The “We’re Made For Each Other” Dress | Debi Fry
Fabric: Red crepe back satin, 3 meters -£21, pink crepe back satin, 1/2 meter -£3.50
Patterns: Wearing History’s Manhattan Melodrama reproduction pattern (I think I got the last one!)
Notions: 4 vintage zippers – £0.20
Time to complete: 20.5 hours
First worn: February 2011
Wear again? Yes, for special occasions
Total Cost: ~£25
For the Valentine’s Day theme I wanted to do something really special. I decided to use Wearing History’s reproduction pattern called ‘Manhattan Melodrama’ from 1934:
There are so many things I adore about this dress. I love the back details, the shoulder and the fit. I knew that I wanted to make the blouse as a separate so that I could wear it again for less formal occasions.
There were a lot of ‘firsts’ with this pattern. This is my first gown pattern. This is the first time I graded a pattern (from a 30B to 35B). This was the first time I significantly altered a pattern (i.e. made separates from a single dress). And this was the first time I used crepe back satin! Phew! I’m tired already :-)
Here’s a better picture of the back, there’s a secret neck zipper under the middle panel:
I cut out the fashion fabric on Saturday night but didn’t start sewing the dress until Sunday and I raced home from work on Monday and was literally hemming the dress 30 minutes before walking out the door for our Valentine’s Day dinner! I didn’t have time to make the belt but I think it looks fine without it! Luckily, I had graded the pattern a few days earlier (and tested it for fit). This dress is one giant narrow hem :-) Besides the finishing details, it went together very easily.
There was one minor issue at the last moment. One of the things I hadn’t anticipated in making the top separate from the dress was the ability to get the waist portion over my head. When making as a full dress, there is a side opening that extends the length of the blouse and part of the skirt. I had already inserted a small zipper (that didn’t quite extend the whole length of the blouse side) as well as a zipper in the neck back (under the panel). However, I went to put it on and I couldn’t get the waist bit over my head! EEK. I started to unpick the zipper and was going to put in a continuous lap with snaps down the whole side. Luckily, David suggested I should put a zipper (upside down–i.e. with the head of the zipper at the waist bottom) on the other side of the blouse. As luck would have it, I had another of the exact same zipper (from a great charity shop find). So, that is why this outfit has 4 zippers! (3 in the blouse and one in the skirt). That solved the problem perfectly with only a small amount of work!
When I told David I was making this dress, his first response was ‘I’ll make a matching bow tie’! How awesome is that? He made the bow tie using scraps of fabric that I had left with an old bow tie as a pattern AND he sewed it all by hand! He also made a matching kerchief:
We are so made for each other! I love how creative he is! He’s going to do a ‘behind the scenes’ guest post on my blog this week–which should be really fun!
Loads more photos this week over at my blog. What do you think?