Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Our exciting new friend.

This week we ventured into the treasure trove itself - Mandors. Fabric, fabric everywhere. Of course, it was just for a preliminary look, but 40 minutes later we had done a good scouting of some gorgeous silk dupion and silky lining, and also pulling over some over to a table and holding it over some bright red netting to make sure it didn't shine through. But yeah, just looking.

What we did buy was four meters of plain white cotton - which behaves in a fairly similar way to the kind of silk we want - for our practice dress. (Just in case it all goes wrong). But that wasn't all.

Allow me to introduce our new friend, Diana. Isn't she pretty? Diana (we didn't name her, it's just the name of the model, but it is really sticking) is fully adjustable between sizes 10 and 16 and will, hopefully, make the whole thing a lot easier (as well as looking awesome and being a lot of fun. We're thinking of inviting her to the wedding. She could stand in the corner and wear the practice dress).

My mum and I got her out and set her up the next morning. She makes a somewhat frightening creaking noise as you adjust her size - but hey, no lady likes to have her measurements increase, I suppose. She also starts to look kinda alarming as you make her bigger and her mid section starts splitting apart. Especially if, like us, you neglect to notice that there's a back dial as well as a front dial. Oopsie.

Anyway, Diana. A new member of the bridal family and, most likely, a very helpful one.

Monday, 3 January 2011

The One(s)

The Pattern Search continued. Mum kept up a stream of suggestions via phone calls, texts and emails, not to mention internet trawls when we were together.

There were some issues. A nice top half would be joined to a skirt which wasn't quite big enough. A nice big skirt would be pleated in a way which wouldn't sit nicely over a petticoat.

The ones we looked at were almost all in "Vintage" ranges which have often caught my eye over the years. I've three Vintage Vogue patterns already and a few Simplicity as well, in 50s and 60s styles. But none of them were quite right.

In the end we went for a proper compromise. My mum discovered a perfect, perfect circle skirt. The top, though, was all wrong. Fitted bodice, fair enough, but the straps wouldn't be right for me at all.

The Search continued. Then one day, we noticed one which we hadn't seen before or hadn't quite taken note of. It has an open, beautifully shaped v-neck, those most prized shapely princess seams. It sits just on the shoulders.

It's got a lovely, detailed skirt with big panelled pleats slotted in - which, although I'll probably attempt it another time, isn't right for these purposes.

So we're going to Frankenstein it. The wonderful bottom half, circle skirt from pattern number one, and the super-flattering bodice from pattern number two. Then most likely we'll wap a big sash or bow round the middle.

Having had a look at both, we're pretty sure this will work OK. Time will tell, eh?

Oh and if you like them, both patterns are available where we got them - at Jaycotts.