There have been a LOT of weddings this past year. I don’t know if it’s because 2015 seems like a cool year to do it or if it just so happened that everyone I know is at marrying age RIGHT NOW. I recently went back home to New Orleans to attend two more of my friends’ weddings and it was a blast. Another good thing about weddings is making fun party dresses to wear!
This time, I focused on the main party dress almost every sewist has: Simplicity 1873, the Cynthia Rowley party dress of pleats!
I made View C with a change to the waist. I had some leftover fabric from my Bridal Brunch Dress I made a couple of years ago. I thought less would be more with the champagne/pink bow fabric, so I opted to use a solid for the bottom half.
The top fabric is a brocade-type satin-y fabric (I swear I need to learn my fabrics better!) from Joann’s. The bottom fabric is a stretch taffeta from SAS. The stretch taffeta was a dream to sew with and I have some in charcoal gray in my stash. It doesn’t have much drape, so with the full skirt and pleats, it flares out a bit. I was worried it looked a little too poofy and took a poll on social media… the consensus was that it was awesome, so I decided it’s a keeper. It’s very retro, in my opinion, and I think I might like that.
The only bummer is the satin fabric always seems to bunch at the zipper. I had the same problem with my Bridal Brunch Dress and at first I thought it was my sewing skills, or lack thereof. After sewing with this fabric a second time, I’ve come to realize it’s probably just crappy fabric.
I thought I had an ecru-colored invisible zipper in my stash when I was making this, but I could only find a vintage black metal invisible zipper that was long enough for the pattern. The black pull on top only irks me a little, but I feel better having metal zipper teeth versus plastic with the weight of this fabric and all of the straining/movement it encounters.
I made a size 10, grading to a 12 at the waist and skirt. When I made this dress two weeks before the wedding I wore it to, it fit well enough even though it was a little snug in the waist. By the time the wedding came along (after being in New Orleans for a week), everything was pretty snug. I had control-top pantyhose, but a week of eating fried seafood, other New Orleans treats, and Thanksgiving dinner(s) really took its toll. Thank goodness my gym membership is still active – time to work off some of that NOLA/holiday weight!
Everything was going smoothly until it came time for the skirt. I had some difficulties with fitting it even though I painstakingly matched up all of my pleats perfectly. The skirt waist circumference came up a lot shorter than the top’s waist circumference. I’m not sure what happened, but I messed around with the pleats for a while, trying to make the skirt fit the top, and ended up taking out a couple of pleats. I can’ remember where I took them out from, but it is at least symmetrical and no one is the wiser!
So, let’s talk about the weddings! The first wedding was for my childhood friend I grew up down the street from. I didn’t wear this dress, though… I ended up wearing the Wedding Guest Dress of DOOM. It’s still going strong although it’s a little snug now, but this was the third wedding-related event I wore it to and it always gets complimented. The wedding was absolutely gorgeous (as was my friend!) and the cakes were to die for:
OK, now onto the second wedding: this time, for my good friend from college. I wore my new dress for this one, mostly because I wore my other me-made dresses to 2 other college friends’ weddings and we’re all in the same friend-group, so everyone had seen those dresses already. The wedding was also absolutely gorgeous and here are the cake pictures:
Of course, modern weddings wouldn’t be complete without some photo booth action. Here’s the spread from both weddings. I brought DD to the first wedding and my mom to the second (DD was going fishing for his birthday early the next morning, so I wanted to make sure I would stay at the wedding ’til the end!).
But anyhoo, those will probably be my last weddings for a while – unless more friends decide to get married! It was fun making a pretty dress and even more fun attending the weddings.