For and against cutting corners in one dress

Sometimes you’ve just got to cut corners. Especially when you’re working to a deadline. Once again, I decided to make a dress for a wedding this weekend (you may start to notice a theme on the blog over the next few months – I have four to go to this year), and once again I was working on it with only a few days to go. So… I may just have busted out the Wundaweb and hemmed the skirt with it.


The dress in question is a By Hand London Anna dress made from some plum polyester crepe I picked up at a fabric shopping meet-up at Goldhawk Road the other week. I might be on a stash diet at the moment, but I had nothing suitable in stock for a wedding, so I figured I could let myself off (we won’t go into the 2.5m of Liberty-knock off cotton lawn I bought though). The crepe was pretty easy to work with, though it does fray to the point that my house is now covered in its sheddings, and it doesn’t like the iron all that much. Whenever I tried to press the seams open they just sprang straight up. Hemming this bad boy was going to be a chore.

I tried pressing and pinning the hem, but quickly realised that it wasn’t going to work. So I reached for the Wundaweb and it worked a charm in the most part. My hem stayed put, but where I was hemming over the seam allowance, the fabric was a bit too thick to melt the glue. I didn’t really want to take a chance with it all coming apart at the wedding itself, so I blind hemmed it with needle and thread anyway. The Wundaweb was worth it. I hemmed it on Thursday night as I needed the dress for Saturday and it still had to go in the wash. Wundaweb saved my sanity and this new Anna went in the wash on time.


This might have been after a few drinks…

When it pays to do things properly

On the other hand, sometimes cutting corners just doesn’t work. I lined the bodice with some matching cotton. This was going well until I tried attaching it around the waist seam… I messed up the pinning so the two weren’t eased in together properly, resulting in some unsightly bubbling. Nevermind, I thought, I will just smooth it out with the iron. See my comments above for why that wouldn’t work. My problem was that I had about an inch too little in the lining to fit on the waistband. I couldn’t leave it as was – the plain fabric would have meant that it would be really noticeable. The only thing for it was to unpick it, give myself a bit of extra space from the seam allowance, and stitch it back into place all over again.

The result is a dress that I’m really pleased with. I made some small alterations to the pattern after making a toile, so I think it fits pretty nicely now, and my bra straps don’t show under the neckline. The polyester crepe is a good weight for the winter which means my four centimetre hem has a good bit of swing (essential for the reception dance floor I think). It’s a dress that will get multiple uses – although I wore it to the wedding this weekend, it is going to be a brilliant work dress.


I like how the hem looks in this photo – nice and swishy

But what about the wedding itself? Well… we’re all feeling a bit fragile today. The bride, my friend Karen, had organised a brilliant day, but it was helped along by free flowing wine, a well stocked bar and some crazy shapes on the dance floor. It was a great chance to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in too long, and it was like slipping back into old times at uni, albeit with the addition of husbands and boyfriends. Karen looked so happy and so beautiful – she works in fashion so it was always going to be a stylish wedding, but her dress was stunning and suited her so well. It was a really happy day all round, and despite a sore head today (I had my first Jägerbomb last night – prob my last as well since they taste AWFUL) I think we’re all going to look back on the day with great memories.


Such a beautiful dress on Karen. The top of the bodice is feathers!



Rich, the groom, led the way with his tie around his head



Eye of the tiger, obvs.



5 thoughts on “For and against cutting corners in one dress

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