My friend Samantha needed a new dress for an event her dance group was doing...We started planning it a couple months back and I got the fabric a few weeks ago. But life got in the way and I didn't start working on it till last week.
This is was the inspiration - mainly for the skirt. She drew a sketch as well which was incredibly helpful! I always love it when my clients know exactly what they want!
The actual cutting and construction of this dress took place in less than 32 hours. I started on a Sunday night at like 7 or 8 and worked till 3 am. Got up around noon the next day and sewed all day, once again till 3:30 am. Then got up at 8 took out the remaining gathering threads and headed into my 'real job'. Panic threatened to take over, but thankfully a good friend kept me company by texting me most the night. I'm pretty sure that's the only thing that saved me..So thank you, Joe! :) Hopefully I've learned my lesson and won't procrastinate so badly anymore.
I've previously made her a dress so I just altered "her pattern" from a front opening, yoked bodice to a back opening, slightly gathered, natural waist number. Also adding a boat neckline 1/2" narrower and 1/2" lower then normal. The sleeves, as you can see, are single puffs. She choose the lovely material from fabric.com - available here.
There's just something about china buttons that make me happy (especailly when I can get my mom to sew them on. hehe) I'm so glad I found a fellow reenactor that has a seemingly never ending stream of them...I always had soo much trouble finding them before.
There's 3 4.5" flounces. The top one was sewn on with a little frill left sticking up as seen in the CDV up top. These were by far the most time consuming part. I first sewed the hem facing to the bottom of the skirt. Then attached the first flounce. Next I sewed the hem facing up and continued onto attaching the last 2 flounces. I had some trouble with my gathering threads breaking. So that was extremely irritating, but a good reminder to not use old thread for tasks such as those. I did a 6" hem facing as usual.
Piped the neck line and bottom of the waistband. Pretty much my staples - I'm not fond of how it tends to look when I sew skirts on to the waistband without piping. :-/ And I feel like it makes the neckline lay much better as well.
I think I gauged this skirt and sewed it on in record time! I've come to love gauging now that I can do it somewhat evenly on prints...not with standing - I do love doing it on plaids and stripes even more. :P I did a 2" fold over on top of the skirt to balance it or whatever its called...so that actually means there's only 1.5" different between the front and the back since I have to have .5" 'seam allowance'.
And with that we have the finished product on the lovely model, Samantha!!
*Photo credit: Samantha