This dress took months. We started thinking about it in November. We found a pattern and chose the fabric and had that all in hand well before Christmas came in 2018. And things got busy and I didn’t get started with the actual making until mid March.
I knew it would be challenging because we chose a pattern (Vogue that would have been a little bit of work even if I had been working with only one layer of fabric but we added to the complexity by doing an overlay and a full lining.
The cutting out took several hours because I wanted to get the pattern placement right and the skirt and bodice combined is a total of 14 separate pieces multiplied by 3. Let’s just say I had a project.
There were several fittings and size adjustments.
And a lot of fabric to be managed.
And did I mention the skirt was huge?
I hand picked the zipper because it was in a side seam and it was just easier and I knew it would look neater. If you’ve never hand sewn a zipper you should try it. It’s one of my favorite zipper insertion methods and I almost always use it on a formal gown.
And there were also two other details. I sewed a piece of ribbon into the waist line. This ribbon is tied tightly before the zipper is closed. It helps to keep the dress in place because the weight of the skirt tends to drag everything down.
And added lingerie guards. These serve two purposes for this dress. 1. it keeps the bra straps from popping out since the shoulders are wide on this dress. It also helps to keep the shoulders of the dress in place rather than getting all bunched up or moving in toward the neck. I used a gingham bias tape just for fun.
And like magic, she is finished and I’m happy and the girl is happy. I will say that if this were to be just a dress to wear once to prom I never would have done it but since the girl is going off to college in the fall to study vocal performance and eventually become and opera singer I think the dress will get a couple of more showings.