With a dress code marked FLAMBOYANT on the invitation, my Dad’s 70th birthday has been an event to look forward to. The venue was a the ballroom of an historic hotel in beautiful Shropshire and I needed to come up with an outfit for not only myself, but our two girls, aged 8 and 10.
I liked the idea of us all matching in some way and, after much indecision, decided to go with that fabulous geometric fabric you may remember from the Tiered Dress post. I had already made a dress for my older daughter in soft greys and lilac combined with some flashes of yellow and orange. But the fabric also exists in a somewhat LOUDER colour way – a kind of neon pink / orange with a very acidic green line running through it. Not a particularly flattering colour scheme for our pale skin tones (I think it would look great of you were dark skinned) BUT never-the-less, the only fabric that we could all agree on. They are both from Fabworks Mill Shop and are still in stock I think (Feb 16).
So, for my younger daughter I replicated the tier dress I had already made (see the post here for how to make it) but in the brighter fabric. Their hair fancies are just chunky knots of hemmed fabric attached to an hairband.
I decided to combine my neon geometric fabric with a plush looking Dupion silk that was a perfect match to the acid green/yellow. (I thought the whole dress in the geometric might be just a little lurid.) AND I was concerned about the frills – just be warned that if you are thinking about making this dress you need fabric that looks good on both sides because the reverse of the fabric shows on the hanging frills.
I finished the dress with a couple of days to go – but urrrgh – it did NOT look good on. The Dupion silk was way too stiff and sat like a shapeless and lumpy sack around me. I had though from the picture that the dress would be quite fitted – but it is actually quite square. I should have paid more attention to the diagrams. I don’t mind this shapeless silhouette usually, but it really does not suit a stiff fabric. So, I pulled it all apart, laid my hands on some very cheap sari fabric from the local market – something synthetic that draped really well – and set about remaking it.
The night before the party I tried it on again and, although drastically improved with the lighter weight fabric, I still didn’t like it that much. So I set to it again with a pair of scissor and just cut it off short into a tunic and re-hemmed it. I also covered a giant button with some scraps of fabric and sewed in onto a hairband as a kind of low key fascinator. The overall result, when paired with some leather-look skinny trousers and some giant earings, was not too bad.
I had tried to persuade my lovely husband to wear a shirt trimmed in the the same fabric but he wasn’t having any of it. I think it was just one step too far for someone who avoids the limelight like he does.
My verdict in the end was that the Burda Side Frill dress it is not a bad pattern but, as with many items of clothing, it looks a hell of a lot better on the model than it did on me. One of the great pitfalls of sewing I guess, that you can never try before you buy.
However, what I was really happy with was our overall look as a trio! Everyone knew we were a team (despite the different colourways of the fabrics) and we did fulfil the FLAMBOYANT look, especially in full swing on the dance floor.