Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Great Prom Dress Adventure of 2018 Part 3... The Conclusion

Well, we finished the dress and the Princess wore it to the prom on Friday night.  Here it is, finished, right after she got her hair done:

Once again this is McCalls 7683, views 2 and 6.  I was really worried about this dress.  I knew this would probably be the only "mom made" dress at the dance and I didn't want her to feel like she showed up in a home-made dress when all the other girls got their dresses at department stores or prom and bridal shops.  But I think it turned out great.  She looked like a Hollywood starlet showing up for the red carpet. The color was beautiful, the sequins were shiny, and she looked elegant and confident. 

So, details on the dress...  This pattern is very easy.  It's designed for knits and is unlined.  All of the views are pretty simple so this is a great pattern to showcase a fancy fabric such as the sequined mesh we used or a stretch lace and let the fabric do all the work for you.  A word of caution- if you are making this for someone busty, be careful.  The bodice uses the same pieces for the front and the back (except for view 1) so you will need to make adjustments. 

We did not make any adjustments other than cutting a size 6 at the shoulder/bust, grading out to a 10 at the waist and to a 12 at the hip.  I could have sized down one more size at the waist and hip, but this mesh was not super stretchy and I wanted it to be easy to get in and out of, and I didn't want it to be skin tight.  There is no zipper in this- it goes on over the head.  You could add a zipper in the side seam, but I really didn't want to fight with that so I didn't do it.  I also added length to the skirt- about 2 inches right below the hip, and I raised the top of the slit 1/2 inch to compensate.

The most challenging thing was figuring out how to completely line this.  The mesh is sheer, and the sequins don't cover it completely so I had to figure out how to line the bodice and skirt.  I used red ITY knit for the lining.  It's slightly heavier than I would have liked but it worked out well in the end.

I had to totally change the order of construction.  I basted the drape to the bodice and then stitched the bodice and lining together sandwiching the drape in between.  I probably could have figured out a way to sew the neckline and armhole by machine but I didn't think that far ahead and I ended up finishing the neckline and then hand stitching the lining to the outer fabric around the armhole.

I constructed the skirt by sewing the outer fabric with the godet and then sewing the lining fabric with a walking slit in back.  I then sewed the outer skirt to the lining around the front slit leaving the hems free with enough loose fabric to turn up.  Once the skirt was complete I sewed it to the bodice treating skirt and bodice as one piece each so that the lining fabric would help support most of the weight of the skirt.  There is a casing in the waist seam allowance with 1/4 inch elastic which snugs the waist up to the body. 

I added a little loop of ribbon at the midpoint of the godet hem so she could put her finger through it and hold it up off the floor while dancing.  Her dad thought that was genius.

I am so happy to have this project finished and to have it be so successful.  The Princess was very happy and she had a great time at Prom.  She is a junior this year, so we get to do Prom again next year.  Will we make her dress next year?  We will have to wait and see...

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Great Prom Dress Adventure of 2018 Part 2

The real prom dress adventure is just getting started.  We started cutting the sequined fabric today. 

We made a successful muslin a couple of weekends ago out of some knit from stash.  I added a couple of inches to the skirt length and graded from a 6 at the shoulder/bust to a 12 at the waist/hip.  The fit was pretty close to perfect.  I will nip the waist in to a size 10 for the finished dress and I will move the top of the slit up about 1/2" to compensate for the Princess's looong legs and the length I added to the muslin. 

I can't put it off any longer though.  I'm going to have to jump in and start working with the sequins.  So far, it's not that bad.  I was able to cut the bodice and the drape out pretty easily.  I will need new scissors when all is said and done, but the cutting wasn't too bad.  The fabric behaved like a dream- it didn't shift or shimmy at all!  I was even able to get the reinforcing stitches sewn in where the drape is going to be attached and I sewed the shoulder seam.  No issues at all- the fabric went right through the machine like it wanted me to actually enjoy sewing it.  The sequins are really tiny and they are sewed on.  All those bits of debris on the cutting mat and the pattern piece in the photo are sequins, or pieces of sequins from the cutting process.  The sewing room is going to need a serious vacuuming when this project is over.

I had to stop for the evening, but I plan to work on this next weekend and the following week.  I took spring break off from work to spend time with the kids and get this project done!  I gotta hurry though because prom is coming soon on March 30!

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Great Prom Dress Adventure of 2018

The Princess and I have started working on her prom dress.  We are making McCall's 7683 using the one shoulder bodice and the long skirt with the train.
We will be making the dress out of red sequined mesh for lots of sparkle and shine. 

So far we have adjusted the pattern and cut a muslin from a stash knit.  We will be assembling the muslin this weekend and checking the fit.

I am very excited to be working on a prom dress and working with such a gorgeous, fancy fabric.  I am also a little nervous since I have never worked with sequined fabric before.  I am sure it will be an adventure.