Saturday, April 24, 2010

Anatomy of a ball dress, pt 4

Husband sadly working all this long weekend so I'm planning to get a lot done on my ball-gown.  Following is today's effort...
Cut out the skirt pieces, sewed side seams, inserted the zip into the centre back.  This sounds simple, but this is the point at which I thought I would break down and cry.  Here's what happened.  In good seamstress fashion I put a brand spanking new needle into my sewing machine before sewing this fabric.  The side seams and zip went in beautifully.  Then, without even thinking, I put the seams through the overlocker to finish the edges.  Hadn't changed the overlocker needles!  Doh!  Now there are tiny thread-pull marks along the seams, that weren't there before, thanks to the obviously blunt needles in the overlocker.  It was a real oh-no! moment.  There may or may not have been some bad language.  Note to self; overlocker needles are needles too, you know.  They're not going to change themselves.  I'm reassuring myself that probably no one at the ball but me will notice as the pulls are thankfully really tiny, but still... they didn't even have to be there.  Disappointed!

With right sides together sewed the skirt and its lining together around the bottom edge.  This was done after much experimenting with different hemming techniques on scraps.  I trialled rolled hemming (machine) and rolled hemming (overlocker) on the separate skirt and lining, then overlocker rolled hem on the two fabrics together.  Neither was satisfactory.  So I went with this method, which I think looks smooth and clean.

Trimmed the top to waist level and basted skirts closed.

Adjusted the corset top to the size I want it.  Now, of course I originally used a version of Simplicity 9775 to help me cut this, although this is really a junior pattern and I still had to resize and reshape it to me, an adult woman size.  And now its been altered and butchered even further.  My point is this; can I really say this corset has been made using this pattern any more?  The pattern pieces actually now bear no relation to any of the pattern pieces in the envelope.  I often face this dilemma when citing pattern numbers in this blog, as my final garment is rarely exactly made up to the pattern, which I consider a starting point only.  Anyone wishing to create something similar to my garments is going to have to bear this in mind when buying these patterns I've referenced.  This is why I add the disclaimer, "own design" in the details of an outfit.  Just saying.

Getting back to events; corset boning.  Everyone knows to snip the edges of their boning into nicely rounded curves, right?  To avoid nasty scratching from one's own ball gown during your evening, this is a must do...  Incidentally, this plastic boning is the only type I've ever seen, although I've now heard of steel boning I've never seen it anywhere.  I think that's because of living in sleepy lil' ol' Perth... 

The next step will be to drape some fashion fabric attractively and chic-ly across the bodice, and I'm hoping to achieve some sort of wow factor here.  This may or may not be my final outcome.  Stay tuned to find out...


  1. oooooh, the skirt fabric is lovely!! sorry about your needles, yes there would have been some bad language here most likely.

    Yup, I appliqued goose's name. He's happy as he's seen me do it often for diaper bags, and has been wanting me to do something for him... He wanted his last name too but I told him first name only and he is okay. :)

  2. Your work is amazing! I can only hope to someday sew as you do! Love the ballgown thus far! Can't wait to see the final product!

  3. I'm really digging your fabric choices. The burgundy is just the thing to help the scene on the white fabric pop.

  4. this dress will be amazing when finished! you'll defiantly be the belle of the ball!

  5. This dress just keeps getting more and more beautiful.

    For some reason I also forget to change the needles on the serger,not sure why, although disappointing, thankfully it will only be you that will know.

  6. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Ridiculously amazing.

    Can't wait to see it when it's finished.

  7. Your artistic eye is amazing. Such a lovely combination. All the best with the final touches.