I actually decided soon after Frocktails tickets were released and I snaffled mine up that I wouldn't be making a new dress for the occasion. I adore my Anniversary Dress and really wanted to wear it again, plus the timing of the event (the second week of Jan) was awkwardly wedged amongst the Xmas/New Year period and a family holiday. I really didn't think it'd be a great time to undertake something complicated.
Then I must have forgotten that... possibly because I started obsessing all things trapeze and stumbled across this dress from Alexander McQueen. Oh yes, that is quite the perfect trapeze.
I was a goner!
I also figured I wouldn't need to purchase a new pattern as I had made a few trapeze tunics from Feminine Wardrobe by Jinko Matsumoto. It just so happens that this pattern can be made into dress length as well. Oh and I'd been given a gift voucher for Lincraft and whilst I held little hope of finding the right fabric there, lo and behold, there it was! A luminous bronze-y, silvery and purple brocade. We all know my love of brocade...
It may not be clear from the shots above and my busy fabric but the pattern (for the bodice at least) is a six panel trapeze. At first I really wanted to try to do away with the "princess" seams, but that meant dart manipulation and all sorts of try and toile and try again. I just didn't have time!
So I kept the original Mcqueen design of a dress with attached bodice and skirt, kept the panels in the bodice and did away with them in the skirt.
I really wanted to encourage a bit of a kooky exaggerated trapeze shape and after a little discussion with my girl Susan we agreed that interfacing the skirt panel with a moderately stiff, sew-in interfacing would be the way to go. And it totally worked!
It does however drape a bit more than I intended because of those princess seams in the bodice. They really do encourage collapsing into the seams.
That means it also has a less-than-seamless trapeze look. But I really do love it.
And I blame that cheeky short hemline on Anna who encouraged me to shorten another inch. Oh and also it looks uber short because all my blog shots are taken with the camera slightly below me as there is an incline up into the trees. I'm really not a terrible floozy! Or terribly tall as many at Frocktails asked me when we first met... "why aren't you taller?" Ummmmm, sorry?
And then came the heartbreak. This fabric was a disaster. These shots are actually taken after the event (weeks in fact) partly because I had no time before. And immediately after... well I was in mourning.
The dress is destroyed. I know you can't see it here, but the vertical seams of the bodice are tearing apart. It's the weirdest thing I've ever seen. The seam allowances, which were all serged, are fine. The fraying and tearing is coming from the seam line itself and literally spreading. It's at its worst across the broadest part of my back and clearly the dress isn't too small in that area. Before you offer advice and love, no, it can't be saved. It really, really can't.
It's just a shimmery temptress of darkness and I want to cut it into a thousand little pieces and stomp on it. Yep, I really do. Damn you, you seemingly beautiful brocade, it will be a while before I attempt you again.
But before I do, here's a little sass.