Saturday, 9 April 2011

"The Party Dress Book" Dress - Finishing touches...

Well I have been working away like a busy bee all week to get my "Party Dress Book" Dress ready for the Hurly Burly Show tomorrow, and I'm glad to say it's finally done! I can't believe it, a fabulous party dress from thought to final product in just a few days, happy old me! And to be honest I would have been finished sooner if I  hadn't wanted to add some crazy last minute detailing. By hand. But hey, I'm always biting off more than I can chew! Here is the nitty gritty of what I've achieved over the past couple of days:

After my first fitting session (glorious, glorious day, not a single adjustment needed to be done!) I sewed the lining to the bodice. Firstly I pinned the lining and bodice wrong sides together along the neckline and sewed them up:

All pinned and ready to go!

Then I topstitched the lining to the bodice seam, to make sure it doesn't do that naughty curling-out-and-showing thing than oh so many linings do :) 

Yummy neat top stitching

I finished the lining by sewing it into the bodice by hand. I then tackled the mighty zip. I also did this by hand, using the marvelous pick stitch, so teeny and pretty as you can see below:

Tiny, pretty pick stitching

I then hemmed the underskirt so that it hit just above the knee (by hand, I hate sewing hems by machine) and trimmed the overskirt to match (net doesn't fray so it doesn't need to be hemmed, hurrah!). And now comes the fun part. I made a silk organza petticoat! Now many of you may already know of my love of the petticoat, so you can imagine how excited I was when I not only saw it coming together so quickly, but also so easily, I see many petticoats in my future :) Now the most complex part of the petticoat is the preparation. Six yard of seven inch long strips of bias cut silk organza have to be cut and ruffled, to then be sewn around the bottom of a silk organza skirt (cut from the same pattern as the over and under skirts and then hemmed) so the bottom of the ruffle is at the same height as the bottom of the skirt. I must admit that all those ruffles, made by the old school method of sewing two rows of stitches and gathering, made me think a ruffle foot might not be such a ridiculous tool to have to hand! But all in all it wasn't a complicated process, and you can see the petticoat becoming more and more full each step which makes the whole process more exciting than laborious (or at least it did for me!).

Sew the ruffles...

To get a petticoat!

Isn't it awesome?!

I then sewed that marvelous petticoat inside the underskirt, also by hand. Ok I am being a little cocky about the amount of hand sewing I've put into this project, but it's really nice to do a job well and be able to add detail into the finishing so that you feel it's perfect, and yet not feel like you're spending hours on a tiny section of the dress. And I'm usually so judgmental about the finish of my sewing, and I can usually find something that I'm not happy with, but with this dress I can honestly say that I'm really happy with every element of it. It's a miracle! Of course I did enter a slight stage of madness when I wanted to add a ridiculous amount of beading to the over skirt. Also by hand. When the dress was already technically finished so I ended up spending hours more on the finish than I really needed. I know, what was I thinking...

My chosen method of personal torture

However, I did manage to stop myself beading into the small hours of the morning, so my finished dress just has a subtle dusting of sparkle around the very edge of the skirt hem, but to be honest I like it better that way, it feels more classy :) 

And I have therefore finished my dress! And it really does look great, even if I do say so myself :) Now, I don't want to give too much of it away before I take pictures of me wearing it at the big reveal tomorrow, but here's a little teaser from my fitting to whet your appetites:

Cheeky sneak peek at the dress!

I cannot wait to get this dress out on the town! My next post will be full of pictures of the completed "Party Dress Book" Dress, so make sure you check in and check it out :)

1 comment:

Caroline C. said...

Awesome! You should get that ruffler foot! I love sewing machine feet accessories, so handy!

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