Monday, October 22, 2012

Wedding guest dress

Remember way back when, when I was deciding whether or not to make a last-minute dress for a wedding I was going to? I had a sneak peek here and desperately wanted to show off my new dress sooner, but some failed photoshoots and school got in the way.

BUT! Sister Bee came to my rescue and took these amazing photos so I could finally show you guys the dress! The pattern is Vogue 1228 by Vena Cava, with a few modifications.

crab&bee
Photo by Bee.


The fabric is a thin but very stable printed silk. It's the most money I've ever spent on fabric for a single project, aside from my wedding dress. Even with my tight timeline, I made myself make a muslin because I knew I would have sobbed if I'd spent tons of money on fabric, sewed up the dress and didn't like it. I sewed suuuuper slowly with a tiny needle and really babied the fabric.

crab&bee
Photo by Bee.


The major modification I made was foregoing the sleeve cuffs. I tried them with the muslin and engaged in some major waffling. In the end, they just didn't feel necessary with this fabric. I shortened the loop that would have been used to hold the cuff up to pull the sleeve up instead because I liked how it raised the sleeve up on the sides.

That said, I'm sorely tempted to make this dress again in a different, more every-day fabric with the cuffs. (Why do I always feel like I have to make everything in duplicate and triplicate?) The pattern was really well-done, and I thought it did a great job of making the ease and volume in this dress flattering. I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a unique dress.

crab&bee
Photo by Bee.


I'm on the lookout for another occasion to wear this dress, but it just feels a little too fancy for work. And given that the temperatures in Seattle have finally dropped to our normal 44 - 57 degree (F) range, the dress might have to wait patiently until next July. Still, I'm proud of myself for branching out of my normal fabric choices and making a party dress.

21 comments:

  1. Oh my your dress looks so different to the cover illustration on the pattern - your version is gorgeous! I struggle to see the potential in patterns when I don't like the illustrations on the cover. I just love the pattern on your fabric too - now I'm thinking I need some silk for the dress I'm planning for a wedding I'm going to next month!

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    1. Hi Kathryn! Thanks so much! I'd seen some really lovely versions of this dress in silk that convinced me there was potential in the pattern. I'd love to see what you end up making!

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  2. So gorgeous! Your fabric choice is fantastic. Where did you buy your silk?

    I bet you could put together an outfit with this dress that would allow you to wear it in fall weather, too. Belted with skinny jeans and booties? A collared shirt underneath with opaque tights? Oooh, you could wear a fitted tweed skirt over top of the dress!

    That said, I'm a big fan of making different looks from the same pattern. I wonder how this would look with a drapey wool crepe.

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    1. Thank you! I bought it from a place called Nancy's Sewing Basket in Seattle. They're on the pricy side for me, but since it was such an impulsive decision to make the dress, I didn't shop around. I'm glad I didn't, though, since I would have settled on something cheaper if I had and this fabric really makes the dress.

      Thanks for the winter styling ideas! I'll bet wool crepe would look fantastic.

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  3. Just saw this on Burda. I think there are lots of possibilities here. I like the skinny jeans idea that Dana Rose had. You could layer it with a modal or silky long sleeved tee, maybe some leggings and booties. Hmm. Just love it. I would love to know more on how you sewed with silk and when you did the muslin did you do it with a silky, like fabric? Did you line it all, organza or no? Again, really beautiful job.

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    1. Hi Jill! I used a super lightweight cotton voile for the muslin. It didn't behave exactly the same as the silk, but it was close enough to see if it would be a flattering shape. I was really hesitant about sewing on silk, so I chose one that was pretty stable. I think it's a habotai. I sewed really, really, slowly!

      I'm liking the skinny jeans idea! I may try it out this week.

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  4. Gorgeous! The patterned silk is just perfect for this dress. I like the idea of wearing it with skinny jeans, too. Just lovely!

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  5. Stunning! You've done a lovely job.

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  6. This is absolutely beautiful! Great job, gal! You should totally make an everyday version of this dress! It makes perfect sense to make duplicate dresses-- once you've gone to the trouble of tweaking a pattern and perfecting the fit, it's smart and efficient to make more than one version!

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    1. You're so right! That's a really good way to think of it. And thanks!

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    2. Such a pretty dress and I was going to say the exact same thing! Fitting can be so tedious and once you are onto a good thing there is no shame in making another or four.
      A lot of people who only buy RTW wish the could get multiples of a dress they love ;)!

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  7. This dress looks absolutely stunning!
    I love, love, love the fabric choice, and the unusual neckline. Very chic.

    I am with the others on the whole layering for winter idea. It would surely look wonderful with some skinny jeans and maybe a long and chunky cardigan? :-)

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    1. Oooh, chunky cardigan! I love it.

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  8. Such a beautiful dress. The pattern and colors are wonderful on you!
    You also did a much better job making the dress than what was on the pattern envelope.

    Also, I have a mini request as to what are a few fav local eateries or places of yours in Seattle? I am getting married in, well...about two weeks and we are honeymooning in the Pacific Northwest. I know we are staying in a touristy area but, thought I'd ask for a few local recommendations other than the typical stuff. Thanks :D

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    1. Thank you so you much! And CONGRATULATIONS!! Restaurants are a little sparser in the downtown area, but here are some of the ones I like:

      Downtown restaurants:
      Long Provincial (Vietnamese) is totally reasonable and cute. http://longprovincial.com/

      Lola (French/Mediterranean?) is on the pricier side but has a great brunch. http://tomdouglas.com/index.php?page=lola

      Cafe Campagne (French) is near the Pike Place market. http://cafecampagne.com/

      Umi Sake House is pretty decent for sushi.

      Black Bottle has good drinks and food. Can get crowded! http://blackbottleseattle.com/food/


      Outside downtown:
      Revel/Quoin (Fremont, Korean fusion) is a bar/restaurant combo. Probably my favorite new place in Seattle! http://www.revelseattle.com/

      Mashiko (West Seattle)and Nishino (Madison) might be harder to get to depending on your transportation, but I think they're the best sushi in Seattle!

      India Bistro (Ballard) or Roti (Queen Anne) are both great for Indian food.

      Happy hours on Capital Hill:
      Sitka and Spruce (Monday): http://www.sitkaandspruce.com/mondays.html
      The Tin Table: http://www.thetintable.com/
      Momiji: http://momijiseattle.com/#home_
      The Saint: http://www.thesaintsocialclub.com/

      I could go on! Seattle really has a lot of great places to eat. Now I'm hungry :) Feel free to let me know if you have any more questions! morganelle [at] gmail.com.

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    2. Wow!! Thank you so much! I really, really appreciate the help and thank you for taking the time to give me the links! I will definitely ask if I have anymore various questions! Again thank you!

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  9. Thank you again for your suggestions! I really enjoyed your city and tried a few of the places you listed! :D Seattle was very kind to us and I definitely got my fill of AMAZING food, beer and craft cocktails! :D

    -Kate

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  10. I love your version of this dress- did you raise the neckline at all? I have seen a few reviews of this where people complained about how low the neck is and I can't be bothered making a muslin. Bad I know!

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    1. Thank you, Jano! I didn't raise the neckline, but I have a pretty long torso and most necklines/bustlines seem to hit me too high. On a size 12, the neckline is 7.75" from the shoulder seam, maybe that will help!

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