I have finished Mrs P's party dress!
From the pattern which I drew myself from Mrs P's exact measurements ..
To the toile - an old duvet cover - doesn't look very promising does it!!
I decided half way through that the because of the heavy fabric we used, the shape of the dress would benefit from a little bit of net underneath it to give a 50's retro feel.
I gathered a double width of stiff dress net, sewed it onto some stay tape, and then zigzagged it to the lining of the dress - on the inside so that it sits between the outer fabric and the lining, at the point where the dress flares - the lower hip in this case.
The trouble with dressmaking - when you are doing it for someone other than yourself, is that you find yourself being more 'honest' than you may be otherwise!! Diplomatic ways of saying things about fitting have to be thought of, like "if we ruche it here, we can give you a bit of cleavage" or "if we flare it at the hip, it won't make you feel like a house" or "the good thing about having a full skirt is that nobody knows what's underneath" ... I'll leave you to read between the lines on those!
I had just finished the last bit of hand sewing on the dress - where you stitch the lining to the back of the zip for a neat finish and was rather pleased with the way it all turned out when, upon zipping it up, the lining caught under the zip! ARGGHHH!!!!... it was a bad catch. Don't you just hate it when instead of having a perfect finish like .....
you get this ....
Cue the bondaweb ..
I discovered that it is enormously helpful - especially if a concealed zipper is planned, if the last seam to be sewn is marked at the seam allowance with a line of stitching like this:
It makes the final finish easier - ie: when sewing the lining over the zip - you just fold over where the stitching is, and sew into place.
I put some bra strap retainers into the dress straps
You can buy these ready made but they are expensive, uncomfortable and innefective. When they are sewn into the strap like this, and fastened with miniscule poppers, they are very comfortable and very effective.
Here is the finished article ..
The thing about a dress like this is that you can't help 'swishing' your hips like a little girl pretending to be a princess in her party dress! Such fun!