Saturday, 22 September 2012

Pink Lace dress - McCall 6322

Fact: I am scared of spiders. Seriously.

Within two seconds of seeing a spider I go from being cool, calm and collected to a 'Price is Right' contestant on crack who's coming down from a bad trip.
I'm certain that spider is looking at me through it's eight dirty little eyes thinking 'Damn, that bitch is cray-cray.'

The other night I came home to discover a big huntsman spread eagled on the front door. I back flipped away from that front door so fast it was like I was Neo from 'The Matrix'.

I stared at that spider (from a safe distance) and started to analyse myself. I tried to think logically about my fear. I mean, the spider is not out to get me (or is it ...), it's smaller than me, why do I let this massive  small little monster creature freak me out so much?
And COME ON, can any one blame me for being scared of something that is called a 'Hunts-MAN'. For the love of all that's holy, it HUNTS ... MEN!  I don't think this is an irrational reaction!

After fruitlessly throwing leaves at the spider from 20 metres away like a crazy person, I did what all rational, mentally healthy women would do. I waited outside for twenty minutes, in the cold and dark for my husband to come home.

Turns out, we are hard wired to fear spiders according to a British Psychology professor.  People tend to dislike angular shapes and have bad associations with dark colours. We like curved shapes and bright colours. Hence, why we don't start shrieking at the sight of a lady-bug. Read the article at DailyMail

One of the places that I do like angular shapes and dark colours is sewing, though my recent dress is very 'anti-spider' with its many curves and friendly colours.

Introducing my latest number:

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

Look at my belly grow! It looks like a small family is growing in there.

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

My wonderful cousin Anthony married his beautiful bride Katherine in a moving ceremony three weeks ago.  I knew I wanted to make a dress for the occasion, and I thought it would be a great way to really break me back into my sewing rhythm. This is the dress that I made and wore to the wedding.

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

My husband took these photos of me in the dress a few days ago with my 23 week pregnant belly already bigger than it was three weeks ago at the wedding!

My inspiration for this dress came from the fabulous Betty from Mad Men who rocked a very pretty dress in Season 3 Episode 3 of Mad Men. Photos curtesy of Tom and Lorenzo.

I remember seeing this episode for the first time and falling in love with this dress. I thought Betty looked so fresh and innocent. Which is ironic as this is the occasion where she meets the man she would leave her husband for. Awkward.

I thought this would be exactly the sort of fancy pantsy dress I would like to wear when I was pregnant one day. One fertilised egg later and this dress jumped back into my consciousness. And you all know I have a wee soft spot for Mad Men fashion.

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

To make my version of this dress I used McCall pattern 6322
As you can see, my version looks quite a bit different from the picture on the packet, but the shape and silhouette has not been changed.

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

To compensate for my fast expanding stomach and, let's be honest, my ever growing bosom (sorry dad!) I cut the dress in a pattern size 16.

Pattern Alternations

I lowered the neckline by 1.5cm

And shortened the bodice at the shoulders by 2 cm.

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

I removed 4cm excess around the circumference of the empire waistline by enlarging the darts below the bust. I slightly gathered the top of the skirt so that the skirt fit the narrower bodice, while also giving extra room for the belly.

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

I made my own sleeves to go with the dress for a more evening look.

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

I purchased this stunning french lace at Stitches to Style and had to do some serious deep breathing before I cut into it at home.

I made the EPIC mistake of telling my husband how much the lace cost per metre. What.Was.I.Thinking??!!! I blame this lack of secrecy on my new pregnant brain. What woman, chooses to disclose the price of LACE fabric for Petes sake! Every good fabric-holic understands that what their partner doesn't know won't hurt them.
After my dear husband re-assembled his jaw (which has smashed unceremoniously as it had hit the floor) he recovered and was able to appreciate the beauty and value of the fabric, in an abstract sort of way. Look! It has shiny bits in it!

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322


I underlined the lace in a beautiful silk dupion from Clegs. See my blog post here on how to underline lace. The dress is also fully lined and closed down the centre back with an invisible zipper.

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

I spent hours matching up the patterns on the lace so that everything was centered and the scallop on the hem of the skirt and sleeves matched.

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322
My apologies for the lack of hook-and-eye, it has been fixed since these photos!

Instead of putting a centre back seam in the skirt of the lace, I removed the seam allowance and cut it as one big piece. This meant that the pattern on the back of the lace wasn't interrupted by a big seam line. I made a placket at the top of the centre back seam on the skirt so that I'd still be able to get into the dress. I was really pleased with how it turned out, and my first ever placket!

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322  Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

I made a cute little belt with a bow out of left over silk dupion. I cut the belt fabric on the bias and interlined it to strengthen it. The belt closes with two hook-and-eyes.

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

My main accessory for the dress? Red lipstick (of course!) I had lots of lovely comments on the night, which made all my hard work worth it! Every time I sew with lace, I just want to make another ten more!

Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322
Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322Julia Bobbin, McCall 6322

 Hope you're all having a fabulous sewing week xxx