Shades of Grey

Not anything to do with 50 Shades of Grey, but the contemporary reference was simply too good to pass up!

For Christmas, I received a dressform and a money from various relatives to buy fabric with. And I did. I went online, and kinda splurged on Plush Addict without thinking about what I was going to use the fabric for. So I ended up with 3m of ‘slate’ fake silk (that looks rather blue to me, but since it is such an amazing colour, I am not upset) And 2m of red embroidered taffeta. Like I said. I have no clue why I bought those too fabrics other than ‘THAT IS SO PRETTY!”

The fake silk however, I have found a use for! I was bored, just throwing fabric at Mabel trying to learn about drape and especially how to dart big busts so they lie properly. I ended up throwing the silk on the dressform and used a ribbon to tie it on at the waist. Then I stepped back. A few tweaks and I was nodding happily to myself, “I could wear that dancing!”. I know you are supposed to start with the toile stage, but I went back to that bit after I had worked out the drape of the fabric.

After a few tries however, I decided to use a pattern to achieve the full skirted fifties look I had been originally aiming for. A while ago, Love Sewing magazine’s free pattern was a Sew Simple Ruby Dress.

The pattern is, quite simply, amazingly simple. I was making this for my dance weekend in Blackpool for the Uni Ballroom and Latin Nationals competition, and on the second day, we attended a Tea Dance in Tower Ballroom (WHICH IS AMAZING). My intention was always to wear this dress to that dance. Unfortunately, University and life got in the way, so I was frantically handstitching a zip in the night before, and hemming the day of. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to finish it in time, so I wore a dress-turned-skirt I made a long time ago.

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I had wanted to make a lining from white polycotton, with a bit of a petticoat, and a silver belt to go with it. However, I didn’t have time to run into city centre and find some silver fabric, and the zip I ended up using was a 8″ concealed zip in pink! With my newfound extra time, I decided that I didn’t want a petticoat, and that a pink belt with a big bow looked extremely childish.

In fact, the most time consuming, and most difficult part of this entire project was the hem. As a circle skirt, it is, of course, five times more difficult than it needs to be. So this is a call for advice! How do you make the underside of the hem lie entirely flat on a circle skirt? I always end up with periodic ‘bumps’ in the fabric on the underside, even if the top is smooth.
I originally rolled the hem to even the skirt, and then turned it up an inch. In the end, I gave up with the original turn up, and just pinned it and trimmed it after I had sewn it. In fact, I am really struggling with hems in general. I decided to machine sew so that I could wear it for Mother’s Day.

Unfortunately, as much as I love the back, I was about a mm out on the eye part of the hook and eye, which means one side of the fabric is looser than the other.

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Given the dress is made of fake silk, it looks quite dressy. Therefore, I want to find a more suitable location to take proper photos, as opposed to the poorly lit photographs I take in my room. I am planning on wearing this to the Dance Social at the end of the month.

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Bea

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6 thoughts on “Shades of Grey

  1. Love it with the beads, the colour is great.
    I think you need to spend a lot of time pressing your hems before sewing. I turned my Ruby up 1cm then another 1cm and hand sewed it. It took a long time but it was worth it!

    Like

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