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The Dressmakers’ Ball dress

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Thought I’d share a quick post on my dress for the inaugural Dressmakers’ Ball which was held last month in Leicester. This was an event at which the idea is for dressmakers of all abilities to be able to make themselves a fancy dress and spend a nice evening at a dinner dance with other sewcialists, admiring everyone’s makes. It was a really good night.

I was too lazy to make another dress  thought it would be nice to refashion the dress that I’d made for my work Christmas party last year, since I had a little remnant of the satin that I’d used for the skirt of that dress.

Initially I wanted a simple, sleek gown, so I thought I’d use the Sew Over It London Betty dress  v-neck bodice with the existing mermaid skirt. It was quick to sew up, but I did have to faff about with the shoulders a bit to get it to sit nicely on my shoulders and not gape at the neckline. (Probably should have done a toile. Oh well.) It wasn’t long before I had a dress that looked something like this:

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At this point, I thought, “hmm… I’m going to need some embellishments.”

I thought about it for a while, and then decided to look into how to make organza flowers. I had some organza samples in my stash, and one of them was a deep brown which looked nice against the gold tones of the satin. A few Google searches and YouTube tutorials later, I was making organza flowers!

How to make organza flowers:

  • Cut out circles or petal shapes from your organza in roughly the size you want your finished flowers or petals to be. You can fold the organza over a few times so you cut multiple layers at once, to speed this up. I think I used about 40 flowers on my dress, and mine were each made up of one larger circle and one smaller circle.
  • Light a candle and hold each circle a few inches over the flame, turning it round as the edges singe and curl. Be careful – you don’t want a fire!
  • I found that the organza that worked for me was a poly organza. I also tried some black silk organza and I just couldn’t get it to singe without burning. (I wonder whether it was genuine?! Not sure whether this is supposed to work with silk organza).
  • Assemble your flowers with as many layers or petals as you want, and stitch them together or stitch directly in place on the fabric. I used pins to figure out the arrangement I wanted and then stitched them to the fabric.
  • I stitched some tiny black beads to the centre of each flower to add a bit of depth/interest and also to balance out the black belt I’d made for my dress.

I loved the finished product, and felt quite chic in it on the night, I must say! It was great to see all the lovely dresses everyone had made for the event, to catch up with sewing friends I’d met at previous meet ups, and to meet some new ones!

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Hope to see some of you at next year’s Dressmakers’ Ball, maybe?

-Michelle-

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