My Wedding Dress
Yes, Finally I have pictures!
This has been a long time coming, probably my most involved/time consuming project ever if you count all the other wedding stuff I made on top of my dress. Here are a ton of links to the whole process. There might even be more, I can’t remember. But lets talk about the dress, it’s why you’re all here right? Of course it is.
In the end I really loved my dress. It is totally me, I think it made me look pretty darn good (if I do say so myself), and no one will ever have one like it (except maybe an imaginary future daughter if it actually wanted it, but I’m sure it will be way out of style by then). And best of all I MADE IT! so it’s the most special personal thing I could have to wear on my wedding day.
Honestly, I don’t have much more preamble to say. Oh, one more thing: I am so F-ing happy to be done sewing that damn thing! It’s beautiful, and I love it, but it was one major pain in the butt and even reduced me to tears a couple times! Ok, to the review!
Pattern: Style Arc’s Pippa Dress (maybe it’s cause I’m American, but I can not say Pippa correctly in my head. It always sounds like it should be Pipe-ah instead of Pip-ah)
Pattern Description: Gorgeous Pippa’s bridesmates dress with cap sleeve, cowl neck, bust under lay, Lace edging, small back train, centre back loops or optional invisable zip.
Pattern Sizing: You can buy the pattern in sizes 6-20, but they’re not multi-sized, you only get one size because they’re each hand traced onto heavy paper (it feels like waxed or butcher’s paper). This definitely worried me because a) I’d never tried their patterns before or even heard much about the company before and b) the pattern came out really soon after the royal wedding so I was worried about drafting mistakes. But I ordered a size 8 and it fit perfectly in the muslin stag. It came out way too big when I made the real thing for some reason, either my fabric shifted as I was cutting it or it grew, I don’t know, but I ended up taking in about 3/4″ on both side seams. That was really annoying because I had made a lot of effort to get the waist seams to match up (because they didn’t originally on the pattern) and that was completely thrown out the window. I guess at least I was the only one who really noticed it because the seam was under my arm most of the time.
And I never did cut that seam down inside because I was so mad at it, so technically a person could go back in and make it a size bigger if they wanted.
Fabric Used: Off-white silk charmeuse, I think, it’s a fairly thick silk with a satin side and a crepe side. Pretty sure it’s charmeuse. Then ivory bemberg rayon, which was a major pain to cut out but the sewing wasn’t horrible (at least not the worst thing I’ve ever sewn with) and it did turn out to be extremely comfortable while wearing. I would think about using bemberg again, but only for a really special occasion.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes! Except I didn’t put shoulder pads in or buttons down the back. Really, the drafting on this pattern is amazing in my opinion. I don’t know how the rest of their patterns are (cause the shipping is a little expensive from Australia) but I would guess the drafting on most Style Arc pattern is great.
Were the instructions easy to follow? Um, no. I would venture to say terrible in fact. I talked about this in my muslin post and even rewrote the instructions because I’m pretty sure the original instructions skipped steps and might even have some steps backwards. So I followed the instructions I wrote this time, but still got caught by the tricky sleeve/underarm area. Thankfully I had the muslin on my sewing room floor still (it’s become a cat bed for some reason) so I could flip it inside out and rip out whatever seam I wanted to try and figure it out again. I also had several moments in there were I just wanted to give up and cry (which I did), and my mom made me sad by saying if Grandma was still around we could have just packed it all up and sent the dress to her and she’d have figured it out perfectly. She’s definitely in this dress.
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It’s slim and sleek and modern, I love the sleeves and the lace inserted in the sleeve hem and neckline. It was mostly ok to walk in, I stepped on my hem a lot, mostly because I wanted to walk faster than my dress and shoes would allow. I wish the front drape was more drapy, it kindof stuck out. But that’s minor.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: Well, I tried to modify the waist seam so that it would match up better, and it did until I had to take it in. I also omitted the shoulder pads and buttons down the back. And I accidentally didn’t have a long enough zipper, mine ended at the back waist seam (which hits at the bottom of my back/top of my butt area) so I had to wiggle a little to get the dress over my butt but once on it fit great.
I hand sewed the zipper and the hem (with blue hem tape from Grandma’s stash too, old and blue!)
Would you sew it again? Not as a wedding dress. But if you shortened it, it would be really cute a semi formal/or even office dress.
Would you recommend it to others? Yes, but definitely do a muslin if only to figure out how you want to construct it. But it’s definitely not for beginners.
Whew, that was a long review!