The “Mary K. Bar Mitzvah” Dress
Pattern: McCall’s M6320
Fabric: 2yds printed poly $4, 2yds some sort of black stiff fabric for lining $4 plus 1 invisible zipper
Total Cost: $11
Time to Make: Days and days and hours and hours
First worn: March 3 to a Bar Mitzvah
Wear again?: Maybe with a jacket
When I say Mary K. I’m talking about Mary Katrantzou. You can read a review of her Fall 2012 collection as well as view images of her other collections here. Her use of prints and fabrics is amazing. I have tried several times to express how her work makes me feel and keep deleting what I write. All I can say is that it makes me feel emotional. Like the work of the late Alexander McQueen and the lesser known Alexandre Plokhov. Clothing is art to me-I don’t just make clothes or wear them. I use them to tell the world who I am and how I’m feeling. Sewing for me is a visual representation of what it means to trade our ashes in for beauty.
For this dress I used these 2 dresses as inspiration-
I could not find fabric that came anywhere near what you see in the pictures. I like the print I chose but would have gone with something that felt lighter if I could have. I used the pieces from the pattern but made some changes. On the bodice I added a few inches to the width of the shoulder and added a band along the front and back-kind of like a turned up collar. I also self drafted the sleeve. I think the puff sleeve included in the pattern would have been too much because of the fullness at the bottom. For the bottom of the dress I added several inches to the width of the front and back pieces. I made the back one piece instead of two. I’m not a huge fan of gathering so I made pleats instead.
To create the bubble effect I added a lining to the bottom half of the dress that was several inches shorter than the front piece. I did not add any width to these pieces. I then took tulle and folded it so that I had four layers and gathered it into a skirt and sewed it to the front of the lining at the waist. Because the width at the hemline of the dress was more than that of the lining I gathered the bottom of the skirt before pinning it to the hemline of the lining from the inside. I should add that the dress and lining were fully constructed (minus the sleeve and collar) before I attached them at the hem. Once sewn I pulled the dress over the tulle and attached it to the lining at the waist. You probably didn’t need to know all that but it is a sewing group right?
I will say that there are some construction issues. If I could do it all again (and I might) I would shorten the length of the bodice a bit and add a little more to the shoulder towards the arm scythe. I would use stiffer fabric so that it holds its shape better and drop the line a little on the sleeveless side. The zipper was a challenge with this fabric and because I didn’t want to lose the fullness on that side.
I felt very pretty in this dress but because of some of the fit issues I may never wear it again. I think that’s why I may try to make another. Maybe for Easter.