Thursday, 15 December 2011

The Amazing 8 Hour Christmas Party Dress!

I wanted to make a dress for my work Christmas party, I gathered all the required materials...
 .....and the pattern, which I got in a charity shop when I visited my parents in the summer.....
Butterick 4376 advance and then I ran out of time to actually sew it.  I only had the odd hour here and there in the 2 weeks before and because I am lazy I didn't do anything other than cut it out and do my tailors tacks.  So come Saturday morning I have a bunch of fabric shapes and 8 hours to make a dress or else go naked.  (I did  have other dresses but as I have put on weight since I last wore them I wasn't sure they would fit, or if they would I knew I wouldn't be worrying they didn't.)

Anyway I was determined to make this dress in the allotted 8 hours and you can see by the pic above that I succeeded!  So after some of this.....
Sewing tiny, tiny bias binding
I had this made this by lunch time....


Then my Mum called and I lost an hour and I cooked dinner so that was another 45mins-ish, by the middle afternoon I had sewn what can only be my best invisible zipper.  EVER.
Look at the fab zip!
By 5.30 I had a dress!  Sorry there are not more 'in the making of' pictures, I just didn't have the time to take them as I was trying to work quickly but not rush and bodge the whole dress up. 
Finished dress front
Ta da!  The main fabric of this dress is the fabric I posted about previously that I dyed and I really liked how the edges of the fabric came out so I used the selvedge as my hem which saved a lot of time as no hemming required.  I love the way it graduates out and that it was completely accidental.
Back of dress
The dress doesn't completely fit my model Anne as she is a little smaller than me now but again I am really pleased with the zip.  I followed the instructions that came with the pattern for this one as they were a different method and I think I succeeded in actually making it invisible. There is also a little kick pleat at the bottom which you can't see very well.
Front of bodice
The dot net fabric I bought on ebay pretty cheap as I didn't need very much and I have enough left over for another project.  I wanted a smaller dot but I think this works well.  I used black satin bias binding also from ebay in a really tiny thickness on the arm and neck holes and round the bodice top as I wasn't lining it as the cotton is really thick that I used and it just didn't need it.  I think it looks really neat and tidy.
Back bodice
I used 2 matching buttons in different sizes from my Gran's button stash.  They are glass and have a pearly gold shine to them in the shape of little flowers and I used the larger on the front.  Although the back lays flat here I found when I wore it, it had a tendency to droop and I think this is because the button was too heavy so I would replace it before wearing again. 
Zip again!
I cut a size 12 which I found a little snug on the hips so I went into the seam allowance slightly just on the hips but I loved the darts in the front and back, they fitted really well without showing every lump and bump.  I think I should have adjusted to cut a size 8 on top and 12 on bottom as the top was a bit gapey on me but I didn't realise until after I had applied the binding and I am just not going to undo that!  It actually doesn't show up that much in the pictures, it was more when I looked down it didn't sit right on the sides of my bust.  I might be able to take it in at the side seams which would help.
Boob shot!
I only got pictures of my wearing it at the end of the night so I apologise for the messy hair, smudged make up and creases!
Camera phone shots I'm sorry!
Demented arm!
Here you can see the droopy back problem, also had to take my shoes off, feet were in agony!!
All in all I am pretty pleased with it and one co-worker said I looked really 'sophisticated' so that was a win I think!  I'm not sure I have been called that before!


  1. Wow, good work Sarah! That's awesome...and in 8 hours :O

  2. Thank you Anonymous, though you must be someone I know!

  3. The dress came out beautiful and really does look fantastic on you. Love all the photos you took of the process. Oh, by the way great job on the zipper ;)

  4. Thank you! I like to take in progress pictures but they were a little lacking in time on this one! I might have boasted about that zipper a lot! heehee I just have to recreate it now!