McCalls 6569: Anniversary Evening Dress (The Finished Dress)
Posted on February 11, 2017
If you’ve read my previous blog you’ll see how my muslin turned out.
With just a week to go I set out to sew up my dress in the lovely gold satin I’d brought back from Vegas a couple of years ago. I read prior to this that you should try and store your satin rolled rather than folded due to the crease factor. I did this but to be honest it still creased a fair amount.
I spent a whole night cutting out and marking up the pattern pieces (including the adjusted pieces – see my other blog). My, my, what a pain in the arse. It turns out satin is the most slippery material known to man (slight exaggeration, but it did feel like that at the time).
The following day I sewed the bodice together which went very well but then it was time for the lining. I should say at this point I have never lined anything in my life but as I was sewing with satin I thought it would probably be a good idea just to bit the bullet and do it.
I decided this before I read the pattern instructions, but it turned out that there were instructions in with the pattern to line the dress. My Brain: “What does this even mean though?!”
I spent about an hour trying to figure out how to sew the lining in, which way it went round to ensure the seams couldn’t be seen. I have to say – vintage instructions are not a dyslexic’s friend the best of times and this was no exception. After lots of umming and ahhhing and tearing my hair out I finally figured it out and it did actually look pretty good.
I spent a long night sewing the lining to the skirt pieces following this, and here was where I made one of my major mistakes. I have no idea how I marked the fabric up wrong but somehow I managed to.
When it came to the later stage of sewing it together it meant that I had a row of stitching down the back of the skirt next to the centre seam which I then had to unpick. Unfortunately, as I was sewing in satin it did mark the fabric so my dress is not so perfect, but we make mistakes to learn from them don’t we? More on that point later!
With a day to go to my anniversary (and after a lengthy trip to the dentist for two fillings) I spent a full day sewing the skirt pieces together (while keeping an eye on the clock so I could be sure I wouldn’t be late picking up Ash from nursery and hoping that some semblance of feeling would return to my ridiculously numb face).
I attached the skirt to the bodice with relative ease and inserted the zip. Mistake number two: I was silly enough to not check that the fabric was taught when I basted the zip in, meaning that when I went to sew it I, again, had a big chuck of stitches to unpick which left a rather messy side zip insertion.
Thankfully it’s a side zip so really no one’s going to see it unless the come up really close to have a look . I finished sewing the lining pieces together at the waist and was quite impressed with how it looked inside out.
At this point I thought I should just leave the hemming to my anniversary and cut my losses before I cried.
So the day of my 10th wedding anniversary (last Friday) I sewed right up to the last minute but I did finally finish my dress with a couple of hours to spare, and I did get all dressed up and we did go out for the first time on our own in seven months. And here I am in my dress!
So what did I learn?
- I learnt that sewing to a deadline when you have a young baby may not be the right amount of pressure to put on yourself when you’ve just gone back full time to work!
- I learnt that even with nearly a year off sewing anything I’m still quite competent and I still know what I’m doing.
- I learnt that lining something may be a pain in the arse but it’s really worth it and that there’s nothing to be scared about when it comes to what I would have previously considered tricky fabric.
- Mostly I learnt that there’s nothing wrong with mistakes and everything can;t be perfect all of the time. I wish I didn’t have the little hole marks where I’ve unpicked the stitching but it will always be a reminder of the first time I sewed with something other than what I previously considered ‘safe’ fabrics and I certainly wont be making the same mistakes again. We’ve got to get some things wrong to learn a lesson, right?
Overall I am extremely happy with how it turned out. What do you think?
So roll on 2017….I still have some glitter speckled pink satin from Vegas in my stash…watch this space!