Monday, December 29, 2014

Retro swirl

Firstly thank you for the lovely comments about my silk dress.  They meant a lot to me.

I sewed quite a lot in 2014, but didn't blog much.  The one thing that will drive me away from blogging is the lack of a tripod or a willing photographer!!  I do like this dress a lot more than the look on my face suggests.

It is a trial run of Simplicity 1651.  I've used a pretty floral print crepe bought from my favourite fabric charity The Fabric Cave.  I had enough left over to make a mini skirt for my daughter who refuses to take or pose for blog photos.

I'm still deciding which piece of fabric for the final version and need to make a few minor adjustments to the bodice. There is not enough yardage in any of the pieces being considered to make the full skirt, so I may blend my self drafted pencil skirt rather than the gathered slimline skirt from the pattern.  I also plan to make up the half circle skirt from this pattern as a winter skirt. It fits and feels so good.

Now let me swirl around one more time!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Dress, memory

In showing you this dress, I am reminded of Lorelei Vashti's coming of age memoir Dress, memory. It recounts the dresses worn for significant events over a decade, every dress with a memory stitched into it of the events and people involved.

This dress was made for a happy occasion, my niece's wedding.  However, etched into its stitches are both happiness and sadness.  Tragically, my much loved brother-in-law passed away the night before the wedding.  He had been gravely ill for three years.  In Jewish tradition, the wedding went ahead and was a beautiful celebration of his life and the positive hopes for the future for his daughter and new son-in-law.

The dress is also a reminder of the wonderful holiday I had in Italy with my daughter.  The silk panels were bought for many Euros in Rome.  

I've used Burda Style 9/2012 134 - A Matthew Williamson design.  The only change I made was to raise the v-shaped back as the original was not bra friendly.

While I've employed couture techniques, including silk organza underlining and hand stitched bemberg rayon lining, I'm not sure I can bear to wear it again. 
It will hang in the back of my closet, and every now and again I'll touch it and remember my brother-in-law and close friend.