A Very Special Occasion (Part One): The Audrey Dress

Pattern House: Sew LaDiDa Vintage

Pattern: Audrey Dress

Fabric: Jacquard, Goldhawk Road

A couple of weeks back I was honoured to be Maid of Honour for two of my best friends. The wedding was a two day event with an intimate ceremony on the first day and a big knees up on the second. The bride had pretty much given me free rein on choice of outfits and so I set about the task of finding two separate sewing patterns, one for each day.

For the party itself, the choice of pattern was almost a no brainer. I was given the Sew LaDiDa Vintage, Audrey Dress pattern as a gift last Christmas and had been waiting for a suitable occasion to make it ever since. As a serial, everyday-garment sewer, I was particularly excited about the prospect of making some occasion wear for once (I don't get out much). It was also nice to have the opportunity to broaden my skills.

With the pattern dealt with, I shifted my attention to sourcing some appropriate fabric which I was successful in finding in one of the fabric shops on Goldhawk Road. The chosen peach fabric is a type of jacquard with the most beautiful gold thread running throughout to create the disc effect. Perfect for a Christmas wedding! What's more, it has just the drape I was looking for as it is structured enough to hold the shape in the skirt without having to wear layers upon layers of underskirts.

Back at base, I began work on a toile as this was my first time working with a boned corset. I was also reluctant to cut straight into the final fabric until I was happy with the fit. Fortunately, the pattern fitted straight out of the packet, with only one adjustment. As suggested in the accompanying booklet, I inserted two additional darts at the top of the bodice above the bust as, although it fitted me well at the waist, there was a notable amount of gaping around the chest. In hindsight, I probably should have just tried taking a little extra out of each seam around the bust area to avoid having dart lines. It didn't notice much though and I did feel much more secure whilst not being uncomfortably squeezed in!

The toile was a big success. It was almost entirely made using fabric from my stash and, what's more, I was able to wear it a couple of weekends before to the New Craft House Winter Party!

When it came to sewing up the final garment, I took the time to fully line it, including the skirt, which gave a polished finish inside and out. I also put a layer of net into the skirt between the outer fabric and the lining. Although I didn't want to look full-on 1950s I feel that it benefitted from a bit of extra shaping and fullness in the skirt.

All in all, I'm extremely pleased with the result and the dress was just the job for such an occasion.

Standby for part two in this series of posts where I will be sharing details of my By Hand London, Anna Dress, made for the wedding ceremony itself on the first day of the wedding.