The ‘Royal Engagement’ Dress
Fabric: Viscose jersey
Pattern: McCalls 5752 Palmer Pletsch Fitted Dress
Time to complete: About 5 hours (Most of this was spent dyeing the fabric and cutting out)
First worn: January 2012
Wear again? Definitely!
Total price: (Dye – £12 and Material £12) £24
Like most of the world I fell in love with The Royal Engagement dress. Unlike the Royals I did not have a spare £550 in my back pocket to buy the genuine silk jersey dress. This look prompted a slew of copycats – both in the shops, by the pattern companies, by lots of home seamstresses and now me!
(Photo from New York Times/Net-a-Porter)
Luckily I happened across some viscose jersey in my local fabric shop nearly a year ago. It was a funny pale blue colour but had a lovely sheen, so reminiscent of the original Issa dress that I knew immediately this would be perfect. As it was viscose I knew it would dye fairly well, except that when I first tried it didn’t! So, I popped it back into my fabric stash and promptly forgot about it, another item on my never ending ‘to do’ list. So when this challenge came up, I knew I had to make it once and for all. This time though, I used a different dye (Procion MX) and the finished colour came out perfectly.
Which is when I discovered I had bought too little fabric… (Feel free to add multiple swearwords at this point!) Stubborn girl that I am, I refused to admit defeat. I took a little off at the sides of the skirt and did not lengthen the pattern pieces, which I would normally alter. The only downside is that I couldn’t make the tie as I just didn’t have any fabric left and I suppose the sleeves are a bit shorter. However, I love the end result and it does look pretty similar to the original if I do say so myself!
Apologies for the terrible photos – as luck would have it (or not), I had this dress finished on Friday, went away for the weekend but forgot to take the dress with me to take pictures, so when I came home the only time I could take a picture was before work this morning when it was still fairly dark AND chucking it down with rain outside!