This dress included many firsts for me: Underlining, horsehair braid, contour belt, fabric with a loose weave, lingerie straps (essential for the wide necks I prefer and not that hard!). My construction techniques continue to improve, and my pressing is getting good enough that I'm annoyed by my iron's limitations. Who would ever have guessed that I'd be serious enough about pressing to buy myself a pressing ham and bitch about my iron's steam output?
The zipper went in without too much trouble. The contoured belt was fine too, except I cut it backwards so the tail points to the right instead of the left. Not a big deal. I used a safety pin to temporarily attach the buckle (instead of sew-on snaps or permanent stitches) due to time constraints. The buckle is vintage, via Etsy. I used stitch witchery to fuse ribbon to the back of the belt instead of cutting and edgestitching a facing. It would have been better if my ribbon was a little wider, but it was the best match I had on hand.
I had an idea that made me feel like a genius while I was finishing the belt. The pointed end of the belt was a little flimsy, even with the fused interfacing. I added a collar stay (an extra from one of Matt's shirts) inside the point to keep it sharp and sturdy. Perfect!
Matt and I had a great time at the wedding. My dress received many compliments. More importantly, it twirled nicely on the dancefloor and did not limit my movement at all. I'm so glad I didn't overfit the bodice! (I kind of overdid the fitting on the Easter dress, so I was trying to keep this dress a little looser.) My only issue is that the front neckline gapes a little bit and the facing needs to be tacked down in a couple more places. I should have pinched out more at the center front seam to account for my congenital sunken chest issues, but I didn't want to mess with the pleats. Next time I'll do it.
The hair was not a spectacular success. I was rushed with the hot rollers. It seems my hair prefers to do the 1960's swoopy thing. I think it was okay, just not anything special.
This dress had a bit of bad juju clinging to it due to my issues with the fusible stuff. I managed to counteract most of that with heavy doses of cheezy pop dance music during construction (Lady Gaga and Ke$ha, anyone?) and a long night of partying. There is still a little whiff of frustration hanging around, mostly due to the lumpy hem. I'm going to put the dress away for a little while and then look at it again to see if it's really worth messing with the hem. My perspective can be clouded by working on something intensely for too long.
I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to this project: Matt, for the fabric as a Valentine's Day gift and for keeping Henry busy so I could work on the dress; Cindy for entertaining Henry and keeping Henry and Otto Saturday night so we could party like the irresponsible non-parents we used to be; Mom and Dad for entertaining Henry; Murl and Shirley for entertaining Henry; and Ann at Gorgeous Fabrics for rush shipping the extra yard of fabric after the disaster. It takes a village! Thanks for enabling my selfish hobby!