The All-Nighter Dress

OK, it wasn’t technically an “all-nighter”, but it was definitely a night-made dress. As I mentioned in my last post, I made this at the last possible opportunity on Wednesday night last week, just before swanning up to Haverfordwest to see my Dad getting wed, and I did the finishing on the night before the ceremony. Thinking about it, this pattern of last-minuteness is a reflection of most of my Sewing For Weddings experiences. I finished the hemming on my own wedding dress the night before the ceremony. When I was matron of honour for my next-one-down sister, and we made all her four bridesmaid dresses, my skirt in the bridesmaid fabric didn’t get hemmed until the morning of the wedding when we realised that each of us thought the other one was doing it, and it had to be wundawebbed. So it seemed kind of fitting that this dress should turn out to be another last-minuter.

I fully intended to photograph the makings, originally, but given the lateness of the make and the speed I had to work at, that just didn’t happen.

The dress was made from a gorgeous stretch sateen, given to me by the lovely Stevie of Beebee’s Handmade Dress. I couldn’t believe how perfectly me those colours were. It’s a gorgeous mix of lilac, pink, teal, navy and cream. I’m not sure whether it’s dud lighting that’s making it look so blue in the photos, or whether that’s an accurate rendition of the overall net effect.

I was using my trusty Belcarra pattern, and hacking it by adding a skirt. I only had about 2.5 metres so I didn’t have so much fabric to make a full skirt for it, so I put in two box pleats, front & back, and made the sides slightly A-line. I was using my experience on the Dress Of Many Colours, to inform this make. I shortened the length of the blouse a little, so that I had a drop waist, but wasn’t dropping it too far. I took a lot more care over the hemming of the skirt, because I wanted it to be right. The skirt is my standard length. but I was measuring it from my natural waistline, so I had to mark my natural waistline on the bodice first, and then measure down from that mark. I think it came out ok.

It seemed churlish to insist on getting nice photos of me & my dress at Dad & Hazel’s wedding, particularly as it was a very small wedding, and any “all about meeeeeeee” would have stood out a mile. So I wore the dress to work today, to get some pictures, in the glamorous confines of my office.

'Scuse the mess... There's never enough storage space in our office.

‘Scuse the mess… There’s never enough storage space in our office. And I appear to be colour-co-ordinated with our files.

I used some bought bias binding for the neckline, rather than using a self binding, like I have with all my other Belcarra makes. I didn’t want to waste fabric, because I wasn’t sure I’d have enough for the skirt, and the bias strip in the pattern is a bit of a fabric hog, and I didn’t have time to faff about piecing a strip together from the scraps. As chance would have it, I had some leftover bias in a perfect lilac satin from when I made the You Mean I’m Wearing Orange?! Skirt. Working within a limited colour palette really does pay dividends!

I was a bit worried that it would be a bit too cold for short sleeves, but actually it was perfect- although there was a spot of rain (and frankly, if you visit Wales without expecting a spot of rain, you’re deluding yourself), it was sunny and mild, lovely for short sleeves.

I have ganked this photo from sister’s Facebook account, showing my lovely sisters and my lovely Dad.

(Also my lovely shoes)

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14 thoughts on “The All-Nighter Dress

  1. Your dress turned out mar-veh-lous (even if it was finished last minute, which is how all my sewing projects go!) and those shoes are perfect! I love working with stretch cotton sateen, it’s like the best of woven and knit fabrics combined. Congrats to your dad, too!

    • Thanks Anna. High five for Last Minute Sewing!
      I do love stretch cotton sateen, it’s so comfortable, and the prints you can get are FAB.

  2. Oh lovely! And I just spotted the matching shoes as I scrolled onto your words! Well done for getting it finished. You obviously work best under pressure! Lol

    • Thanks Fiona. It’s great when my colour palette works together! I need to remember that when I get dazzled by beautiful choices in fabric shops.

  3. Looks fab on you, love the colours!
    Lovely family photo too, if yours in anything like mine it’s hard to get all the important people together for a decent pic, so we’ll done! 😀✂️😀

    • Thanks Thimberlina (you name always makes me smile)! It was a *very* small wedding, only 13 of us all told, so it wasn’t really a case of getting all the important people together, because everyone was already together!

  4. I can’t believe you made such a GORGEOUS dress so quickly!! Bowing to your awesomeness! That drop-waisted style really looks good on you, reckon you’ve got that one nailed fit-wise too. Nice work! 🙂 Hope you all had a lovely time.

    • Thanks Sarah! It only worked quickly because I’ve had so much practice with the Belcarra and knew exactly what I was doing. That’s another advantage of using the same pattern several times over!
      A bit selfishly, I’ve been regretting that my Dad’s moved away from Llanwrtyd Wells to move in with his new wife, as it means I won’t be visiting there now (unless I go and stay in a hotel or B&B or something!) because Haverfordwest is nowhere near as beautiful as the hills of Brecon!

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