Dressmaking project: the Bridesmaid dress

I managed to quickly get my sister’s maid of honour dress cut and sewn in record time (14.5 hours is the quickest I’ve ever managed to get a dress made). I wanted to get both dresses posted out at the same time to my friend in Germany and my sister in Hong Kong, so it meant working fast so they’ve got plenty of time to try it on and get it altered before the wedding.

In my previous post, I explained that my sister and friend both luckily were quite happy with dresses from the same pattern, so while my sister opted for the sleeveless dress, my friend prefered the halter neck dress which is what I slaved over this past weekend to get done.

Unfortunately when I went back to the shop to get fabric for the bridesmaid dress, they didn’t have the chiffon in the same shade of lavender, so I ended up with a lighter shade. Tip: if you’re going fabric shopping and you realise the total cost is more than you were expecting, buy the total length you require for all your dresses for one fabric first, then go back and buy the other fabric another time!

The difference in colour is not that noticeable but after a while, I realised it looked nicer to have slightly different colours anyway. The colour scheme is the same for both dresses, so although the top chiffon layer is slightly lighter, the ribbon is the same colour as my sister’s ribbon belt. My friend suggested (and I agreed) that the bow around the middle on the pattern was a bit excessive and it seemed too much to have a ribbon halter tie around the neck and another ribbon belt around the waist, so we decided to just stick with the neck tie only.

I had finished the dress in about 9.5 hours, and when I fitted the dress to the mannequin, I noticed the slight cowl neck which I quite liked. When pinning areas to the mannequin thuogh, I also noticed that the bodice had some extra on the collarbone area that didn’t sit nicely. So it meant more alterations and I added some small pleats at the neckline to match the pleating in the skirt.

With a sleeveless dress, you don’t need to worry about the dress not hanging properly on the hanger, but because the halter neck dress only has a tie around the neck, I added some thin ribbon for holding the dress in place on the hanger at the side seams between the lining and outer dress when I was stitching these together.

Finished bridesmaid dress

View from the back

Can you spot the slight difference in colour between the two dresses? I’ve been told it’s the style to have different shades of the same colour for bridesmaid dresses. I think this would be quite nice, an array of shades, but it’s not as easy to spot the variety in colour when you’ve only got 2 dresses. Luckily, the two shades are close enough that it still looks great.

Maid of honour dress (left) and bridesmaid dress (right)

I’m pleased it turned out so well, although for both dresses, I’m waiting to see how well they actually fit. It’s my first time making dresses for others based on measurements! It’s usually easier for me to fit them on the person I’m making the dress for so that I can see what needs to be tucked in where.

I’d like to hear your thoughts on the two dresses and if you’d like to share any of your own dressmaking projects, feel free to share your photos!

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