And having got your attention with that silly title, here it is. It’s not really chain mail, of course, but it is a wedding dress pattern: Burda 106-03-2011.
The fabric is a very coarse polyester woven. The threads are two different colours; there’s a fine black one and a much chunkier white one. It was described as ‘linen-look’ on Minerva Crafts’ website but there really is something vaguely metallic about it. It’s very drapey but also quite heavy; perfect for this style. Here’s a close up.
This is the technical drawing of the dress. I added inseam pockets to it and eliminated the seams that divide the collar into three pieces; however that proved to be a mistake. I think if I’d left the collar as intended I’d have been able to sew the lining to the zip by machine; as it was I had to hand sew it. At least there was some cricket on the telly yesterday to sew in front of.
You can just about see the pockets here. The neckline gathers are very uneven. Some of that’s down to the coarse fabric, but I probably should have unpicked it and had another go. Too late now. Probably only another sewist would notice?
The pattern calls for lining in self-fabric. The polyester I used is both see-through and rough to the touch, so I lined in grey poly taffeta instead.
It closes with an invisible zip up the back. I used lots of interfacing in the collar. I only interfaced the basic pattern piece, not the seam allowances; that made the polyester much easier to work with. I also interfaced the centre back seam. This was in part to reinforce the slit and zip area, and in part because I made a horrible mistake while cutting and only had very small seam allowances to work with on that seam. The fashion fabric frays very badly so the interfacing provides some much needed strength.
I’m pretty proud of that zip! Went in smoothly first time and I don’t think you can see the end.
This style comes up really long. I lengthened it my usual amount, and then cut all that off and more when I hemmed it. Without the heels it drags on the floor. The hem was fiddly to sew because it’s very pegged. I did it with my machine’s blind hem stitch and foot. I’d hoped the stitches would vanish in the texture of the fashion fabric, but they’re a bit more visible than I’d like.
The lining hem hangs free except at the back slit.
I’ve always been a bit on the fence about this style; it’s fundamentally egg-shaped which doesn’t seem like it would be flattering on anyone. It looks OK on Burda’s model but fashion photos can be very misleading. However I found I kept coming back to it when browsing my Burda collection, so I’m glad I finally found some fabric and made it up. I really like the end result. I don’t think the fabric photographs very well though; it seems to come out much lighter than it looks in the mirror. The style is comfortable but I think has just enough shape to look like a dress and not a sack. And I bet I can fit lots of cake in there. I have a wedding to go to next month so it’ll come out for that, weather permitting.