Last weekend Mr D and I had a wedding to attend, and I realised that all of my fancy frocks were either too fancy for this wedding (you can’t wear a frock with a tiny train to a wedding if you know in advance the bride is wearing a short dress!), too light for an autumn wedding, or in non-wedding appropriate black or white. Obviously a new dress was needed!
So I rummaged around in my fabric stash and dug up a length of jewel green stretch cotton sateen that I bought at the last Fabric Warehouse sale because I needed a tiny bit of it to trim a hat to match a pair of shoes to wear with another dress, and in order to get the discount I had to buy at least a metre, and as long as I was buying a metre I might as well buy a dress length…(you can see where this is going).
Then I dug around in my patterns and unearthed Advance 8321, which I bought from a friend recently when she had a big clear out.
A few hours of cutting and fitting and sewing later, I had the perfect wear-it-to-a-wedding wiggle dress:
For the original wedding, I wore it with black heels and a black satin sash:
Other than pointy heels on a squishy lawn, it was perfect for the wedding (And no less than three random guests came up to me and told me that my dress was gorgeous! And I overheard the groom’s aunt describe me as ‘the girl in the stunning green dress.’ Sewing happiness right there!)
I had planned to wear it with a jewelled gold and silver ribbon belt (Fabric Warehouse sells the most amazing jewelled ribbons), but couldn’t find the belt when we were packing for the wedding:
The wonderful thing about wiggle dresses is how versatile they are. Pair it with boots, a cardigan or fitted jacket and a belt, and it works great as winter office wear:
For elegant dressed-down summer wear, it goes beautifully with the shoes I originally bought the fabric to match, and a braided leather belt.
They are pretty awesome shoes aren’t they?
I made a few adjustments when sewing up the pattern. I added a waist seam, just to give me a bit more waist definition, and because it’s so much easier to fit a dress with a waist seam (especially if you have a sway back and prominent bottom, as I do). I narrowed the skirt considerably, because while ’50s patterns may show a slim pencil skirt on the envelope, they always sew-up as A-lines. I also added a pleat detail to the back seam, rather than just having an open slit. Finally, I dropped the back hem slightly, for a little hem interest. And there was a lot of general adjusting and taking in everywhere but at the waist, because I don’t have the 11″ bust/waist and 13″ waist/hip differential that ’50s patterns think is normal!
Just the facts, Ma’am:
Fabric: 1.2 metres of jewel green stretch cotton sateen, $12pm
Pattern: Advance 8321.
Notions: thread (stash), invisible zip ($5), black lace for hemming (inherited from Nana), stay tape (stash).
Make again? I think I need to make the version with awesome sleeves in wool crepe…
Wear again? Definitely! It works for everything!
And the insides? Oooh..so pretty! I need to take detail photos so I can show you the lace hem. It’s a thing of beauty and a joy forever!
Total cost: $20 (more or less).