The summer party invitation is always a tricky one to plan for, especially if it’s an outdoors event. The main point of consideration is whether our all-too-often leaden skies will be clear and bright, not to mention the actual temperature on the day (wraps and jackets?). The past few weeks’ worth of sunny weather have proved something of a rare exception (although at a girls’ luncheon the other week one close friend pointed out that it isn’t really a heatwave this is what summer should be like, we’ve just forgotten over the past few years. Quite.), and we’ve all enjoyed a month of leaving the jacket at home. However, I’m still plagued with quandaries when it comes to a summary party, especially a lunchtime soiree.
This weekend we have a family invitation to a Sunday luncheon, a joint birthday party no less, which transcends the generations – literally there’ll be three generations all mingling together.
As this is a special occasion, the event calls for something more formal than a mere sundress (although the cotton sundress is my 2013 favourite which I’ve produced, rather quickly in the past couple of weeks, in a variety of colours and styles) but nothing so slinky as the cocktail dress. I have a couple of race day dresses which are a bit too formal for this occasion. Although Significant Other’s Great Aunt is never knowingly under-dressed, I’m not sure I can get away with beaded and gathered chiffon at what is essentially a garden party?).
Last week, as the temperatures soared, I started work on a silk variation of the sundress. The silk will be cool should the temperatures rise again, and the midnight and ivory will work if the skies are grey. Using some remnants from my fabric mountain, I individually pieced together the ivory and the midnight silk in stripes before cutting the bodice. Next I started work on the skirt panels. Initially I’d designed big ivory pleats covered by the midnight silk, but it looked a bit dowdy for a summer party, so I quickly changed the design to incorporate the ivory panels into skirt. The midnight piping finishes off the bodice nicely and although I say it myself I’m rather pleased with the results. This dress has produced two firsts – the first time I’ve finished something with days to spare (remember I finished my wedding dress 2 hours before I wore it!) and the first time I’ve spent a Friday afternoon wishing it would soon be Sunday so I can wear my latest creation.