Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Green Satin Prom Dress

Well, I finally got the photos loaded onto my laptop! So after all the promises over the last month, I now have something to actual show you. Let's cut right the chase, here it is!

Blurriness. :P
This dress was the definition of a love/hate project. When I first bought the pattern last year, I was totally in love with it. I had plans of making it for 2012 4-H Fashion Revue, but I procrastinated and ended up making   this dress instead. When FR time came around this year, I promptly bought fabric...and then procrastinated for two months. So, this dress was basically the culmination of a two week sewing marathon! Blegh. Will I ever learn? :P

I do like how this dress sits below my shoulder blades....
I was a little nervous starting this project. It's the largest (as in most fabric) dress I've ever created, it was my first time working with slippery material, and I was using a Vintage Vogue pattern. The people I know who've actually worked with them didn't like the fit, as it's not necessarily meant for wearing over modern underthings. So a big yay for historical accuracy, but a bit disappointing for those of us more interested in simply channeling a vintage look. :)

When it actually came time to put the dress together, I did run into some difficulties. Most of them came from all the gathering (seriously. Pleats are so much better). Gathering the bodice so it was flattering was easier said than done. Attaching the skirt to the bodice was the real challenge, though. Would you believe that there were TWO MORE PANELS MEANT TO BE IN THAT SKIRT??!! Not kidding! There was a huge front panel, two side panels, and a back panel. I literally took out half of the skirt, because there was now way I could ever gather all that fabric to fit in the bodice. But hey, I have so much leftover fabric now that I can make a dress for my little cousin. :)

oooh la la! Pink!
I did go ahead and make a slip. So glad I did! The dress hangs so much nicer with the added poof. I didn't send the slip through judging, it was just a slap-together-so-that-this-looks-nice project. I would love to remake one just to have a nicer version, but if I do I'd be making it in crinoline and not tulle...tulle is itchy. But let's move on to the summary, shall we?

Pattern: Vintage Vogue V2962 (view A), and this tutorial from Sugardale Clothing for the slip.
Fabric: Nine yards of green crepe back satin for the dress, plus eight yards of green satin for the lining. Also four yards of pink tulle for the slip.
Notions: Eleven fabric-covered buttons, eighteen yards of pink ribbon (for the slip), several hooks and eyes.
Total cost to make: I am roughly estimating $75-$80 on this one. Which isn't that bad, considering a store bought one would probably be about that. I need to be good and keep receipts next time!
Hours: At least 25. Not more than 30, though. This includes really, really late nights at my friend's house of crazed Disney-song-singing-while-sewing.
Previous Posts: You can read my getting started post here.
New techniques/difficulties: Fabric covered buttons, understitching, slippery fabric, as well as a new pattern company were all new to me. Difficulties were the aforementioned gathering of the skirt, as well as the fit of the bodice. Oh! And putting the placket in was annoying, and took some time with a seam ripper.
Where to wear it?: It was intended for prom....but prom was last night and last minute I changed dresses. I'd been feeling a bit iffy with this dress as of late, so I was more confident with a different dress. But after some fittings I'm hoping to wear it to NH 4-H Teen Conference semi-formal in June. Plus, this was my entry for FR this year, and I moved up to State's level with it!
Make again?: Ummm.....probably not, honestly. I don't think I would make another formal dress with the same pattern, though I still love the style. That being said, this construction had enough fit issues that I'm not sure I would want another dress like this in my closet.
Overall Thoughts: asldkfjkjaokfjdkl. But seriously, my thoughts are all muddled about this dress. There was unfortunately a lot of stress about whether or not this would fit, would it be flattering, etc., during construction. Now that it's together I think it looks better than I originally thought it would, but I'm still not totally happy with it. That being said, I'm very happy I made this. It was a great experience, and if there's one thing sewing can teach you, it's to be humble and be prepared to make mistakes. Though this dress might not be perfect, hopefully my next project featuring slippery fabric and a difficult pattern will be a bit easier.

Thanks so much for reading! I'm by no means a sewing genius like some folks I know, but I did enjoy showing you this. :) Here's one more picture...

Rockability pose!! Note: Also wearing black peep-toe heels from a discount department store. 
Alright, I lied. Here's another one!

Me and the lovely Emily! I love her dress...and it's wool! That girl is classy. :)
Thanks for reading! :)

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