Waaay back in April, I went to my very first New Crafthouse party. I’d heard of these legendary do’s but I was always too slow to the checkout page. This time round, howevs, I got a heads up and I snapped up a ticket the minute they went on sale.
The theme was Spring Fling… I do love a brief! Kind of narrows down the options of what to make, which is helpful because as you probably know its virtually impossible for a dressmaker not to make something new for a party!
Another good thing is, that because there’s usually a bank of ‘wanna makes’ swimming around in my head, I just have to pause the slideshow and pick a winner!
I’d been toying with a Molly Goddard style dress for a while. Not so over the top as that pink Killing Eve number – though, never say never! I guessed pink might be the popular choice for a spring theme and I wanted something a bit different, so I pictured what spring looked like in my local parks and daisies sprung to mind.
But boy did I set a task for myself. I wanted daisy tulle. It had to be daisies, on tulle and nothing else. And I searched high and low until I finally found it some on Etsy. Its actually a pale green tulle which was a bonus too though it doesn’t really come across as such.
As for the pattern, I knew exactly what I was going to use. The SewOverIt Frida blouse and dress is such a great little pattern with no closures. Zippers and tulle aren’t generally friends so it was a perfect choice and a very simple hack would make my vision happen. And hey… see anyone familiar on the pattern cover?!
I kept the bodice section pretty much exactly as was, apart from shaving a little off the shoulder, because I wanted the sleeve puffs to sit on the end of my shoulder point for maximum pooof! I used a green poly taffeta for the underdress because it had great structure and also was a great grassy base for the daisies to sit on. I overlaid the tulle on to the bodice piece to sew as one and I love how the sheen of the taffeta shone through.
I used the longer skirt section of the Frida Dress pattern as the foundation of the under-dress. The top part where it meets the bodice is pleated and I kept that but I split it about half way down and spread that bottom half to end up with a gathered bottom tier. This created much more of a dramatic A-Line silhouette and already the cheeky fun of this little party dress was beginning to make an appearance.
The tulle overlay is simply two gathered rectangles, each to the same depth as their corresponding under layers. The bottom layer was cut twice as long as the upper one and gathered onto the top tier.
For the sleeves, I took the fuller sleeve pattern piece of the Frida, shortened it and then cut and slashed to spread it really wide. It was a bit trial and error but it worked just right with the first draft. I created some binding from the taffeta to edge the sleeves. I was so happy at this point as there were strong indications that it was evolving exactly as it had taken shape in my head!
We had such an amazing time – New Crafthouse is such a lovely space in East London and Hannah and Rosie were awesome hosts. We were greeted at the door with a gin fizz and had immense fun catching up with sewing friends old and new, everyone of them looking incredible in their handmade creations. It blows my mind how much talent there is in our wonderful sewing community.
And guess what! Not only did Ilaria win first prize for her amazing Botticelli meets Molly Goddard dress (we clearly have great minds)… but I won a runners up prize too!
We seriously had no expectations of coming away with prizes. It was so exciting. And we were buzzing all the way home.