Hello all! Today I have to present to you: this years Summer Ball dress, to end my first year of uni. Before I begin, in this photoshoot it was blowing a gale and it seems I completely lost my ability to form any passably attractive facial expression, so if you could just glaze over the very prominent outline of my legs and my stupid face that would be great.
I always knew that I wanted to use the drop waisted Vogue pattern for the skirt, which I used for a dress a few months back. I knew I wanted a halterneck type bodice which was gathered into the waist. And finally I wanted it to be emerald green silk.
I found the emerald silk from Goldhawk road for £12 and bought the rest of the bolt which was just over 3 metres just before Easter. Cut to the last week of term, in at uni 10-5 , a flood of other peoples alterations for Summer Ball and the Ball itself on Friday night. In the end I had about 6 hours to put this dress together. As the guys on sewing bee know; this is not long enough.
I planned to drape the bodice and just lengthen the skirt from the pattern so I decided to work on the skirt first. Thursday night, 9pm: the making begins. I ended up just using the yoke pieces and the tops of the skirt pieces from the pattern, using 2 rectangles of fabric gathered into the skirt instead of a trapeze shape, with the top of each rectangle vaguely resembling the shape of the yoke.
I interfaced the yoke to give it a bit more structure which turned out to be a good shout. It did need taking in a bit on either side so it sat properly at my waist. 1 of the side seams turned out a bit funky. I didn't cut very carefully so it's probably horribly off grain. 11pm: Sort out Benjie's trouser hems.
I tried draping the bodice halterneck style but it just wasn't working for me. I take the only scraps left from the skirt, knot them at the back of the neck, tuck them in at the waist. I thought that looked alright, and I was falling asleep at this point so called it at night at 2am.
Friday afternoon: 3pm. Put straws in hair. Attach bottom of bodice to skirt. Handpick the invisible zip into the centre back seam because zipper foot is no where to be found and time is flying at the speed of light. 4.30pm: Roll hem all edges of the bodice. 5pm: have disgusting kebabs for tea which were far too hot and even Philadelphia couldn't cool them down.
5.30pm: Get nice friend Amy to level off the hem. Realise that no hemming is going to happen and just say positively, "At least the fabric doesn't fray so much". Find and apply nipple covers. 6pm: Look in the mirror and cry a little inside. Take out straws and do make up. Make way for thoroughfare of people coming in to use the iron. 7.30pm: Iron! 7.45pm: turn up at pre drinks that started at 6.30.
I really quite dislike this dress. I think it makes me look like a lampshade. It did get finished enough to wear though. My tactic was to dance so hard that no one got a chance to see that I looked like a lampshade and I think it worked. A few compliments did float my way. I love the fabric though so I think I'm going to rip up this dress and remake it into this dress.
Thanks for reading, to Amy for all of her help and to Edward for taking pics in our local field!