Emergency Evening Dress – day 3

Now it’s time to start making the dress.

I trimmed the lining for the drapes slightly to make sure it wouldn’t peek out and then attached the lining to the drapes & under-stitched as much as I could.  I interfaced the midriff fabric to give it some body as there’s a lot of skirt for it to hold up.

When I was gathering the dress fabric for the drape there were real problems trying to pull the gathering thread as it kept catching on the metallic threads in my fabric.  I eventually used Scruffy Badger’s dental floss method which worked brilliantly – and she’s right about the smell too!

There was one near disaster – I couldn’t work out why the notches and dots weren’t matching when pinning the drape to the midriff.  I’d been trying to attach the drape to the waist edge rather than the top of the midriff piece.  Full of confidence I then sewed the midriff lining together & managed to attach the right back to the left front and the left back to the right front – stitch unpicker to the rescue.

Once the top edges of the midriff were understitched and the raw edges overlocked to tidy the edges & reduce bulk the bodice is now finished!

V2962 bodice completed

V2962 bodice completed


Tomorrow I’ve got to fight with the skirt.

Emergency evening dress – day 2

After yesterday’s fights with my lining fabric, I sewed five panels of lining together & cut the second half of the back skirt lining.  Then I sewed the skirt lining together (except for the centre back seam) and overlocked the seams – sorry this is a rush job and I don’t have time for couture finishes.

I tacked and pinned all the lining pieces together to check the fit.  Gathering the skirt is going to be interesting – I was using large pleats for speed and had to pin several pleats on top of each other to make the skirt small enough.

Front view pinned and tacked together

Front view pinned and tacked together

I think I got the length of the midriff about right.

Back view pinned and tacked together

Back view pinned and tacked together

The back looks as if it’s pulling in this view – but it’s actually slightly loose under the arms.  I’ll need to check if I need a sway-back adjustment once the bodice is sewn together.  The zip will be invisible when I sew it in but, if you squint, you can see the end of the thread used to tack it in.

I’m pleased that

  1. I managed to find my halterneck bra
  2. The back of the dress is high enough to cover the back strap of the bra!

With the lining fitting I gathered my courage together and laid the pattern out on my main fabric.  Do you know – it fit perfectly!  I think I checked three times to make sure I’d left room for all the skirt pieces.


Scraps of main fabric

Scraps of main fabric

and this is all that’s left of my main fabric.

(by the way, you can see the project I was originally working on in the background of the first two photos)

Emergency Evening Dress day 1

Fabric buying day.  There is a Fabricland in Bristol, but I’ve never noticed any particularly inspiring evening fabrics  when I’ve been there.  Another hour’s Googling and I found Cloth of Gold in Royal Wooton Basset which isn’t too far away.  She specialises in bridal and evening fabrics and stocks the big 5 patterns.

When I got there I checked the Vogue pattern book just to make sure my pattern was included, but fell in love with this:

Vogue 2962

That’s more like it!

Vogue 2962  Lined halter dress in two lengths, gathered upper bodice with fitted lower bodice around midriff.  Skirt gathered into waistline seam.  Back buttons, loops and snap closures.

No boning, nothing on the pattern about “no provision for above waist adjustment”, the skirt is straight panels and sod the buttons, I’ll use a zip.  The pattern says the back length for the short version is 47 1/2 inches.  Since I’m only 5′ tall the fabric requirements for the short length should do me.

I also found fabric.



It’s really difficult to photograph, but it’s a violet crinkle-effect polyester woven through with a green metallic thread so in some lights it’s green, in some it’s violet and sometimes it’s a silvery grey.  I also bought matching violet lining fabric.

Once home, I cut out the pattern and tissue fitted it.  I cut the size 12 and removed 1 inch from both the upper and lower bodice and 5″ from the length of the hem for the long version.  Then I laid out the lining material to cut that out.  I’ll use the lining as a muslin to check the fit.

First problem – I can’t fit the pattern onto the lining fabric!  The skirt is about 6 metres wide – and I don’t have enough fabric to cut out both sides of the back skirt.  Eventually, after much fiddling and swearing, I worked out that I had enough lining to cut one side of the back skirt as four narrower panels and sew then together.

Dinner was very late and I’m now worried that I won’t have enough of my main fabric.