This is my favourite of piece of all the looks I’ve ended up sewing. Ever. In fact, I want one for myself. In every colour.
This all started with a message from Glyn that read.
Glyn; I need a heaven look for the ball.
Me; Yeah, OK. I reckon I can take it on.
*which basically means “we’re gonna try something here, it may take over your flat and your life” And it pretty much did. And yes, that’s my utter disaster of a kitchen in the background. This is no fancy-pants operation, I work out of my tiny basement flat, dodging cats and all the other usual detritus of life.I took the photo below at 3am the night before the show. I had to lie down for a few minutes (unsurprisingly) and there she was looming above me, and almost finished and looking completely out of context,
Yeah, that’s right. 4-bloody-bollocking-AM. Downing Red Bulls at midnight was not the best idea I’ve ever had. But at least I had solidarity cat keeping me company while the other two took off for whatever cat disco I wasn’t invited to.
This look is basically a dressing gown with a flared sleeve. It may be a bell sleeve or I’ve even heard it called and angel or trumpet sleeve. At that point in the morning I was refering to it as “huge fuck-off/fuck off sleeves”. Fuck-off as in super huge. And fuck off as in “OMG, 5m to hem of this bloody thing when will it end?!”
Speaking of ends….enjoy.
The bodice is three rectangles gathered at the shoulder and back collar. I reinforced the back collar with ribbon and used the same ribbon round the waist. It ends about mid-thigh where I added a full circle skirt. After pinning it on, I thought it needed a bit more volume at the bottom so I added three godets; one large one at the back and two at the front. It gave it so much more movement.
The pic above is of the not-quite-finished-yet stage. The hem still needed work but I’ll get to that in a bit. French seams on all of it because it needed it. There was no way it was ever going to not have French seams. You can see how the front skirt piece curves up to allow for walking. The problem with that and the wide sleeve hem is that the inside of the garment is visible. Unfortunately, the feather trim was attached to a white ribbon and I wasn’t going to work so hard and have a big white ribbon flashing away and ruining the colour scheme. 4am glue to the rescue and it was all dried and hidden away by the next morning although I had to lock it in the bathroom to dry in case the cats got any ideas.
The process of making this was so enjoyable. The chiffon part was easy if a little fiddly but stitching the trim to the chiffon was a challenge. I have to give credit to Rob at Sew Amazing in Bow here. He’s an incredible source of knowledge – he suggested I use three-step zig-zag stitch, a jeans needle (I know, on chiffon but bear with me) and run the thread through paraffin wax. It was a bit unorthodox but it worked!
My poor, poor, over-worked sewing machine. One day we’ll sew some nice cotton. One day. Maybe. This is a very impractical gown though. You ain’t hopping on the number 8 bus and going down to Bethnal Greean Tesco of a Sunday in this. It’s a gown for flouncing and romancing. And maybe fainting on a chaise longue if you’re careful.It’s hardly a completely new design though. These type of gowns have been around for a while in one form of another. In fact, against my better judgement, I went into the M&M store in Leicester Square on Monday and saw this….
I must have stood there laughing for at least 5 minutes.
I really think this is my favourite piece after “Conceptual Bride” last year. Conceptual Bride is still going strong and getting lots of wear. Last seen on stage with Years and Years at Brixton Academy.
I love the still of this clip, those gorgeous crowns by 8DIX make it look like something out of Where the Wild Things Are. Watch out for Foxxy’s awesome high kicks on the left. I think she’s in the Liz Hurley number I made so it’s good to see it getting about! Absolute powerhouse dancing from Raven Mandella, Jono Kitchens, JonBenet Blonde, Shay Shay and Rodent Decay in here too (and I think that’s Stoli on far right). Raven’s bum wiggle at the end is a particular highlight.