Last weekend was my birthday, and in spite of the fact that inside I’m eternally six years old (see photos for pink-based evidence), I took the opportunity to make By Hand London’s Georgia – a perfectly grown-up dress (for a reluctantly grown-up girl).
Inspired by the vintage feel of the wide straps and neckline (plus a pair of shoes I felt needed to be worn), I settled on a colour combination of pale pink and soft gold. After a dispiriting haul through the fabric shops of Soho to find that the only pale pink satin on offer was a cool £65 p/m, John Lewis came to the rescue with the perfect (read: affordable) stuff. I then resurrected scraps of gold sequin fabric from a previous birthday party creation (also pink) and was glad I did; a purely pink satin mini-dress could have veered dangerously into negligee territory.
I self-lined the bust cups with the satin and also created a lining for the rest of the dress. This was done simply by making a second version of the ‘skirt’ out of lining, and stitching it in place at the under-bust (and hand-stitching it around the inside of the zip) after the entirety of the satin, including zip, had been assembled.
To my surprise, the straps needed no shortening – probably the first time in my entire sewing life this has been the case. (Gosh, has age brought me bigger shoulders?!) The curves of the dress were also surprisingly sympathetic to my own. Therefore the only real adjustments I made were to take in the side seams at the very top, and also to take off about an inch from the right side-bust piece at the seam with the bust front. This has made the right cup top edge slightly lower than the left, so (BIG note to self) that’ll need fixing…
I must confess that I am also going to let out the seams across the waist and hips because it is a little tight (my muslin had been too loose and I over-enthusiastically overcompensated). And even bigger confession: I didn’t have time to do any of these adjustments before wearing because I finished the dress at 6.10pm on Saturday. Age is not making me any more organised, I can tell you.
I’m generally not wild about side zips in dresses as frankly I don’t think they cooperate with the in-out-iness of my sides, and this was no different – when I sat down, the zip rucked up. I’ll see how it goes once I’ve let out the seams a little but in future I’d be tempted to put the zip in the centre back. But I did however use my new concealed zipper foot for the very first time – woop de woop!
Anyway, tight dress fail or no, it was a fantastic party – I am beyond lucky to have the best friends and family imaginable. Special thanks to the wonderfullest of mothers for making ‘Nina-bunting’ and my adorable (and adored) sister and boyfriend for balloon duties on such a windy day!
And yes, I am still finding gold sequins everywhere! x