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Mother of the Bride Dress

Today Suzy is making a dress using a pattern which is perfect to go from day to evening. It is a stunning choice for that special mother of the bride dress or for a extra special occasion. Suzy is using our Silk Jacquard Spring Blooms in Turquoise to make the dress.

Suzy’s Make:

I’m very excited to make a start on this beautiful cap sleeve, box pleat dress. In the turquoise jacquard silk, spring blooms, it will be a stunning timeless piece for summer weddings. It could lend itself to being styled as a very special mother of the bride outfit. It would look really striking with a hat or fascinator and matching accessories. 

First I am going to take my measurements to ensure I cut the pattern pieces to the correct size. I am going to make view A with the cap sleeve. I am measuring somewhere between the 10-12 measurements, so I am cutting to 12 so I will have the ability to take in if necessary. 

When starting to cut the pattern pieces I am following the guide as to which pieces to cut for my view.

Once I’d cut my pattern pieces I started to lay out the fabric ready to be cut out. At this point I had to think carefully about the right side and wrong side of the fabric. This fabric can be used either side, however both sides are quite different so it is important to make sure each piece is cut from the chosen side.

I checked the guide for pattern placement to ensure the best use of fabric to minimise wastage. 

When cutting the fabric I did not pin it, as I didn’t want to mark the fabric. I marked the darts with heat removable pens and tailor tacks. 

I then cut the lining in the same way. The lining is silk habotai dyed to match the silk Jacquard.

Once all the pieces were cut out of the fabric and lining, I kept them clipped together neatly. Then I went through all the pieces and zig zag edged them all to avoid fraying. This took a little time and a lots of thread!! However this is well worth the time at this stage for a neat finish and ease of sewing the final garment without having to deal with stray threads. Once this was done I pressed all the pieces with an iron to flatten them. I stay stitched all the curved edges to stop the fabric stretching when I stitched it. 

First I constructed the bodice both in the fabric and the lining, then stitched the darts. 

It was then time to start on the sleeves. I understitched the hem then basted together with the lining. I used the staystitch line as a guide. Pressing at all stages was really helpful when working on the sleeves. 

It wasn’t all that clear which way was the front and back of the sleeves, so I had to research this to ensure I was fitting the cap sleeve in the right way. Unfortunately my knowledge of sleeves is limited. I have always found them tricky to do, so I avoided them! 

When working on the waistband I paid particular attention to placing the fabric the right way up. Despite this I still managed to stick my interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric for one of the pieces. Thankfully I had enough fabric to recut the piece, so problem solved! The waistband stitched in very nicely, attaching the outer waistband to the fabric bodice and the inner waistband to the lining. 

Onto the skirt! It was time for me to revisit my pattern pieces to check all my markings and visualise how it was all going to fit together. Firstly I needed to plan out the box pleats which give the beautiful skirt shape. These were fairly straightforward to do by marking, pinning and baste stitching ready to be stitched properly. I was then able to stitch the skirt to the waistband and the dress was nearly there.

The pattern instructs you to add pockets to the dress. I felt that pockets were not in keeping with the end use for this special mother of the bride outfit so I made the design decision to leave these off. 

Next job was the invisible zip. This took two attempts as the zip was a much paler colour than the fabric, so I wanted to make sure none of it peaked through. Once the zip was in I checked the waistband and I wasn’t happy with how it lined up. I tweaked this by unpicking and restitching where needed. 

After checking over the final garment I was also unhappy with how one of the box pleats was sitting. It had a little gap where the pleat wasn’t meeting, so I also addressed this. 

The final task was to hand stitch the inside waistband. I did this by putting the garment on a mannequin inside out. This helped me to stitch it in the right place.  

After hemming, the dress was finished. I’m super pleased with how it has turned out. 

Suzy has made a beautiful dress out of our silk jacquard spring blooms. This would look stunning as a mother of the bride outfit, or it could be worn to a special occasion. Here at Beckford Silk we have a range of silk jacquard designs to choose from. Each design can be dyed to one of our 80 colours. Do go to our website to find out more about this stunning silk.

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