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.
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!
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I started sewing in 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!