Miss Maddy Sews a Thing or Two – Part III

Finally, we’ve reached the last and, what I believe is, the most impressive of my summer makes: a strapless, sweetheart 50s-prom-dress-inspired ball gown! I have to say, out of everything I’ve made so far, this dress is the one that most feeds the desire residing deep in my souls to be a Disney princess. When I saw this fabric online at Darn Cheap, I knew I had to have it; and in what seems to be a theme in my life, I managed to snaffle up the last 1.5 metres of it. The soft, silky texture, incredible drape and fantastical floral motif suggested one thing to me and one thing only: A REALLY PRETTY DRESS. And this is what I came up with!

The smug smile of a girl who knows her outfit is on point.

The smug smile of a girl who knows her outfit is on point.

When I started this dress at the beginning of the year, it was certainly the most challenging project I had yet taken on. And, with the confidence of inexperience, and boundless Youtube-tutorial-fuelled enthusiasm, I decided I would DRAFT THE PATTERN MYSELF. I mean, how hard could it be? Just maths, right? The first couple of muslins came out pretty well, so I went ahead and gathered the rest of my supplies: Bemsilk lining fabric, invisible zip, plastic boning and channelling. I cut out my bodice pieces in the lining fabric, interfaced, and tacked them together to fit…and this is where I started running into problems. I don’t know if it was the pattern, and the mock-ups weren’t as good as I thought; or the difference between the cotton I’d used for them and the interfaced lining – either way, it took three or four attempts at taking in and letting out before my grandmother and I managed to get that bodice finished. We never quite got it perfect; but hey, it looked good, and as far as I’m concerned – that’s the main thing!

Tea Rose Dress - back

Once I’d got that bodice lining done, I could bone it, and cut into my fashion fabric. Which proved to be a bit of a nightmare in itself; it was so drapey and slippery it was almost impossible to cut it straight. Also, my scant metre and a half was barely enough for a full circle skirt AND a bodice – but fortunately the fabric was just as wide, so I had some room to work with! I managed to get the pattern placement how I wanted it, too, which was no easy feat given that it was such a large pattern. Construction from that point was reasonably straightforward; I used french seams in the skirt, which worked really well with the light-weight fabric, and the lining pieces were overlocked together. The last thing which gave me a headache was the hem; I had originally intended to do a rolled hem on my machine; and although I’ve used it fairly successfully once or twice before, it just wouldn’t cooperate with this dress for some reason. And after many months of procrastination and life getting in the way, at five days before the event to which I wanted to wear the dress, I called in the expert help and equipment – I got my other grandmother to help me do a rolled hem on her overlocker. Which, might I add, gave a beautiful result ๐Ÿ™‚

DSC_2478

I haven’t really got much else to say about this dress, other than how unbelievably happy I am with how this turned out! Is it perfect? No. But did I feel like a princess wearing it? YES. I’m also pretty pleased with the photos I have to share – I wore it to a ball last night and my mum was kind enough (very enthusiastic, in fact) to get some pictures of me all dolled up ๐Ÿ™‚

Things are still pretty hectic around here – balls notwithstanding – but I’m squirrelling away bits of time here and there for sewing, so expect to see something from me soon enough! And eyes out for a special announcement soon…(hopefully)

Until next time,

Miss Maddy x

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28 comments

  1. Elizsews · August 16, 2015

    ‘Miss Maddy Sews’ looks amazingly happy with her beautiful dress…….fantastic fabric choice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 18, 2015

      Thanks! Darn Cheap always seems to come through with the goods ๐Ÿ˜›

      Like

  2. Monique · August 16, 2015

    Maddy the dress is completely dreamy! I’m a huge fan of all your work but this is my favourite this far.
    Mo xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 18, 2015

      It’s one of my favourites too! I was so happy with how it looked on the night ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

      Like

  3. Michelle · August 17, 2015

    What a beautiful dress! So very lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tanit-Isis · August 17, 2015

    That’s so beautiful! I’m glad you had somewhere to wear it. I think a try tired bodice like that in such a soft fabric would be tricky for anyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tanit-Isis · August 17, 2015

      Er…. “Structured” bodice. Thank you, autocorrect. ๐Ÿ˜›

      Like

      • Miss Maddy · August 18, 2015

        Haha, I was wondering what you meant for a minute there! It certainly was a challenge – but I think the result was well worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

  5. colormusing · August 17, 2015

    Gorgeous! Nice dress, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ You did a fantastic job on this!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. craftsanctuary · August 17, 2015

    ON POINT! So gorgeous! The fit is amazing, and I’m totally in awe of how well you handled all that silk!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 18, 2015

      Why thank you! I’m a bit in awe of me too, to be honest – I’m sure there was some beginner’s luck involved ๐Ÿ˜›

      Like

  7. Miss Manitas · August 17, 2015

    Supercute dress!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Elaine Bown Armenta · August 17, 2015

    In one word…… Smashing

    Liked by 1 person

  9. AFI · August 17, 2015

    What a beautiful young lady! Well done teaming up with your grandmother. The dress is absolutely gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 18, 2015

      Thanks! I really do owe both my grandmothers a lot, I’m very lucky to have such experienced sewers to help me when I need it ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Sofรญa · August 19, 2015

    This dress is gorgeous, Maddy!! I absolutely love the design and the print placement. It must have been really rewarding to sew and wear such a beautiful garment! The style suits you perfectly, I’m sure you were the queen of the party ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Like

    • Miss Maddy · August 20, 2015

      Thanks Sofia! It really was, it’s one of my favourite makes so far :))) I hope I was, it was certainly my aim! ๐Ÿ˜›

      Like

  11. poppykettle · August 21, 2015

    So beautiful. Your choice of fabric is divine – I love the print and your placement of it! Can’t believe you took on drafting this yourself – bravo. I’m way to much of a wimp to even consider such a move! Rolled hems on fabric like this are my favourite finish – I love how it gives a slight little ruffle to it ๐Ÿ™‚ You look amazing! x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Miss Maddy · August 22, 2015

      Thank you so much! I can hardly believe I drafted it myself, looking back – I’m a lot warier now, funnily enough! Hemming is generally my least favourite thing, but now that I’ve discovered this finish, I think I don’t mind it quite so much ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  12. Pingback: Dressed to Impress: 50s-Inspired Formal Dress
  13. eimear · August 29, 2015

    stunning, that placement of the pattern on the skirt is so so so perfect. it looks so well on you. congratulations!

    Like

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