I actually made this dress last year and posted this photo up on the blog, with promises to do a proper blog post about it asap:
Roll on 15 months and I still haven’t blogged about it, so I thought I had better get on with it. Only problem being that I really wanted to take better photos of the dress, but guys – it was pretty figure hugging when I made it…and now it doesn’t fit me! Argh! So you guys will just have to make do with what photos I do have.
This is the Craftsy Bombshell Dress, taught by the very talented Gertie who, I have to say, is a brilliant teacher. The course covers very advanced couture techniques, way beyond my normal sewing skill level. But Gertie takes you through ever step slowly and clearly explains exactly what you need to do and I really would recommend it if you are looking to improve your sewing skills and challenge yourself.
A lot of people have already taken this class and given really good reviews so I won’t go into too much detail, but some of the techniques which I learnt and have found really useful are:
- Using carbon paper to trace seam lines
- Having massive seam allowances and thread tracing your seam lines – this allows for a very accurate fit and is really useful at the fitting stage (see below pic)
- Creating a muslin and using this as the underlining to your fashion fabric – and being able to write info on these (like numbering pieces and showing grainlines – see above pic), so so useful!
- Using batting to pad bra cups – butting seams together (see red zig-zag stiches in above pic)
- Using stay-tape to reinforce curved seams (see above pic)
- Using spiral steel boning – and raiding my husbands tool kit for the job!
- Adding a waist stay and zip guard – both really helpful for getting in and out of the dress.
I used a lot of the skills learnt on this course to help make my Wedding Reception Dress.
I decided to add a basic halter neck strap to my dress, as I find this more flattering on my body shape than strapless. I was planning to wear the dress to a friends wedding and, as per my usual style, was doing everything last minute – so the halter neck was the last thing I did – and I was sewing it to the dress on the morning of the wedding! Gertie suggests adding buttons to the inside of the dress, and button holes on the ends of the straps, so that you can have the option of strap or no strap, but I didn’t have the time, so I just hand stitched it in quickly. I also just used a strip of fashion fabric, plus some muslin, but no interlining to strengthen it. This turned out a bad idea as over the course of the day the strap creased and folded and didn’t look as good. The stitching also came undone during the night! Thankfully the strap is only decorative so I didn’t have to worry about the dress actually falling down!
Apart from the strap issue I really do love this dress – I think a large part of that is due to the fabric I chose, which is a cotton that I picked up when I was in Thailand a few years ago. I do, however, have a few criticisms on the dress style and the fabric choice. Although the fabric is a lovely pattern, it’s actually a bit gauzy, and as such I have found that I have to be careful not to catch the dress on anything while wearing it or it can easily get holes in it. And as for the pattern – in these photos, which have been carefully selected, it is a very flattering dress. But in reality, it is not flattering to my rather small bust size (they are rather squashed and I look flatter than normal) and the gathering at the waist actually makes me look like I have a pot-belly! I suppose that is one of the risks you take when you make your own clothes and are trying a new pattern/style – you don’t really know how it will look on you until you have it made up!
That being said, it’s still one of my absolute FAVOURITE makes and one that I am very proud of! If you haven’t taken the Craftsy class, I recommend it thoroughly.