Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Handmade Holiday Part 2

My dress for my brother's wedding! :) (I posted part 1 here).
Me with my mum and my sister
From the start I wasn't overly committed to making my dress, but if I'm honest, I couldn't be bothered shopping. I kind of hate shopping these days. Anyway, I decided that if I did see a RTW dress I loved, that I would buy it, but in the meantime I'd have a look around for patterns and fabric. I wasn't hung up on a particular style of dress, but it needed to be easy to fit and to sew and comfortable to wear in the anticipated heat of Istanbul. I had seen the Sway dress by Papercut Patterns before, but it had never really stood out for me, but for some reason, this time it appealed. It fit the bill on all counts. If you don't know it, it's essentially a tent dress with a self made belt. No darts, no waistline. Very little fitting required.

I made a toile anyway, in poly crepe because I'd read that the armscye was low - it was - and I wanted to check the length. In the end I reduced the size of the armscye by a couple of cm, I think, and I also added to the length by about 10cm just for personal preference. I had to sew the toile at my parent's house because that was the week they ripped out the kitchen and we had a makeshift set up in our living room, with basically no room to swing an unpicker.

I may go back and finish this toile properly as I really love the colour.

For fabric, I initially fancied silk, but couldn't find anything I really loved. I then went to the Knitting and Stitching show in Edinburgh and found the perfect Atelier Brunette viscose crepe in a gorgeous burgundy colour on the Guthrie & Ghani stand. It's a lovely fabric in a gorgeous weight and it has a slight sheen to it, making it look very rich. It frayed pretty badly, but otherwise was nice to sew. I think the crepe made it much less prone to slipping than other viscoses/rayons I have used in the past. I would definitely recommend this fabric and would love to buy more. It comes in a range of colours.

I then procrastinated a lot. I have no idea why. I think I was nervous of cutting out the viscose for some reason, so when I forced myself down to it, it was only a couple of weeks before the wedding. Luckily it comes together quickly and is a very easy sew. I had a minor setback in that my overlocker broke halfway through making this, and I ended up having to finish the raw edges with my overlock stitch on my sewing machine. It works fairly well, but it's SLOW and obviously it doesn't trim the edges, so the insides of this are not as pretty as I would have liked.

The dress was made as per the instructions, other than I messed up the pockets and sewed them with raw edges showing on the outside, so I unpicked them and did without. They were also too low anyway, probably something to do with where I decided to lengthen the dress. I didn't make the belt loops, preferring to add chain stitch loops for a more subtle look. This pattern is reversible, but it's designed that the V neck is at the front. I far preferred the low V to the back, and thought the curved neck at the front was very flattering.
Thread chain belt loop. Also this gives a good indication of the sheen on the fabric.

I love the resultant dress. It's not the dressiest dress for a wedding - Feyza's family and friends were all far more glamourously dressed - but it was comfortable, and I jazzed it up with jewellery and heels. The wedding took place at 6pm, but it was still absolutely boiling at that point. The whole thing was outside, on the Asian side of Istanbul, right on the Bosphorus. It was absolutely stunning, but I was glad of a loose fitting, breathable dress (and that I'd thought to take extra deodorant with me), as it was almost unbearable for us fair skinned Scots. The heat did lessen though, as the sun went down and it became the most perfect balmy evening. It was such a fantastic wedding.

Congrats to my baby brother Ian and his beautiful wife Feyza.


  1. It looks like a gorgeous wedding! Congratulations to your brother and his wife.
    Your dress looks beautiful and the colour suit your skin tone so well. I like the deep V to the back too.

    1. Thanks Caroline. It was a fabulous day. And thanks for your comments on my dress too. x

  2. the dress is beautiful! I think its a perfect style for a hot wedding!

  3. Beautiful frock - the viscose was a great choice. Lovely photos of the wedding too!

    1. Yes, I was really pleased with the fabric in the end. Thanks! x

  4. I think your dress looks very dressy with that drape and shine! Gorgeous! I like the V at the back too :) What a beautiful wedding :) I have friends heading to Turkey this Sat (I'm in Canada) - one was born in Turkey and the other has never been - the native born side of the couple is very worried about how her spouse will fare in that heat as well :)

    1. Oh, I hope they get on OK. It is VERY hot there. We had highs of up to 44 deg C! Quite a change from Edinburgh. I'd love to go back, but not in July. x

  5. Your dress is stunning, that colour is perfect for you. congrats to your brother and his wife.


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