The Making of a dress

Seven days ago I posted that I needed to make a dress for a wedding for today, July 17th. I am happy to say that in the 12th hour, I have completed the dress! And a shawl with the left over fabric!!

My process in making a dress is something I enjoy doing. I learned this process watching a sewing class over at Craftsy with Susan Khalje. It can seem daunting to some but for me, the design process is relaxing. I don’t like working with tissue paper, so I light box the pattern and trace out all the pieces onto butcher paper. I also do this, in case I need to make another dress in a different size. I mark every line and notation. I give myself a one inch seam allowance and I also mark out the original seam allowance along with the original cutting line. I use that line once I make my mockup of the dress if I have no changes.

I’ll spare you the view of me in the mock up! But It fit really well and at the time, I didn’t install the zipper exactly in the correct placement and knowing that I thought the gap under my arms was due to that. It wasn’t. (I’ll show you my boo boo in a minute)

I also use a marking pen to transfer the sewing notations. The beautiful thing about the pens I use is that to remove them you just need to apply heat by ironing them away!

This dress also has boning in the bodice and I have never added that element to any dresses I have made in the past so I was a bit nervous and looked up youtube videos to get the idea and process of adding it. I had to unstitch a couple of them because I hadn’t cut them back far enough but in the end, it gave the dress great structure.

To my horror, it wasn’t the zipper placement that caused the gap and because I had already put together the dress, it was either I remove the skirt, undo the lining, make the dart in both the bodice and the lining or…do the alternative.

It doesn’t look pretty on the inside, and it’s not something I would have chosen to do, even for a dress that is mine, but I was running out of time and calculating the time to remove and do it right, would have been costly. No one can see the dart of course and you can barely see it on the outside.

And once I had that fixed, I realized I had made another mistake (mistakes tend to happen when I am in a hurry) but I fixed this one too! The straps had no place to be tucked into the top! I had finished it as though it would have been a strapless bodice! So, I had another choice to make, either make it a strapless bodice which I was not really fond of that idea, or figure out if I could once again unpick the stitching on the top of the bodice and open it for the straps. Because I had trimmed the seam allowance in that area, that could be potentially disastrous.

So, I chose to place a button on the inside of the bodice where the strap should have been inserted and a button hole on the strap!!

Hand sewing in the lining, a final ironing of the hem of the skirt and the dress is done…but wait. I have a bit of fabric left over so I made an over-the-shoulder shawl to match with fringe!

I love this dress even with all of its unseen mishaps!

2 thoughts on “The Making of a dress

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