Trying to play catch up on blogging stuff I haven’t shared yet. I still like to blog and have a proper record of things I have made, but like everyone else, it’s so easy to just go with the flow on Instagram and get behind on blogging. Anyway, here’s an outfit I made in August to attend my cousin’s wedding in New Jersey at the beginning of September. It was a meeting of cultures (you may remember I made Simplicity 8292 to wear to the church ceremony), with my cousin marrying a Canadian. The dress code for the evening was Indian attire.
So, the fabrics were all ordered online. The blue and gold viscose/ silk brocade and the plain navy blue dupioni silk were ordered from one particular ebay seller who shipped the silks to me from India using DHL. I couldn’t fault the seller on their shipping time, but actually, when I realised I needed more of the brocade (for pattern matching purposes), the seller didn’t respond. In fact, they now seem to have come off ebay, and appear to have set up a website, which you can see here. So, whilst I have no experience of buying through that website, certainly through ebay it was a smooth enough transaction.
Details on other materials used:
- The sheer fabric at the top of the bodice is silk chiffon
- The whole gown is lined using a navy cotton lawn purchased from Minerva crafts
- The silk dupioni bodice is underlined using silk organza (from my stash)
- I used Hemline Featherlite cotton covering boning for the bodice. It was very easy to cut, sew and work with
- I cut all of the (8?) brocade panels in a single layer in order to preserve the pattern flow and get some pattern matching (at the centre fronts and backs). It turned out I didn’t have enough to cut all the panels that way, full length. So I ended up ordering some gold lame and created a 11 inch deep border at the bottom of the skirt. The lame came from Midland Textiles on ebay
- The dupatta (the long scarf thing) that I have draped over my arms was part of a set I already had. I didn’t really want to have a dupatta, but it’s pretty much a standard part of most Indian outfits. In the end the colour was a good match with the border fabric
To create this gown I used a combination of (OOP) Vogue 8849 for the bodice and Butterick 6179 for the skirt. I recommend both patterns. Really, I did minimal alterations to achieve my look, and I have never felt so comfortable in an Indian outfit. There was no pulling or yanking or tugging all night long 🙂 The Vogue pattern in particular is great because it is a multi-cup size pattern, so no FBA required.
- I used Vogue 8849 for the bodice (view E), and cut a size 18 through the bust and shoulders, C cup, grading out one size at the waist.
- I lowered the bust fullness by 1 inch (Tip: remember to do any fitting with the bra you intend to wear with the outfit. For me, that was a strapless bra).
- I ended up removing 0.25 inch from each of the front princess seams at the top of the bust, and taking a corresponding tuck out of the upper front pattern piece.
- The pattern instructions don’t seem to mention adding boning to view E, but I chose to add some for extra support.
- I did a 6/8ths inch sway back adjustment on the bodice.
- I used french seams to sew the sheer silk chiffon upper bodice, and did narrow baby hems 0.5 inches from the cut edge.
- I did a 1 inch full arm adjustment.
- I used Butterick 6179 for the skirt (view B).
- I added an 11 inch deep border to the bottom of the skirt, cut on the cross grain, from lame.
- I did a 1 inch full bottom adjustment and adjusted the skirt seams to ensure they matched with the bodice seams where necessary.
- I added a 5 inch deep interfaced hem.
All in all, yes, this gown was a fair bit of work. Using well drafted solid patterns really helped me to achieve my vision. I loved how this gown fitted me, and the fact it was constructed from all natural fabrics (with the exception of the border). It felt light, but supportive, and fits me better than any RTW Indian outfit I have bought in the past. The day of the wedding I noticed there was a small tear where the sheer bodice had joined the silk dupioni bodice, in the front. I ended up patching it together, and it held fast. I will have to go back and check it some time. The dress, and the wedding, were a grand success. Here’s wishing the married couple enjoy many years of happy married life ahead.