodice and lining and stabilising the edges before I even unpinned the pattern pieces.
The cupro fabric has quite a lot of give and the bodice has still ended up a little looser than I would have liked. I needed to secure the wrap with a stitch to stop it from gaping and I can see that pulling a bit in the pictures.
I also changed the front pleats making them into the same box pleats as at the back. The original pleats at the front were pulling the side seams forward slightly and changing the pleats seemed to release that tension.
There were so many moments when I thought this dress wasn’t going to work out, but in the end I finished and my daughter was happy and we didn’t have to go shopping! Of course I can see all the faults in the dress but she had a great time at prom and that is the only thing that matters.
I think it may be time for something nice and easy next though – perhaps a tshirt or two?