When yet another of my friends announced that they were getting married the response they got from me was 'Yeah, a wedding I will not be sewing something for'. I really should have just not said anything. Two months before the wedding and apparently every shop in town scoffs at the idea that you can waltz into a shop and hire a dress for your bridesmaids. So the bride decides to go buy a simple pattern and fabric. Due to the geographical location of the bridesmaids we had two people sewing. My co-sewer and I spent most of that time competing with each other as to how crazy the pattern was driving us and how on earth would be make them look good in time.
The pattern we started with was Butterick 5322 and we went with the A style bodice. We dispensed with the seam down the middle of the front skirt. I've no idea why it's there, the fall of the dress is much better without it.
Also to avoid pale skin issues (one of the bridesmaids was a redhead) we also added a hint of red to the dress. The ribbon matched the bride's dress.
My bridesmaid decided she was refusing to wear the dress without straps. The pattern clearly claims to work without them but I agreed to add them.
Without much further ado here is the dress -
From the way the bodice looks you wouldn't know this is for a UK size 12...Also I measured her and cut out the size smaller than she needed and still had to take in loads to make it fit. Trust me on this, making a mock up before hand is not a waste of time. The bodice is both interfaced and has boning. I swear the bodice fit the bridesmaid before I put the boning in but had to take even more in around the waist afterwards.
Back of Dress
The pattern does not suggest an invisible zip - something we considered a bit of an oversight so I tried my best to make up for it. I also hemmed it in a hurry when the bridesmaid decided 'that was it she did not have time for me to unpick it she wanted to head to the bride's house ready for hair and makeup the next day now!'
I think it went rather well. She looked pretty with the wrap (this was added when we pointed out the wedding was in a very cold town hall in October...).
However you know those straps that weren't needed? Well without them the dress sat about two inches too low on her body making the whole thing very very odd and exposing her bra at the back. Suffice to say a bit of strap shortening with hand sewing and a safety pin (to keep strap and bra strap in same place) later the wedding went off without a hitch. My co-sewer and I were mentioned in the speech and we still competed as to who had made the bigger mess of the pattern. Suffice to say, neither of us will be using it again. I maintain that I win as she hand stitched the hem and ribbon on whilst I machine sewed the hem and wunda-webbed the ribbon after accidentally sewed the dress to my trousers.