Are you a masochistic seamstress and tackle several projects at once? I am too and in addition to sewing bras, I’m also making a red taffeta dress with yes, you guessed it, a ruffle. (it’s gigantic too – eight inches!)
My best friend got engaged over the holidays. We’ve known each other since the second grade – we lived in the same neighborhood, went to the same middle school and high school, collected pet snails in our desks, and dressed up as army men for Halloween. She’s told me not to date so-and-so – “you deserve better” – and she’s told me to change outfits – “you look hideous” – and that’s because she’s a real friend. Even though she went to college in Colorado and I went to college well, everywhere, our friendship has never lost its spark. So when she texted me a picture of her ring with the caption “I got engaged!” one Saturday night in December, I was excited for her, yes, but I was also excited for my attire. I twiddled my fingers just like Mr. Burns, thinking of the dresses I could make. Long? Short? Flowy? Drapey? Silk? Cotton? My wheels were a’turning…
Now, I will be one of her bridesmaid so my outfit for the wedding ceremony is in her hands. But for the parties leading up to her nuptials, I will have full reign over what I wear. I initially thought I would finish this dress for her engagement party but my bra making got in the way. I’m not one to leave a project unfinished, especially when it involves silk taffeta, so I will continue making this dress despite the fact that I missed my deadline. I have a hunch that when I finish, whenever that may be, she will be throwing another party (bachelorette, bridal showers, etc).
This is actually my second attempt at this dress. I was a bad seamstress and researched the fabric after I started sewing. Unfortunately, I found out that taffeta should be lined with organza (to prevent massive wrinkling) and should be sewn with a firm grip from the front and back (or sewn taut). The seams on the first dress were wavy and instead of trying to resurrect and rectify it, I started over.
The dress is inspired by what Freida Pinto wore to a recent film realize. Instead of being strapless, I changed the bodice to be sleeveless with the bust darts radiating from the center front (CF) seam. The back has a large keyhole opening that I think will make it just a touch sexy. The fabric is super thin and very wrinkly so I underlined it with self (to add thickness) and organza (to prevent wrinkling). All three plys were basted together and treated as one ply and surprisingly, three layers of fabric wasn’t too much. Actually, it was just right and I will finish the neck and armhole openings with a polka dot facing. The skirt is a simple rectangle that was slashed and opened to create a bottom opening that is sixty plus inches (measured flat) and the bottom ruffle is eight inches (height) and circular cut. To give oomph to the skirt, I will sandwich shirred tulle between the self and skirt lining. There will be a zipper at the side seam and a button closure at the top of the keyhole opening. And pockets? Every maxi dress has to have them!