A few weeks ago I posted about making a dress, for a Hamlet Murder Mystery party. You can read both my dress post and my murder mystery post, at those links! However until the actual Murder Mystery took place (last Saturday), I couldn’t post about my completed dress. This was for two reasons. One – I didn’t want to spoil anything in advance of the Murder Mystery. I like to post about everyone altogether. Two – The dress wasn’t finished until two hours before the event itself!
On 9th September I bought my pattern from Ebay. It cost me £8.75. It arrived within a couple of days and so on the Friday night, my best friend Nat (who was also making her dress) came around so we could try and decipher the instructions. The pattern I picked looked like this:
That night we drank wine, chatted, measured and tried to figure out what dress size we should make. At first we were flabbergasted by the thought of making size 20 dresses (we’re both about size 16) but we realised that its a dress pattern size you make, not exactly a dress size. Eventually we decided we had it figured out and planned the shopping trip for the very next day.
Though I had originally planned to get different coloured material from that in the pattern picture, in the end I did actually buy red and gold. Both were crushed velvet, though I imagine for the price I paid it was probably only velveteen.
We started work on the dresses about a week later. However it took us so long to cut out Nat’s dress (and we knew we would only have one or two days together each week to work on it) so I ended up cutting out my own by myself the following night. We met again a few days later to actually start sewing, but it was a long process and we were glad to have two sewing machines to work with.
In the end we decided it might be best to work on them alone, to make sure we had more time. Nat took my mum’s sewing machine home with her and obviously I kept my own. I spent one evening working on the dress by myself and was pretty pleased to have most of the components completed separately, even if they weren’t actually all attached together.
I posted the above picture to Instagram on September 25th. My dress pieces were all attached and my sleeves were all attached too, though I still had to attach the sleeves to the dress itself. Nat came around again that night and we worked together to motivate each other. By this point there was only three days left until the Murder Mystery and it was beginning to feel a bit of a rush.
That night I learned how to do eyelets – or at least how to cheat whilst doing eyelets. I didn’t feel like I got on very far with my dress and as I was working the following day and again that evening, I was beginning to think I might actually run out of time altogether. However by the 27th my dress was actually complete enough to wear, pretty much finished except for the trim. I sent this picture to my best friend, Amy:
My biggest struggle was definitely pinning the dress in at the sides, adding the sleeves and hemming the dress. This is largely because I only had hopeless guys in the house and unfortunately Nat and I didn’t have to meet up again to help each other do this. Lucky for Nat she had someone else nearby to help… but I just sort of made it up and hoped for the best!
Saturday arrived and I had a lot to do. Food to prepare, decorations to put up, a house to clean and tidy – yet still I had my dress to complete. I started with the trim for the waist, deciding it was the most important. Next I did the sleeves, so that I would have time to actually get both finished. By 5pm, just as Amy was arriving on her train, I was just completing the second arm. Finally I moved onto the neckline and although I was a little disappointed with how it came out, the dress was at least finished.
After some mad dashing around to get the place ready, I eventually headed upstairs to get changed around 8pm. This was actually my first proper fitting of the dress, in its complete state. Luckily it all fit and didn’t look too bad – though I unfortunately felt quite fat in it!
So here is the completed dress…
It’s not a great picture against the red background, but its really the only decent one I have. As you can see it didn’t turn out too bad in the end but I can honestly say I won’t be putting myself through that stress again any time soon – not with everything else I already end up doing for these parties.
And one more pic to show you the sleeves and the back! That is pretty much everything I can show you. It was definitely a sort of fun experience and perhaps if I had less of a time limit and also a less complicated pattern, I would consider making something again. However for the next murder mystery we do the most I’m going to be making is food…
For all the Murder Mystery pictures, feel free to browse here. There are literally hundreds though so you have been warned!