Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Finished Project: A dress for Cicilia & Herbert's wedding!


"#OperationDressForTmrwsWedding" was a success. Thank gawd. The tweets are here, but I'll throw some in this blog post too; such efficiency, I knew I was live-tweeting for a reason!!

I was invited to this wedding months ago, RSVP'd weeks ago... so why was I busting my balls making a dress for it the day before? 

Answer: cos I'm a lazy shit. 

Those that follow me on Twitter and Instagram know that I love to spend my days brunching, napping, drinking black coffee and gin, making zoodles, and watching Offspring over and over. Procrastination much? 

But to be fair on myself, I have been travelling overnight a fair bit more than usual for work the last few months; where the only thing keeping me sane was wifi.. oh and tequila; plus I had that crazy weekend in Sydney (thanks Libby!!)... my Snapchat Stories make me appear like a raging alcoholic, but I swear I'm not.

I started working on Flora about 3 weeks ago (July 20, according to my tweets), and I would have finished her in time for the wedding, but I just wasn't feeling it. I love the fabric, it's so me; but the dipping hem on my petite frame was questionable. I went as far as fully lining the dress and installing the invisible zipper, but I couldn't bring myself to finish it. I fcuked up some where along the way because the waist seam is uneven. Did my head in. 

On Saturday afternoon, after an intense morning of circuit training and brows, I went shopping for a belt to wear with my Flora dress. The plan was to buy a belt (to cover up the sloping seam) then go home and finish the dress. 

While I was shopping for the belt, I saw some skanky RTW dresses and thought about buying one to wear to the wedding.. next minute I'm in the shower about to wash my hair and this happened:

The situation escalated very quickly, I literally jumped out of the shower like a possessed woman, ran into my sewing room, nekked and with shampoo in my hair. Swear to God.

By 3pm I was ready to embark on #OperationDressForTmrwsWedding. 
I found floral cotton sateen leftover from my Georgia minidress, already washed, YUSSS!! 
There was enough for the bodice, plus a skirt of some sort.

Copying what I did to the Flora, I removed the CB seam and moved zipper to LHS of the bodice so I could keep the floral print uninterrupted. Also removed the CB seam from the back facing. Used black cotton sateen, (also leftover from Georgia minidress) to make the facings. 

I managed to fix the overlocker... the right needle wasn't threaded properly, of course. 

There was 90cm (35") of fabric left for the skirt. I wanted to make a full gathered skirt with a 280cm (110") wide hem but that meant the skirt was going to be around 40cm (16") long... a little short for an afternoon wedding.

After much deliberation, I cut two panels of 60cm x 60cm (23" x 23") approx and did some crazy math to work out measurements for 4 x knife pleats for the skirt front to match up with the double darts; and 2 x box pleats to match the darts on the back bodice. 

A little selfie to keep my spirit high. I was running purely on adrenaline, had not eaten since lunchtime. Wearing my spotty rayon Anna with split.

I hand-blind-stitched the kimono sleeves, overlocked all the edges and left both the side seams open so I could attached the skirt, install the side zipper and make adjustments if needed when sewing entire the side seam up.

By 9:45PM on Saturday night, the dress was done. I pressed the pleats and painted the zipper tab with black nail polish (cos the zipper I had in my stash was white) and hung the dress up, all ready for the big day.  

At this point I was 'meh' about the whole thing, probably cos I was sick to death of looking at it. 
I cooked myself some dinner, had a shower, painted my nails and put myself to bed.

Sunday morning, I was up at 6:45AM, not even my wedding day and I'm up before sunrise, WTH. 
I showered, curled my hair and put the dress on. It looked way better than it did the night before and the hem length was spot on. Did my make-up, threw on black heels and a black blazer and was out the door at by 9AM.

My first compliment of the day came from a random old bloke in the street. He looks like the type who would usually be asking a spare change or a cigarette but instead he said "Good morning, you look very pretty, so lovely and well dressed"- aww thanks buddy!

The venue was stunning! The bride looked gorgeous!!! I had a wonderful time at the wedding, the food and drinks were delicious, great music.... very fun times. 

Herbie and Cici weddin 10.8.14
Congratulations Cici and Herb <3
Herbie and Cici weddin 10.8.14
Looking so beautiful, Cici!
Herbie and Cici weddin 10.8.14
The First Dance.
Hehehe... champagne, wine, vodka, salmon. I love white things.
Oh, not enough dessert.

Of course I took photos of the food :P

I don't have any photos with the bride and groom, they're with the photographer, but below are some taken in the #LittlePixelBox photo booth. It's run by my good friend Annie and co, check them out:, they have integrated it with HASHTAGS and can print your Instagram photos!!! Omg, I die.

Sooo having this at my wedding!! 

1. With Bride & Groom; 2. With Bestie; 3. With Annie & Bestie; 4. With Bestie, again, such photobooth whores.

I've known Herbert for about 7 years, and met Cici about 5 years ago when the two started dating. Very cute couple. My favourite part of the wedding was the photo slideshow of all their adventures together, and the story about how the two met. Too much love.

After the wedding, I kicked on with some friends at a bar. 
Note to future self: do not keep up with boys twice your size. I can handle my drinks pretty well, but the night ended me sitting on my floor, face deep in a KFC Ultimate Box; hence no proper photos for the blog.

Here's what I managed the next day:

Anna - bodice front.
A little "faux-corsage" happening there! 

22" side zipper on LHS of  dress. 

View of the back.
Love the uninterrupted print. Goodbye CB seams, forever.

Side view - seam matching like a pro.

Anna - bodice back.

Skirt front and knife pleats.

Box pleat on skirt back.

Inside - cotton sateen facings. 

Blind-stitched the facing to shell.

Also blind-stitched the centre of front facing on to shell.

3cm hem and beautifully pressed pleats.

Project details -
Pattern: BHL Anna bodice; self drafted skirt with knife pleats and box pleats, inspired by pleats on Flora skirt
Fabric: 1.5m cotton sateen (shell), 0.5m cotton sateen (facings)
Notions: 22" white invisible zip, 0.5m whisperweft interface
Cost: $30 fabric, $5 zipper, $5 whisperweft; however everything came from my stash
Pattern Modification/Adjustments: 
  • The Anna bodice is a TNT for me, hours and hours were spent on adjustments back in January. 2014. Details on bodice adjustments here
  • Replaced original Anna skirt with a self drafted skirt which was two squarish panels; 4 knife pleats at the front, 2 box pleats at the back; matching the darts on the bodice
  • Removed centre back seam from bodice and moved zipper to LHS of bodice
Hours: 6 hrs, 45 mins (from cutting to final press)
Completed on: Saturday 9th August 2014, at 9:45PM.
First worn: Sunday 10th August 2014, at 7:30AM.

If I had to do it all again, the answer is YES I would sew a dress the night before an event again, as long as it was a TNT. I work well under pressure, all those years of completing assignments on the morning of the due date has been great practice, LOL.

I wish I had photos of me wearing the dress without the blazer on, cos the fit is perfect, but I guess you can refer to my previous Anna posts, here and here to see the Anna bodice in action.

When I was going through my fabric stash, I found a lot of beautiful, floral, cotton voile which is screaming out to be made in Anna maxi dresses... to be continued.

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