By Hand London Anna Dress to the rescue

Ok so things did not quite work out the way I wanted with my blue lace dress. Its a really long story, so I shall summarise, but first this is what I ended up with…..

Yeah, my dress did not go as planned. I wanted to sew a really well constructed dress, with a good inner foundation, think coutil, silk organza, bonning, and more. I did loads of research, bought the necessary materials, saved all the tutorials I found online I wanted to use, read many books, and saved even more Threads articles (Thanks Clare). I ended up preparing too much, and not actually sewing. Before I knew it, my Minerva Crafts Blogger Network deadline was upon me, and I could only start the lace dress after the Minerva Crafts dress was done and dusted. So that left me with 5 days to sew the dress. As if that was not enough, I started a new job, and Noah started Nursery next to my work place, so things have been quite hectic on my side. Anyways, Wednesday rolled around, and there I was, trying to make a muslin. Then I got all panicky on Thursday night and decided to sew another less complicated dress, and pulled Vogue 8280. Did a muslin, and decided the logistics of making that one was not an easy one. Then I remembered someone had mentioned the Anna dress when I first posted about the lace dress. So I got the Anna dress pattern out, and got to work at 3am on Thursday night. 

 I had made the muslin earlier as posted here, and the three things I had to address were the gaping neck at the back of the bodice, the length, and the ripples at the back of the dress.
I chopped off 6 inches off the length of the dress, which was not a wise move because after I made the dress, I found the hem too short when I wore my shoes. I added 4 inches to the hem, and that did the trick. I also used a 3/8th seam allowance at the back side seams, instead of the recommended 5/8th, and that helped the back bodice. For the gaping bodice back neck, I followed Sew Busy Lizzy’s advice and put darts there. So basically what I did was draw a line about 4 inches up from the bodice back dart to the shoulder seam. Then I measured 3/8th inch on both sides of the line, then connected those to the tip of the line. So basically drawing a dart. I don’t know if that is the right method, but it certainly worked for me.

Some of my inspiration dresses had a contrasting lining for the lace. I really could not decide what colour to use underneath. Blue or gold. Then someone mentioned a colour closer to my skin tone, and I rushed off and bought brown satin. However, while pacing back and forth in the early hours of Friday morning, I accidentally placed the lace on top of the silk organza, and I just realised that was the best combination for my dress. It just felt right.

I had never sewn  with silk organza before, and I only had about 2 metres at home which I had bought to underline the bodice of the Marfy dress I was going to use. So I cut out the bodice sections, underlined them, and sewed the darts, then went to bed at 4am. Noah woke me up at 6am, and I had to get him ready for Nursery. I went to Goldhawk road later, and bought  3 metres of silk organza to use for the skirt panels. I came home and cut them out, but I could not really do much because my train to Worcester was at 4pm, and I had to go collect Noah from Nursery, so I left the house at 12:30pm. To summarise it all, I took my machine with me to Worcester, and made this dress on saturday. I finished it at 7:30pm, and the gala started at 8:30pm. Phew!!!. I think I should start sewing next years dress this december.

I really loved working with silk organza. Using it as the underlining fabric just gave it the right contrast, and its crispness worked really well with the drape of the lace. I have now decided I cannot live without silk organza, and I am now saving to buy a whole bolt. I tell you, silk organza is THE BIZ .
I am really happy with the way it turned out, and I received so many compliments. Many of the girls were quite shocked that I came to the convention with my sewing machine though. My machine caused quite a few chuckles.
This project was a first for me, regarding the fabrics I used. I had never sewn with either lace or silk organza before, and I am happy I was able to make something wearable with the two. My advice to anyone who needs it is, if you want to try a fabric you have never worked with, use a very easy pattern, that has very few design details. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you come to like. You might even, like me, come to realise that cotton is not the only nice fabric type out there.