I think I should call this the ‘dress of seven needles’ as seven machine needles were harmed in the making of this dress. I knew at the time when I was handing over the cash to purchase a sequinned and beaded fabric that it would be a nightmare to sew and I this occasion, unfortunately I was right!
I was working towards making something for the spring racing carnival so I wanted something pretty and floral. I did a bit of a pattern mash up for the dress, using the back bodice of Butterick Retro pattern 5748, the bodice front of Simplicity 1873 (which seems to be a bit of a go to pattern for me!) and then just a gathered skirt, using Vogue 8723 sans pockets. You could really do a gathered skirt without a commercial pattern which I should just do but I guess using the pattern takes out the work of measuring and drawing up a pattern piece, so it’s purely a time saver.
Pulling together the dress itself was pretty easy apart from the struggles with the fabric. I did some internet research on how to work with sequinned and beaded fabric and some sites suggested using a hammer to smash where the beads and sequins run on a seam before sewing the seam together but my fear with that, apart from mess, was too much of the beading unravelling. Thankfully the fabric did have sequin and bead free areas of pattern so I was saved a few times without having to worry about breaking more needles. I used a bemsilk lining in a light pink and lined the lace material as well as having a lining to the dress. So lots of pattern pieces to cut out! I don’t think I could have gotten away with not lining the bodice pieces before putting in the lining as it would have looked too messy showing all the seams and darts which are now nicely hidden between two layers of lining. It gives the dress a bit more stability too.
I made the lining of the skirt about two inches shorter than the dress to show off a bit more of the lace and put in an invisible zipper down the side. Funnily enough the zipper insertion wasn’t as bad as the rest of the construction, when I feared it could have been the worst bit! It was finished off with hand stitching the skirt hem. I’m happy with the outcome, especially given the pain of the fabric and I do still have some of the fabric left to make something else, but for now I can’t face seeing it for a while.
More piccies on my blog: http://www.bobbinandbaste.com/2014/02/pink-sequins/