Thursday, July 5, 2012

Little Yellow Dress

About a month ago a friend of mine mailed me to see if I could make her friend's wedding dress. My initial reaction was a resounding, "NO!!!" - I've never even sewn a dress for myself, let alone a dress that had so much importance tied to it. The more I got thinking about it, however, the more the idea grew on me. I decided that before saying no, I should at least see what kind of dress the girl wants.

Turns out she was hoping for something quite simple. Here, in Japan, the kindergarteners often wear little smocks, with elastic necklines and cuffs, a bit of an A-line cut, and pockets - she wanted one of those. It didn't seem difficult, but I couldn't just make it without a pattern.

I searched for patterns, but couldn't find anything with an elastic neck. I finally found a pattern with the same cut that she wanted and elastic cuffs, but tiered sleeves. I bought that and decided to just wing it.

We decided it'd be best to make a practice dress just to make sure I could do it and also that it is, in fact, what she wanted.

The first draft turned out well, but way longer than she was hoping for.

I raise the hem quite a bit, but then the pockets were so close to the bottom that it looked off.

I ripped the pockets off and moved them up so the dress looked a bit more balanced. But, the fabric is really thick, almost canvas-like, so you could see the needle marks. I totally thought I'd destroyed the dress, when my friend suggested I put it in the wash. After that, you couldn't even tell they had been moved. Phew!!

She decided that she wanted some changes for her actual wedding dress. So last week, I worked on THE dress and on Sunday she stopped by to try it on. After just a few minor adjustments earlier this week my first wedding dress (and second adult-sized dress ever) is officially done!

For obvious reasons, I don't want to post any photos of the wedding dress until after her wedding next month. But, I will say, that I'm quite proud of it. I went in to this whole situation pretty uncertain of my sewing skills, but left it quite confident. I'm stoked I was able to make adjustments where she wanted and that it came out looking like that was the original plan. Wahooo!!

Thanks for trusting me with this, Casey!!

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