The fabric needs to be discussed first, right?!
The original brief was for a lace bodice and solid skirt. I hunted high and low for a stretch lace that wouldn't look cheap and like a tragic ex figure skater's costume. I found a superb lace at Tessuti which was a licorice grey on an olive background. But it proved to be impossible to find a fabric for the skirt. Black wasn't right, grey wasn't right and even if the perfect shade of olive could be found, we weren't planning an olive dress.
While we were searching the solid stretch fabrics at Rathdowne fabrics, this bizarre knit was spotted out of the corner of our eyes. Both of us instantly leapt on it.
It's a sheer, black background with these "flakes" of grey and tan fabric attached. To me it was reminiscent of dried up clay. While I was sewing I posted an in-progress photo on Instagram, and Emi likened it to a character from the NeverEnding Story. She didn't intend for me to hit up Google for the movie's realisation of the book's character, but in a funny way she was spot on!
|Pyornkrachzark - Rock Biter from Neverending story|
The idea of earth and rock turned to movement is what we were both thinking of - but I did forbid Emi talking to my mother! At least until after the dress had been received (when I showed her the image and we both had a laugh)
It goes without saying that my mum looks much prettier!
The alterations to the dress were as planned: an inch extra length in the bodice, a bit out of the centre back for a flat bottom and extra sleeve length.
The bodice was underlined in a thin stretch lining so that the seams wouldn't show through the outer fabric at all. I cut the facing from the same underlining knit, and then tacked the facing to the underlining so that it stayed nicely turned under. I was able to invisibly hem the sleeves by using the underlining as well.
The skirt is a single layer of a thicker matte knit with a lovely drape. It worked perfectly to eliminate the preggy belly shape of my muslin dress.
Rather than hook and eye closures, we'd chosen these beaten metal disc buttons. Turns out that the dress can be put on and taken off without undoing the buttons, so the centre back seam could be closed altogether. Once we'd established that, I did tack it together between the top two buttons where it was tending to gape open a bit.
I knew I wanted the waistband to be the darker colour, and the neckline to be mostly the darker grey too. The pattern obviously had to be centred at the front and back. That left me with the risk of chevron boobs, but if that was to be, it was to be. There was no avoiding it. Thankfully, I think it turned out ok.
I delivered the dress the weekend of the train race and mum was a good sport, put her shoes on, and wandered around the house letting me take photos of her. I love the drama of the dining room wallpaper for a photo backdrop and there's a beautiful big side window for light.
Her formal dinner party was this weekend just gone, and I'm happy to report that she looked the part, was perfectly comfortable and the dress held together and didn't let her down. Phew.
The total cost was $35 for fabric and $20 for the pattern (which of course went on sale at $5, only a week after I'd purchased it!) I have a small amount of the cracked clay pan knit leftover. Heaven knows what I'll do with it. Perhaps A would like to be Pyornkrachzark for book week next year....
Pattern: Vogue 9023 view A
Modifications: lengthened bodice 1", sleeves 4", reduced centre back by about 1&1/2"
Fabric: All from Rathdowne fabrics
Model: My mum!