Summer Flowers – Dress for a wedding

flowery fifties dress

A dear friend of mine was getting married so I decided to make myself a dress – I have been gradually working through my fabric stash -this beautiful fabric was bought a couple of years ago from a curtain shop that was closing down. In all I had just over three metres that I had snapped up for £7!

Fabric design

The fabric is big and bold the flower heads were enormous, but the repeat was manageable with the quantity of fabric I had. I also loved the weight of this cotton, similar to the purple linen I used for my spring dress. I have also been learning some Couture techniques that I was hoping to put in practise: using an underling.

Threadcount pattern

This pattern came with my Love Sewing Magazine and, joy of joys, it came in a DD cup! No full bust adjustment for once! What a brilliant idea! The Thread Count patterns are very well thought out and I hope that other patterns will follow their lead!

The princess seam line, just off the bust line works well for my body shape, it makes the bodice  easier to adjust without deep darts. I really struggle because my bust is quite big, I avoid waistline darts as there is not enough room and they end up very deep! The pattern was very easy to follow –  I was delighted to find after making the toile there was no pattern adaptation other than bringing in the back by a couple of inches.

I decided to change the lightly gathered skirt opting to use a circle skirt to avoid extra bulk around the midriff. I am short waisted with a bit of a tummy which reduces the overall space between the bust and waistline.

Princess seams

I used a beautiful soft voile as the underling – it was the first time I had used this technique – oh it is delightful, suddenly the garment has more structure! I hand stitched the princess seams open – it might look messier than my overlocker, but I find I really enjoy the control hand stitching gives! This will be covered by the lining anyway.

pattern matching 2

I used the underlining to pattern match the bodice pieces, I wanted the design to flow round the body – while the design was large I had enough fabric to get the pattern matching right on the bodice.

pattern matching side seam

The side seam worked beautifully – once again hand stitching the seams open to the underling, meant that no stitches came through to the front of the garment.

back bodice zip

The pattern matching came up well along the back bodice, although it was difficult to do on the skirt.   I hand stitched the zip to the underlining again – so there is no visible stitching line the right side, only the zipper pull is peeping out from the top.

Organza skirt lining

I used a organdie lining for the skirt – I had to pattern match as best I could – trying to ensure the flowers ran centrally along the front. The underlining helped the skirt to maintain its crisp shape, allowing the garment to flow around the body, as it is quite slippery.

threadcount pattern

The skirt flowers matched the bodice but I could not be as accurate as I was on the bodice as there simply wasn’t enough fabric to play with. Although I am quite pleased with the results.

Reading poem

Here I am wearing my dress and reading out a poem during the service, the dress was supported by a net underskirt.  It was a fabulous wedding and a beautiful day!

the Happy Couple

The happy couple! Congratulations!

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20 thoughts on “Summer Flowers – Dress for a wedding

    • Hi, thank you for your lovely comment.
      My measurements and size won’t help you, you have to measure yourself and use the chart as a guide… the problem is that as you go up in sizes all the measurements go up which is not always useful!
      I mix up the sizes because I am very curvy, usually a size 12 round the shoulders, and my bust measurement would come up as a size 20! then my waist is once again about a 14, with a hip size 18.. so you see it is all very complicated!
      The best tip I can give is that if you are busty, don’t use the full bust measurement, (that is how I end up with a size 20) but the upper bust measurement and then add 2 inches.
      The craftsy classes are fantastic for learning how to measure accurately, compared with local classes they are very reasonable – you can replay them as many times as you like.

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      • I really appreciate you replying to my comment. I was really just looking for an idea as to how it really fits as you said you only took a little in off the back, just a little more help before I start!
        Thanks so much!

        Liked by 1 person

      • The pattern came with a DD version which means that it had an additional 2 inches space at the bust point. I used the size 12, at the shoulders… still needed to bring it in at the back because I have a small frame. The rest of the bodice I cut a 14. Just cut it a size bigger – you can always bring it in with pincess seams it is easier as you can adjust it more. I can only suggest use an old duvet cover to make a toile and practise, see how it comes out, don’t be afraid which is why a toile is such a great idea.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Sunday Sevens – 26 June 2016 | Fred the Needle

  2. The fabric really has a bit of ‘wow’ factor going on – perfect for this style of dress. I’m impressed that you went to the trouble of pattern matching where possible, but it was worth it, as was the underling. The photo shows that the skirt hangs perfectly. All in all, pretty fabulous!

    Liked by 1 person

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