It’s Christmas Eve, and I’m on my own at home, and not knowing what to do with myself (all presents wrapped and handed over, all food shopping done), I picked up the Purple Velvet Shannon that’s been on my WIP pile for aaaages. This one is at least a year old, because I started it with the intention of it being a possible Christmas dress last year.
This is one of my hacked Simple Sew Shannon Collection dresses. I used a gorgeous stretch velvet that I’d originally bought for dance costume making purposes. I used my sleeve extension pattern piece, which I trialled with my Massive Roses dress, to make the otherwise sleeveless Shannon winter-wearable. I cut it long and quite straight to make it a more elegant line. I originally cut it out and sewed it together during OWOP 2019, as I was on a Shannon with sleeves bender! And then I didn’t get around to doing the hemming. I wanted to hem it with a nice satin bias binding, and I’d got as far as sewing that on, and pinning it in place. All it needed was the hemming. But as I’d missed my Christmas deadline, I sort of forgot about it. Then Covid happened, and my sewjo took a nosedive. I didn’t feel any urge to do anything for months, so this dress sat in the WIP pile. When I occasionally summoned up the courage to look at the pile, it would look back at me, accusingly! “It’s just hemming,” it would say, “you can do that while you’re watching the telly. It won’t take you more than one evening”.
So one evening back in November, I took it out and did that hemming. “Yippee!” I thought, “I’ve got a nice party dress, for all those parties I’m not going to”. Then I tried it on and decided it wasn’t working at all. Firstly the bias binding was making the hem bell out a bit, which was not a look I wanted. It worked fine for the neckline and sleeve hems, but not at the bottom. Secondly, it just didn’t look right long. I took various pictures of me wearing the dress with the hem hoiked up to different levels. From a well-below-the-knee level, I decided it needed to go to mini length.
And back onto the pile it went…
This afternoon, I decided it could still be a Christmas Dress, so I pulled it out again, and cut a chunk off the bottom. I used a fairly deep herringbone stitch for the hemming. The velvet is quite bouncy, so I thought it would help to keep the hem flat. It would also allow for the stretchiness of the fabric. It takes longer than a basic hemming stitch, but I didn’t have anything else to do particularly.
And all for the sake of this blog, I’ve I’ve even bothered to slap a bit of makeup on, and wear a bra (it’s been a jimjams kind of a day till now), so that you can see the nice dress all finished off…
When the partying starts up again, I’ll be ready!