After a successful quest to the neighbouring town, I found a zip long enough (and in a matching colour!), so onwards with the sewing.
Carefully removing the patterns from the fabric so as not to rip out the tailors tacks (threads which mark the dart positions).
Prettiest ever sleeves and neck facing.
Ready to be ironed!
Pressing darts. So much of neat and precise dressmaking relies on pressing, pressing, PRESSING!
A quick read through the instructions before I get stuck into the sewing machine (not literally!)
"Stay-stitching" around curves ensures the dress doesn't lose shape over time.
Pinning the shoulders together after pressing the darts.
I trim the raw edge of the seams with pinking shears so they won't fray. (I would normally use my overlocker to finish the edges but it lives in Belfast these days and I've been making this dress at my family home!)
Pressing the seams on the neck facing, then sewing the facing to the dress.
It's starting to take shape! Tomorrow I'll put in the sleeves and the zip, and turn up the hem. I used to be terrified of zips, but six months of work experience in a theatre company without a proper zip foot soon ended that!