As soon as I saw another blogger mention buying tickets to this event, I knew I had to go! Mum and Liz were both up for it as well so we made plans. Being super organised, Mum made her dress months before the ball - a fabulous 50s style tea dress in Frida Kahlo fabric by Alexander Henry. Liz and I are a bit more last-minute, so both ended up sewing right up to the wire!
I knew I wanted a 70s style maxi dress and searched everywhere for the right pattern, dismissing loads along the way because I was unhappy with the neckline or sleeves. I eventually settled on Burda 6518, which was more contemporary than I had planned. I decided to make the long sleeveless version, and bought metres and metres of fabric from myfabrics to make it - I've never made a dress with so much fabric! I chose a navy floral georgette for the main fabric with a navy lining.
The bodice took ages, mainly down to having 3 layers of fabric. I was really pleased with the look of it and my fabric choice. The skirt was straightforward to sew but again it was time-consuming due to the sheer volume of fabric involved. I had a few disasters along the way, including accidentally throwing away my first zip, then taking four attempts to get the second one in only to snip the end off it rendering it unusable. I was millimetres away from throwing the whole thing away at that point! Thankfully, it was third time lucky for zips.
I only had to make a few adjustments to the shoulder seams before attaching the lining, in order for it to hang right. Following the instructions to the letter, I attached the lining at the neckline but not the armholes, despite this going against my instincts. The pattern calls for arm facings and cuffs, yet the instructions on attaching these left me bamboozled. I tried every possible way I could think of and eventually got them in. However, the seam allowances meant that the armholes cut away far too much and I felt uncomfortable with the look of the bodice. I decided on a last minute change to add in the cap sleeves from the short version. This solved the problem and also gave the dress a bit more of the vintage look I was after.
With two days to spare I finished. Liz finished hers the night before - a ruby dress in beautiful navy fabric from Guthrie and Ghani. We all had a fabulous time at the ball, with the best part being able to talk non-stop about sewing all night without anyone getting bored! Can't wait for next year's ball - I'm thinking about what I will make already.
Here is my finished dress:
And here is a pic of the three of us: