This entire project was thought up and supplies gathered together back in September. Comparing that to other projects that I have stashed away, this dress had a rather quick turn-around. :P I was wandering around Joann's with 3 hours to kill between classes. Me + being left unattended in a craft store = bad idea. Or maybe it isn't. You be the judge of that.
Because my self-assigned deadline for this project is at the end of March, it jumped to the top of the priority list. One afternoon, I cut out the pattern and the fabric, and marked out all the pattern notes.
It was about this time that I discovered Angela Clayton's youtube video detailing how she made her 50's inspired dress. The construction of my dress is a combo of the directions that came with the pattern and following her techniques - especially in the skirt assembly.
So the next afternoon, I sewed the skirt pieces together and left it to drape overnight to let the bias stretch out.
I then turned my attention to constructing the bodice. The pattern doesn't call for any lining at all, but I really like the idea of a lining, so made a lining out of old sheets I did. [/Yoda voice] Commence the dart making. All 12 of them.
Darts and seams sewn together, I put on the bias tape binding and the bodice was done. Or so I thought. More on that in a bit.
After letting the skirt hang for a while, I laid it all out on the floor and stepped back. That is a lot of skirt.
To make sure that everything was where it was supposed to be, I laid out the pattern piece again and trimmed the hem portions that had stretched out from hanging out.
I really like how Angela Clayton did the hem on her circle skirt. In all my sewing adventures, I've despised hemming circles. Bleh. So much bunching up. Not fun. What Angela did was sew the fashion fabric to the lining right sides together for the entire circle. Trim the edges, turn right side out, and top stitch everything to keep it in place. Thought it wouldn't hurt, so I gave it a try.
That was a lot of sewing circles. Because it's a full circle skirt, it felt like I was hemming for ages. But my hipster music station on Pandora helped to pass the time.
Attached the skirt to the bodice, sewed on some snaps, and I thought I was done.
|Please pardon the awful lighting and tired face. It had been a long day.|
I had some fitting issues.
In changing the shoulder seams, I also had to change out the darts.
Lesson of all of this? Try it on before putting on the finishing touches.
|Making alterations and doing fittings on yourself is harder than doing it to someone else. :P|
Then I changed out some of the snaps for hook and eyes. I trust those more than I do snaps. I don't want a wardrobe malfunction while dancing. Not okay.
Did another fitting, and I loved it. There are some things I could change about it, but I'm not worried about them at all.
The cool thing in all of this? I have it done more than a month before my deadline! :fist pump: And it was finished just in time to head off to a swing dance with a friend (seriously, I put the last stitch in it the afternoon before the dance). I was going to wear something else to the dance, but after I tried it on, I wasn't about to take it off.
Paired it with a belt and my dancing shoes for my new favorite outfit. I'm officially in love with ridiculously twirly circle skirts.
Pattern: Simplicity 8085
Fashion Fabric: Joann's
Lining: Sheets from Goodwill
Notions: Bias tape, thread. hook and eye, snaps
Time: If I were focused, probably could call it a weekend project
Belt- I've had in my closet for eons. No idea where I got it.
I'll take my camera to the March ball, so hopefully I can have better pictures for you! Sometimes phone cameras just don't cut it in lower light settings, but the tiny ballroom setting was just too fun to pass up for a quick photo shoot.
Until next time!