I usually don't have many occasions to wear or sew fancy dresses in my day-to-day life, so when an occasion arises I just go all out! One of those occasions is my birthday. I tend to keep my parties very quiet and low key (people I like gather at my house and we eat all day) so I'm usually ridiculously overdressed, but hey, my party! This year was the year I turned 30, so I went all out and grabbed some embroidered tulle that had been in my stash for a while!
I loved the Deer & Doe Magnolia dress the moment it was released, and thought it would be a perfect candidate for this dress! I loved the deep neckline but decided to go with the higher one just to stay bra-friendly. This has been a good idea because even the 'higher' neckline is pretty deep!
I have to be honest and admit that I didn't really look at the instructions for this one. I've made enough dresses by now to figure out my own preferred way of construction, and I was going to do the skirt differently anyway! I wanted a plain underskirt with at least one tulle overskirt, and it took a little bit of thinking to figure out how to construct all this and install the zipper.
The bodice is made from a very light black viscose. I lined the front and back but kept the sleeves unlined for floatiness. The fit is pretty good (which is often the case for me with Deer & Doe patterns) but the princess seam could use some tweaking. There is a bit of bubbling at the top, so I'll have to take a look at that if I made this again!
The skirt has three layers: a base layer made from plain black cotton lining, a second layer of plain black tulle for volume and an overskirt of embroidered tulle. I used the skirt pattern pieces for the lining and black tulle layer, but didn't have enough embroidered tulle to do that, so just gathered the entire width of the fabric. It's not as voluminous as I would have liked, but that's entirely my own fault (for not getting enough fabric, AGAIN). I had a good long think about the zipper situation because I wanted all three layers to be separate and only be attached at the waist. In the end I basted them together and folded the seam allowances of the tulle layers back at the seam, so the zipper would only go through the top of the dress and the lining. Does that make sense?
Because of how soft this fabric is the dress tends to relax and stretch a bit, so the waist ties help a bit to cinch it in. I was surprisingly comfortable for how much I ate during the day, although I did switch to a skirt with an elastic waist and a t-shirt later (but mostly so I could sit on the floor with my friends).
Would I make this dress again? Maybe, but in a different fabric, so it's a bit more 'daily wear'. I did enjoy floating around with all my (bee) friends all day!