Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Crafty collaboration

Pattern: McCall's 6760
Fabric: Crepe back satin
Size: 14

The joy of sewing for yourself is picking exactly what you want to make, in exactly the fabric you want to use. Staying in your comfort zone if you wish, or trying something new. However, I do think it's good sometimes to be thrown out of the comfort zone and this is the second time in a few months that I've found myself floating around outside of mine!

Dreamy liquid fabric

This dress was made for a collaborative project with my friend Caroline (she took these amazing photos if you recall). Caroline is doing a photography degree and her project was based around use of colour – contrasting complimentary, etc. She decided it would be great fun if we were to collaborate with me making a dress to appear in her photos. I loved this idea! Having a deadline, a brief, and working with a friend to produce something beautiful. And also the idea that I'm creating art, dahling, rather than just something to wear.

To demonstrate the low back!
Long story short, and one colour wheel later, Caroline chose violet as the colour she wanted for the dress so I began researching fabrics. I keep going back to crepe back satin, but I love the texture contrasts and thought we could use that to our advantage, so I made the bodice and skirt with the satin side and the waistband with the crepe side.

I'll be honest, I would have thrown this dress in the nearest canal on numerous occasions. I declared I hated it at least 3 times. I unpicked it and altered it more times than I can actually remember. The pattern is designed to have a lining but I didn't think my fabric needed one and it would actually be too bulky with one so I left it out. That did provide a challenge but I managed to figure it out! Neckline and armholes were overlocked and then handstitched to the inside. I did line the waistband as exposed interfacing is quite frankly gross. For some reason, though, I could never get the lining piece to fit the same as the waistband piece so there are some unsightly and unintentional gathers inside. I'll be honest, it bothers me, but I just can't bring myself to try again so they will have to stay and I'll have to try to press the hell out of them. Not that this fabric presses in the slightest.

I made a couple of other changes - reduced the flare of the skirt pieces slightly so I didn't have to buy another metre of fabric(!) and I omitted the ties at the shoulders, admittedly partly because turning those blighters inside out would have been the end of my sanity, but also I think my fabric is too thick to carry off that look, so I pleated the shoulders instead.

Wearing the dress for the photoshoot made me come to peace with it and I really enjoyed swooshing around in it and feeling glam. The zip broke towards the end which is a bit frustrating but I guess I did zip and unzip a lot. I'll maybe get round to replacing it one day. But the best thing overall was having an awesome time with an awesome friend! We spent about 5 hours shooting in one day with open-air outfit changes, visits from dogs, chats with another photographer, wind, sun (not enough AND too much), cows (and their dooings), running (lots of running), a half-eaten rabbit's head (discovered whilst running), and lots of laughter and mutual appreciation.


  1. The dress is striking - well done you and the photos your friend had taken are gorgeous.

    1. Thanks so much, Joanne! Just been to check out your blog - I love your lemony Lilou!