Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sewing Fever

I'm just recovering from one of the best weddings EVER, which I attended yesterday. The lovely couple - Heidi Heelz and Johhny Cola - are incredibly cool, as you can see in the photo below:

Of course, a suitably cool outfit was needed for the occasion. For once, I didn't think I would need to make a new ensemble as I have more than enough dresses which have hardly been worn and were glam enough for the big day. Or so I thought...

3 days before the event, I was doing some tidying up around the house, which mostly involved organising my messy stash of fabrics. You know that thing you do, when you wrap a length of fabric around your body and pose in the mirror? (Admit it, I can't be the only one who does this...) When I came across this forgotten gem, that's exactly what I did:

 It's hard to see in the photo, but it's a black stretch velvet, probably polyester, with gold and bronze glitter sprays applied to the surface. I picked it up at Abakhans at least 2 years ago and have looked at it from time to time, but had no idea what to do with it. Until now...

So out went the plan to wear a dress I already had, and suddenly I was pinning and draping and looking through my stash for some firm waistband fabric, a zip, and buttons. I really liked the way it looked when I just held it around my waist, and I wanted to capture that in the finished piece. I'm not vey experienced with knits, and don't own an overlocker/serger, but I figured the stretch qualities of the fabric would mean I wouldn't need as many structural seams and darts and could just fold it and pleat it into the waistband. 

I also had a bit of a Joan Collins, 1980's does the 1940's thing in mind. Cue gratuitous Joan photo:

And here's what I came up with:

I wore: blouse - secondhand, probably 1980's; velvet skirt - made by me; back seamed hold-ups - M&S; shoes - Terry de Havilland

The Autumn light makes it hard to see - the skirt is a long column with just one off-centre seam on the left front, which extends into a draped ruffle-thing (special technical term). So I could walk, and to add some Joan-style sexiness, I left the seam open to the thigh.

Close-up of the ruffle

I placed the zip behind the ruffle, and also added 2 buttons to the waistband, which was some firm cotton drill I had in my stash:

Instead of waistband darts, I just pleated the fabic at each side of the waist:

Was it finished in time? Well... luckily, we were invited to the reception, which started at 5.00, but I was sewing on the buttons and trimming the seams at 12.00!

And here are some action shots - I think I'm dancing to Michael Jackson or 'The Look of Love' by ABC:

Needless to say, it was a great evening, with tears of joy and much laughter. Here's to the happy couple!

See you soon!


  1. that fabric is so awesome.... great party outfit

  2. I love it! Sometimes the simplest way of draping is the best. Gorgeous!

  3. What a fabulous couple. What a glamorous wedding. Glad you had fun and you looked amazing!

  4. That is one seriously great party outfit, you look gorgeous!

  5. That is one seriously awesome party outfit, you look gorgeous!


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