I am great at planning long term ahead. For instance, I bought a Lonely Planet for our summer holidays months ago and sketched options for our route not too long after that. I just tend to forget my planning, leaving me in deadline junkie mode just days before. So I just remembered I have a party this weekend, celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the gym at which I teach. The party is big and hosted at the Kurhaus in The Hague, a historical hotel, spa and casino with majestic sea views. The dress code is ‘festive red’.
I’m in desperate need of glamour in my life.
What to wear? As a working mom, I rarely go to festive occasions. Spending 10 more minutes on my hair and make-up and putting on my go-to LBD that I have had for years for date night at a restaurant is as festive as I’m used to nowadays. On the one hand, I’m thinking about pulling out that red satin top that I bought for last time’s office party and pair it with my fake leather pants some that should be somewhere deep in my closet. On the other hand… I am in desperate need of some glamour in my life and it would be foolish not to grab the opportunity to do so.
And now I’m thinking about that red dress. That deep red silk satin Cavalli dress that Maggie Q wore in Mission Impossible III. That skin-baring, leg-showing and over-the-top sexy dress. That dress that will wear you if you don’t have the attitude to go with it. But Maggie wouldn’t be Maggie is she wouldn’t own the dress. And even if with my size 6 I might be the XL version of the size 0 Maggie, I feel I could get away with wearing a dress like that too. Hooray for small boobs!
Besides, with so much skin and so little fabric, this looks like an easy project, right? Said the overachiever (Yes, Kwoted, it takes one to know one). And as I’m still waiting on the rest of the fabrics for my Age of Adeline dress project to come in, I need another project to unleash my new sewing manic on.
I bought 1,5 meters (1,6 yards) of deep red micro satin. At 9 euros per meter I was hoping that I would find something cheaper, but this is actually a fancy fabric that this dress could use. And at 19 euros (including yarn) that’s quite a bargain for a party dress, right?
Skirt: I draped the fabric lengthwise around my hips, pinning the selvedges together at the left hip. Then, I pulled the excess fabric together to fit at the top of my hip. I marked the left and right of the fabric. Then, I undid the pin at the selvedge and started working on the pleats in the back. After pleating, I stitched the right seam together, making a fairly high slit (but not as high as the original dress).
Bodice: I used the front bodice part from my Mccall’s M7047 pattern as a base. Just because it’s the only base pattern I have. The pattern part was adjusted to a one-shoulder bodice, drawing a straight line from the top of the right arm pit to the outside of the left shoulder. I put a marking 5 centimeter (2 inches) under my under bust at the right side. From this mark, I drew a curved shape to the bottom of the bodice. This will help me shape the side cut-out later on. I attached the shoulder bands to the lining.
Draping the bodice: I took the excess fabric that I didn’t use for the skirt piece and laid it over the base for the bodice. I pinned two pieces on the right hand side at bust height together. Then I pinned the bust line. Now it’s time for draping. The first drapes I made from shoulder. Then I used myself as a life dress form and pinned the bodice to my shirt and started draping and pinning around the side cut-out.
Basically, the dress is finished. Finishing off the hems and top stitching the seams, and project done! It sounds easier then it really was, but it wasn’t that hard either. Project isn’t perfect either but for a last minute party dress it will be fine. Besides, who will notice in the black light?
Hope to post some more glamorous pics later!
xoxo – Irene