Friday, 18 July 2014

Reveal - the Disco Apocalypse dress



Somewhat belatedly, here's my Minerva Crafts make for June (I thought I had already posted this, so it's even later than expected!)


As you might remember we had to make a party dress to celebrate Minerva's win at the British Sewing Awards and to wear to the meet up at the Crafts Centre. Due to unforeseen circumstances I couldn't make the meet up and  a bit late in photographing and blogging my final dress!

As per my preview post, I used pewter sequinned lace to fulfil my hankering after a lace dress, and lined it with navy lining to make the lace pattern really stand out.  This worked well and I much preferred it to matching or nude lining.

I had initially planned to make a straight By Hand London Flora with the wrap bodice but when the lace arrived I realised it had a scalloped edge which I wanted to show off. So I looked for a pattern with a full skirt that was cut straight across the hem and settled on Gather Mortmain. I love how the pleats look on the skirt!

I underlined the bodice with the navy lining and basted them together.  I also marked the darts with basting stitches so that the two layers didn't separate and make the darts wonky. I also spent a lot of time unpicking sequins from the seam lines.  I'm not sure whether this was totally necessary or whether I could have sewn over them. But this gave rise to the name of the dress - by the time I had cut the lace and unpicked sequins my house was covered in glitter and it really did look like the Disco Apocalypse had arrived! We are still finding sequins now!

I also lined the bodice as per the pattern instructions. Due to the contrast, understitching was really needed with this dress to stop the lining peeking out.

I decided not to line and underline the skirt as I had intended, and just went for underlining.  I cut my pattern pieces in lining and hemmed them by machine. I then lined them up with the point on the fabric where I wanted the hem to fall so that I could have the scallops extending out at the bottom. I used french seams to finish the side seams.


I sewed it with my walking foot throughout and I was really happy with the results as it definitely stopped the layers from shifting! The only issue was on the side seams of the skirt where it doesn't sit perfectly - you can see this in the side view above. I suspect this is to do with attaching the lining to the skirt as underlining and the heavy lace wanting to pull down more than the lighter lining. Anyone able to shed more light on this?

The bodice is a bit wrinkly but again I think this it mainly due to the lace pulling down slightly more than the lining. I could probably have fixed it by taking out a lot of the ease but I wanted a slightly looser fit for eating and dancing!

The zip does actually do up all the way. Damn.
The name is based on the state of my living room floor after cutting this fabric - it looked like a glitter ball had exploded!  We are still finding sequins now (yes, I do clean - sometimes!).

Sorry I missed the party Vicki and all at Minerva - I hear it was a good one!

18 comments:

  1. It's so gorgeous Jo! I love the colour combination. I want to see it in real life! Fantastic pictures as well.

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    1. thanks - we'll need to do cocktails in that case!

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  2. This is gorgeous Jo. I love the way you used a darker lining to really show off the lace.

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    1. thanks sam. the lace is so lovely - i hope it did it justice!

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  3. It looks lovely - good choice with using the darker underlining, it really makes the lace stand out!

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    1. thanks ruth. i spent ages considering the underlining and trying out different swatches, but i'm happy with the result in the end!

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  4. Beautiful! The navy lining works a treat and shows the lace off so well. I hope you get a chance to wear it soon!

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    1. thanks helen. i wore it out on my birthday so it has had a wear already!

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  5. This is lovely Jo - it sounds like a lot of work but what a result! I agree with Helen, i think the navy lining was a great idea for showing off the lace.

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    1. thanks kathryn. it was quite a lot of work so i hope it was worth it! glad you like it!

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  6. Beautiful dress! I love the combination of fabric - contrast under lace has always been one of my favorites.

    Sequins and glitter will live in your house for years after sewing something like this. So worth it for a dress like this - not so much for the costuming project I've done.

    Sometimes the outer layer will pull like that at the seams when it needs to be eased in a little tighter. Looks like the underlining might have ended up being slightly shorter than the lace. (Layers may also have shifted slightly even with the walking foot.)

    I wouldn't worry much about it, but if you really want to mess with it, try popping the stitches in just the dragging area and baste it by hand. If it hangs better stitch right over the hand basting.

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    1. thanks brooke. i don't think i'd have done all that sequin removal for a costume - that must drive you mad! I dont think i'll be messing with this one but useful to know in future what happened. the lace was definitely stretchier (tho not stretch lace) than the lining so i'm sure you are right. something to bear in mind for future makes!

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  7. The darker lining is a good choice. I let my lace dress bag a bit because of the threat of it looking pulled. You need the dress to be form fitting and that's kinda the payoff.
    Looking forward to meeting you another time:)

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    1. thanks maria - yes, i think it was a few wrinkles as the payoff for comfort and being able to eat! sorry i didn't get to see you!

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  8. That is such a beautiful dress, the lace detail is stunning!
    Nicola x

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    1. thanks nicola - i'm really pleased with it!

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  9. This is just beautiful Jo. You should be proud of it and picking up sequins months later seems like a good deal when you have this outcome!

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  10. Hehe what a name! I give you a double high five for this dress. It's stunning. I hope it made your birthday extra special and you get many chances to wear it

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