The final outfit for our family pictures was my dress. I was very timely in making the dress and finished it mere hours before the pictures. Procrastination much? I have been experimenting with creating a base pattern for myself to modify into whatever I want. I decided to make this dress via scratch using this method. I think there is something about printing off a pattern and simply sewing it up that is much more motivating than creating it completely from scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I really love creating garments from scratch, it just takes longer than using a pattern. Because of this, I ended up procrastinating just a tiny bit on this dress ;).
I decided I wanted a sway dress with lace appliqué details. I used a satin for the base and layered chiffon on top. I appliquéd the lace on top of the chiffon. Looking back, I should have done more of a circle skirt attached to a fitted bodice with the lace overlay instead. The lace makes the chiffon not as flowy, requiring a belt at the waist so I don’t look like I am wearing a sack.
To start making the dress, I used a shirt block I drafted for myself. I used the aldrich’s book to draft the bodice. After it was drafted, I closed the shoulder dart and opened the waist dart. I then drew a diagonal line out to the length I wanted from the side seam. I used the same measurement from center front and connected the two lines with a gradual curve at the hem. I used this piece to cut out the lining, the middle layer, the chiffon, and the lace. After I sewed the lining and middle layer, I decided I didn’t want it quite as full so I took out about 2″ of flare. I left the chiffon layer as it was. For the lace, I wanted the bodice to be solid lace gradually tapering off to no lace at the bottom. To to this, I basted the side seams, around the neck and back down the other side seam to the chiffon. I then drew a line marking the waist. From there I decided I wanted four strips of lace on front and back. I roughly marked around the lace with tailors chalk, outlining the shape I wanted. Next cut out the strips, taking care to trim as close as possible to the lace details. I am not going to lie, this took forever! After everything was trimmed and looking good, I took it back to the sewing machine and stitched down the lace to the chiffon around the very edges. Again, took forever ;).
After the chiffon layer was complete everything else fell into place nicely! I really wanted to have an exposed zipper and all I had on hand was a tan zipper. I thought it was a fun contrast, especially since our family pictures included that bronzy-tan color as a part of Kina’s dress. I am contemplating tearing it out and adding a black exposed zipper later though. What do you think? Leave the tan or do a black zipper instead?
I will also end up attaching the belt to the dress, since I pushed finishing the dress so close, I ended up just tying the belt around my waist, I will stitch it down later. As you can see from these pictures, the belt overlaps the zipper, It won’t after I sew it on.
I love sewing clothes, even though sometimes it doesn’t turn out exactly as I had envisioned. The cool thing is, I can always tweak it to get it exactly like I want it!
Pattern: Drafted from scratch
Fabric: Satin, Lace, and Chiffon from Fabric.com
Cost: $36.30 for Fabric.
(cutest little photo bomber in the back ground!)