19 January 2013

Turns Out There Was Both Cock and Tails to be Seen That Night...


Let me set the scene for you;

It's the National History Museum in London, lit up in an array of colours, a wall of lights shines at the head of a Diplidocus. You, dressed in your finest are amidst a crowd of bowties and evening dresses, swathed in taffeta and sparkly stuff. In your hand you clutch a beer [from the open bar], and as you look up at the giant dinosaur butt with amusement... Rylan from X Factor suddenly bounces onto the makeshift stage and brings the tone of the whole event down by murdering a few songs, which the crowd enjoyed for the pure reason of... well. Open bar. And bad renditions of Gangnam Style.

It was surreal but beautiful, really.
Sadly I didn't manage to get any full-body pictures of me on the night, but finally I had some time to take pictures, and I can show you my 'No Cock Nor Tail' ensemble!


This is both the pullover and dress together, and from the initial design sketch, you can see that it actually looks like the design for once! [I promise that the neckline doesn't look as wonky in real life.]
The dress also features something I've never done before; a center back lapped zipper! I used a really chunky metal zip, of which you can see the zip pull in the picture,  but it came out almost perfectly for a first try!

The dress is made from a faux silk taffeta, and I give my full recommendation to Abakhan Fabrics for their fantastic service in buying it! [Even with a cheeky 2m extra free ;D] It's unlined due to the short time I left before the night to get it done [I hate deadlines.], but the neckline is faced, the seams are pinked and the hem was.. hemmed with bias tape and hand stitched to the dress [this took three hours. three. hours.].


The pullover I pretty much went through on the WIP post, but this was the most difficult part. Sewing mesh is a bitch. I couldn't seem to get the sizing right - it went from way too big to being way too small, and I had to hack off the underarm gussets and add in another panel to fit - but thank god for four way stretch, else this would have been a disaster!

The whole point of the dress was to get the look of a sheer-yoked dress with the wearability of two separate garments, and I'm glad that I made the decision to do so - I have two items of clothing that look as great together as they do apart!


  • Fabric:
    Dress; Faux silk taffeta
    Pullover; Dobby print stretch 'lace' [stash]
  • Pattern:
    Dress; Self drafted from basic circle dress block
    Pullover; 'Frankenpatterned' from Gertie's Wiggle Dress and Bow Tied Blouse
  • Notions: Bias binding [hem and facing], metal zipper [stash], grosgrain ribbon waist stay
  • Time to Complete:
    Dress; I'd estimate that, including hand-stitching the hem and the pattern, around 15 hours
    Pullover; Around 8 or so hours, including the 'frankenpatterning'
  • Make again?: Definitely, the dress is a great fit for once, and a nice length, and the pullover pattern could work in any jersey or mesh and it's a great little coverup!
  • Total price:
    Dress;
    £17, for the fabric, bias tape and thread.
    Pullover; £0! Unless you count the pattern, which was from Gertie's book which cost me £15.
    So, £32 in total for an entire ensemble, including a pattern!


I'm actually so happy with this ensemble, the dress is the first garment I've made that I look at and just go damn girl, you CAN sew and the pullover, although a real mess of sewing, is the first real adventure into sewing with stretch, and learning about my machine and sewing mesh has been an informing, even if frustrating, learning curve.

And really, don't I look proper classy? ;)

Melody ♪

16 comments:

  1. the dress and the pullover are really cute! ;~; you're looking fabulous btw

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  2. Thank you so, so much!

    How are you doing, by the way doll?

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  3. Looking gorgeous! I love that dress, it looks beautiful on you! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk

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  4. joelle.stlaurent19 January 2013 17:55

    you do look proper classy! it's always a great feeling when the finished object looks exactly like you had envisioned it.

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  5. This is really lovely Melody! The pullover is really cute- great idea making it as a separate piece. I agree it's not the nicest stuff to work with though. My machine hates most stretch lace/mash type fabrics. The last stuff I used kept poking down into the needle hole and jamming up. Gah. Excellent job :D

    Ginny
    buttons-and-bobbins.blogspot.co.uk

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  6. That dress is so beautiful!

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  7. Thank you!!

    My machine tried to eat up as much of this mesh as it possibly could, I swear!
    I did change thread half way through, which helped a little, but was still frustrating to finish. I did read up on a lot of "sewing with stretch" and jersey articles, but mesh seems to behave so much differently due to it being so thin!

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  8. Wow I love it - now following your blog :)

    http://louslabyrinth.wordpress.com/

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  9. Roxanne Guillemette20 January 2013 16:50

    That dress is fan-freaking-tastic! Love the polka dot lace pullover paired with the solid black fabric: you look covered-up, but in a sexy way. And that silhouette! It rocks on you: it's a keeper!

    I'm now following your blog, because this garment litteraly made me jealous...

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  10. Proper classy is the technical term for this, of course! ;D I'm glad you think so.

    And it is a great feeling! Also quite surprising!

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  11. Ah! Thank you for the kind words!
    I feel the same about the pullover, I have a bit of a phobia of my upper arms because they're so fat, so I'm constantly wearing cardigans to cover them up, and I thought the sheer mesh would make me, self conscious, but not at all! I've been wearing it over a black slip with a bra built in lately, and it's got a certain cheekiness to it, without being too "oooh look, I'm wearing a bra on show!

    And thank you so much for following! I hope that you enjoy your stay here!

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  12. Thank you! And thank you so much for following!

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  13. Just had to tell you how freaking awesome you are, and that I want to steal your wardrobe!

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  14. Thank you! It's not every day I get told I'm awesome ;D

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  15. Wow! This is so gorgeous! You did such a good job and you look amazing.

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