So, here’s the finished ‘wedding guest dress,’ otherwise known as Simplicity 1651.
This is one of those Project Runway patterns, that comes with lots of options.
The bodice is version A (for the front) and C (for the back), with the flared skirt. I had initially tried version B, but it didn’t work for me. I can see myself making this pattern again, with sleeves and a straight skirt (like the drawing of the blue dress on the envelope).
The fabric is a rayon challis I got from Denver Fabrics. It’s super drapey and very cool to wear, which was a life saver because it was very hot at the wedding. I’ve read different opinions about this type of fabric. Some people love it, others claim it’s really hard to work with. For what it’s worth, I didn’t find it difficult to work with, other than laying it out for cutting. It wanted to move around a lot, probably because it’s pretty lightweight.
I initially lined the skirt with bemberg, but it was too heavy for the challis to support. The weight of the skirt was causing the waistline to droop really bad. So I cut it out, and then made a separate slip from from the lining.
It worked perfectly, stayed in place all night, and now I have a bonus slip for full skirts!
There are a couple problems with the dress. First the neckline gapes just a little because the fabric I used for my facings was a too stiff. I knew it was going to be, but convinced myself it would work out in the end. It didn’t, I should have listened to my gut.
Second, I put in an invisible zipper – poorly. I was worried the challis would be too floppy for my preferred lapped zipper. Next time I will try it anyway.
I’m just not good at invisible zips. I can never get the bottom seam right. I even bought a special foot for my machine, but to no avail. See how the seam is kind of wobbly looking? Grr. And that’s after lots of pressing.
Also the waist seam is waaay off. I don’t know what happened, fortunately with the print, it’s not noticeable when worn.
This dress did have a first for me – a rolled hem. I don’t have a foot for that, so I followed this tutorial, and it worked perfectly.
Overall I’m happy with this dress, it’s fun and swingy!