MPB is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



Apr 16, 2011

No, no, NOOOOO!


Another screw up on the cocktail dress!

Remember, I had two skirts to hem: the redingote and the taffeta slip.  I started with the redingote.  First I added the velvet ribbon ties.  No problem.



Then.

Friends, I was tired, I was impatient, I was lazy.  Normally I'd have Michael measure the distance from floor to hem but Michael was busy teaching.  I did it myself, being careful not to bend, which is harder than it sounds.  It looked like seven inches.  It seemed like a lot but rulers don't lie.

Parenthetically, I'd planned to roll hem the lace.  But after extensive testing, I realized my lace was not going to fray -- ever.  I don't know what it's made out of -- vinyl perhaps? -- but rub it, pick it, chew it, it does not ravel.  So I decided to simply slice off the extra length.   I lay it on my cutting mat, measured all around, traced a line with chalk, and chopped.  Then I tried it on.



Gadzooks -- it looked too short!  I don't know how it happened but it was not the length I wanted.  I could hem the skirt higher, but the slip would lose its fullness and its late Forties/early Fifties cocktail dress look.

Suddenly a light bulb: I'd add a lace border!  I hightailed to Pacific Trim on 38th St.  And lo and behold...



I bought three yards.  That little mistake cost me $7.50, not to mention what it did to my blood pressure.  The trim cost more per yard than the 60" wide lace I made the redingote out of.

I got it home, tried on the dress for the upteenth time, and then realized I'd overreacted: a shorter skirt length was actually more becoming.  I enlisted Michael's help this time and measured carefully, matching skirt length to redingote length and hemmed, by hand, the taffeta slip 2" around.



I love it.  Cathy loves it.  I'd panicked unnecessarily.  I'll use the lace border for something else.

I also picked up 3 yds. of black tulle and I may make a little black petticoat with it, nothing fancy.  The white one I made for the rose dress is OK, but it's nice to see black tulle peeking out of a dress like this and who knows if Cathy will be called on to do her famous can-can dance.

Friends, that's it.  I hope I haven't agitated you too much this morning.  Of course tonight's event will be well-documented and I hope to share some photos with you tomorrow.  Now I'm off to make a matching taffeta bow tie for Michael.  Maybe he'd settle for a scarf.

Have a great day everybody and easy with the shears, please!

And speaking of Joey Heatherton...

17 comments:

  1. Been there, done that. I am really looking forward to the day you lead us all in making a personalized dress form for/of ourselves, to avoid mishaps like this. (I believe Sassie Lisa did this on her blog) But it turned out great!

    ReplyDelete
  2. EEEP! so good it worked out in the end! It's looking super fabulous so far! I CANNOT wait to see photos! Have a wonderful time tonight!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the impression of Joey H that Catherine O'Hara used to do on SCTV. It's irreverent.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dawn Young CunninghamApril 16, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Joey Heatherton! I totally forgot her, she was on the talk shows and variety shows in the '60's and '70's. Was she just a Vegas performer or was she in movies? Maybe Cathy should go blonde with is photo shot to channel Joey's vibe?

    ReplyDelete
  5. When I saw the hem unevenness my first thought was just add a lace edging, and you did! It looks great! The hem has that finished vintage touch.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I adore this dress. I can't wait to see pictures tomorrow. It is what will get me through the night!

    ReplyDelete
  7. my heart stopped there for a bit - glad to know the dress is back on track! I love new turns myself when I sew - actually I don't, but if I manage to keep my col things usually work out fine! Can you imagine the dress without the lace border now?:D

    ReplyDelete
  8. what you did to MY blood pressure!

    ReplyDelete
  9. omg, I couldn't breathe for a second when I saw the disparity between the skirt lengths. I totally panicked for you. holy crap.

    And, whew!I'm glad it worked in your favor. Off to wipe the sweat from my brow, now, thanks. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. These things happen! Now you have lace trim for something in the future :D

    ReplyDelete
  11. At least is all seams to be working out now. I can't wait to see your, er Cathy's, finished dress. :]

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've done that too! The best thing to do is step away, have a cup of tea, relax and a solution will come to you. The dress is looking beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I like to think all the asymmetrical skirts that have come in and out of fashion are the result of similar sewing mishaps. It makes me feel better when I try to hem my own skirts/dresses and they come out wonky.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, Peter, you got me all worried there. Was Cathy going to be shamed at her very special event? Phew ...... so glad there was a happy ending, or should I say a happy hemming?

    ReplyDelete
  15. oh gosh we've all been there but you pulled it back beautifully!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Been there and haven't always been able to salvage the situation as beautifully as you did! Looking forward to seeing the outfit in action.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails