Apr 16, 2011
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!
And speaking of Joey Heatherton...