Ready for cocktails by the beach

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I can’t believe how many times recently my makes have been inspired by someone else’s.

So here’s the next one- another dress ready for the wedding in Greece.

There will be a cocktail bar reception on the evening before the wedding for all those travelling out to Greece. One of my classmates at my local sewing club ( Cotton Club) was just finishing making a dress which she was trying on for hemming / final bodice fitting. Yet another pattern which I would never have chosen as definetely not my usual style, but when I saw her version ( and tried it on) I thought – ideal for swanning around a Greek bar on a hot evening.

The pattern is McCalls 7119 .On this occasion I don’t think it was the pattern envelope that hadn’t pulled me in, but just the fact that I wouldn’t have considered this as my sort of style , let alone where I would wear it. Skiing and biking holidays don’t really lend themselves to this sort of wear.

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Whilst  my friend had made hers up in a low stretch jersey, I wanted a viscose, which I knew should be floaty and cool

The fabric was purchased from Loubodu Fabrics , arrived very quickly and was packaged up with some sweets! Lovely, it’s beautifully bright and drapes.

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The bodice of this pattern is quite different from the usual sheath dresses or princess seam type bodices that I usually construct. The way the armholes / neckline are constructed in particular are new to me. I have to say that I did not find the instructions particularly clear to follow. I am not a beginner sewist but I had to go over them a few times to get it right. Comparing notes with my friend, she had exactly the same problem. She has not made a lot of garments and said without the help of the teacher she could not have done it alone at home.

There  was also a problem with the bodice fitting. The arnhole is created using a band which is stititch, understitched and then topstitched under the arm and then onto a  band that creates the front edging and back top of neck. My friend had already experienced gaping on this under the arm, which we put down to the stretch in her fabric. However I had exactly the same problem with my woven.

I ended up completely unpicking the bands ( yes all three lots of Stitching ) and shortening the band significantly ( about 1 and a half inches on each arm band)

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This felt a little  more like the pattern piece had been drafted too long, rather than minor modifications to improve fitting to my body.

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The actual results though are good, and the bodice fits!

As you can see from my model above, a standard bra does not work well with this pattern. So braless ( not for me!) or strapless works.

The final modifications I will be making to this dress are a couple of fastenings. The wrap style is lovely but with a bit of movement and / or wind wardrobe malfunctions are highly likely! Nothing that a couple of fastenings won’t solve( I hope)

The  end result is just what I envisaged. Floaty, relaxed but special enough to wear for cocktails on a Greek beach. In the meantime though , it’s just pictures in my back garden!

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