Now, onto the dress sewing. I used Vogue 8150. The pattern photo and drawings are extremely uninspiring and naff, to my eye. However, there were a few reasons I chose this pattern (view B):
- I wanted 'floaty'. Specifically, silk georgette. Most formal dresses are for stiffer/firmer/more opaque fabrics, and this was one of the few that could be made with lighter fabric.
- I did not want a strapless style.
- Princess lines allowed for easier pattern adjustments.
- There had to be enough coverage at the back and the front to allow a good bra/torsolette to go underneath.
So with those restrictions, there were surprisingly few patterns left to choose from! Vogue 1030 was the only other serious contender... but ultimately I decided that the empire line would make me look larger than I am. It's just not the right shape for me.
This pattern had some added bonuses. A slightly dropped waist is a good style for me. The ruching also camouflages a less-than-rock-hard upper body. The skirt being slightly higher at the instep reduced the chance of tripping over at an outdoor ceremony! Also, the pattern was not totally beyond my skill level. It was very time-consuming, but not necessarily difficult.
I used nearly 8 yards of ivory silk georgette, with about 4 yards of 16mm silk crepe de chine for lining and underlining. A note on this - the two layers of the skirt are only just opaque enough for my liking. Strong light behind me would show everything! The crepe de chine was a perfect weight for the floaty skirt though. I think if I did it again, I would actually do two layers of lining in the skirt.
Contrasting Gutermann silk thread was used for tracing the pattern pieces, as well as for basting. For permanent hand-sewing, I used a matching silk thread. Silk thread made the hand-sewing much smoother, as it doesn't snag going through the fabric. I just used regular Gutermann thread for the machine sewing. I tacked down the ruching using some small Swarovski crystals for interest.
How do you choose the style of an important outfit? Trends in magazines, personal wish-list, thinking about body shape, or other considerations?
Note: My next post will talk about the sewing techniques and instructions that I used.