Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cocktail Dress - Part Two

PR Weekend Montreal is almost over (sniff) but I wake up early in the dorms so have a bit of time to write this post and illustrate the completed definitely-not-black dress I made for the cocktail party on Friday evening.

Without further ado... some details.

The silk organza/dupioni both frayed terribly.  To keep everything neat and tidy I first trimmed the seams to get rid of the developing fringe, then (as you have already seen) I hand-overcast the seam allowances to prevent further fraying.  Susan Khalje's on-line course at PR definitely came in handy.  It's not rocket science but it was nice to have her illustrated materials as confirmation that what I was doing was expert-approved.

Since I was into hand-sewing (so liberating to find out that Susan K, like me, cannot figure out how to use a thimble), I'll just mention that I also hand-felled the lining to the neckline and zip (see left, ignore the slightly wobbly understitching at the armscye edge).  Before that, I catch-stitched the (trimmed and overcast) seam allowance of the neck/collar to the underlining to keep them in place (at right).


The most complicated part of making this dress was figuring out how to line the bodice, which has an outer pleated layer and an inner darted layer.  This is one pattern where I paid close attention to the instructions which did guide me through, although I had my doubts at points that the illustrations were correct or that the dress would turn out as advertised.  It did.  If you choose to make this pattern, follow the instructions religiously.  Some photos:


At left, you can see the right side (overlap) lining. The left side (underlap) is folded down and out of the way. You can see that there is an opening in the lining seam on the right side. (being held down.) I'm going to hand-sew the lining of the overlap at the SA, place the underlap on top, then close the opening in the lining seam to finish it all.

At right, I have pinned the left front (underlap) to the princess seam at the right front. This hides the right side lining which was already tacked down in the same place. Next, I will hand sew the left front down where it's pinned.



The completed inside lining can be seen on the left. 

Other hand-sewn details included that the lining is attached with thread chains to the hem to prevent it from sliding out when I sit down, and I attached a snap at the inside of the collar at the back to keep the edges together. 







And finally, some views of the completed dress.  It did not win a prize for me at the contest - there was very stiff competition!



Hopefully, someone caught a snap or two of me at the event...

32 comments:

  1. Wow, beautiful! Nice job, you look great!

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  2. You did do such a wonderful job. I know you are proud of your garment - it certainly fits perfectly.

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  3. Stunning!!! it really suits you...

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  4. Having seen this dress in person allow me to say that I am in awe! The photo does not do the color justice. The fit was excellent and you looked elegant!

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  5. You look like star, very nice...

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  6. Lovely fit! Very flattering...nice job!

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  7. Awesome! I've thought about making that pattern, too. It is just beautiful! You did a great job.

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  8. Absolutely, positively beautiful!

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  9. Oh my, that is drop-dead gorgeous.

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  10. I agree, drop dead gorgeous. Well worth all the couture worthy work.

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  11. Blimey! What on earth won???? That is an awesome dress - if I had made it I'd be so proud I wouldn't just wear it to cocktail parties. It'd go everywhere!

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  12. Amazing! I second Kathryn's comments.

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  13. That is a gorgeous, well made dress! The color is beautiful on you.

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  14. Regardless of the competition, your dress is a winner and a knockout!

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  15. Beautiful dress. I'm also a recent convert to hand stitching. I'm hand sewing the quilted lining of my Chanel style jacket. Great because I can sew and watch TV with family.

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  16. Absolutely stunning dress and thank you so much for all the information.

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  17. Your dress is stunning and the fit is perfect! Thanks for showing all the lovely couture details on the inside. I had never thought of using a thread chain to attach a snap. The dress is as lovely inside as out.

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  18. Beautiful dress and a very flattering style on you!

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  19. Fabulous! I can just imagine the true color of the dress.

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  20. Wow! Fantastic sewing! I bought this pattern as well. Thank you for the advice and all the photos of the lining construction. The dress fits you perfectly.

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  21. Totally gorgeous! Your workmanship is impeccible!

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  22. Adorable - one of my favorite projects you've made - it's a knock out!

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  23. I think your dress is fabulous. You did such a good job on the fitting and the details. You look so lovely in your dress.

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  24. You look lovely in this and such a great colour.

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  25. Your dress is gorgeous, just as I thought it would be.

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  26. The neatness of your sewing is a work of art and the dress is very well fitted. I sewed this pattern with silk dupioni (baby blue weft, plum warp) also. I too had to take the gap out of the neck line, take out extra fabric at the back and I also decreased the bust to hip measure because I'm short waisted.

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