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...