Floral Dress – the last steps

Soo, after I’ve already posted the finished dress, here are the last WIP and inner construction photos:

Finished catch-stitching the facingto the underlining:

waist seam:

Finished center-back edges:

ready for the zipper!


half-finished hand-picked zipper:

It was really worth hand-sewing! It looks much nicer than any machine-sewed zipper I ever inserted. And the stitches are pretty much invisible :)

inside views:

New techniques I learned during this project:

  • draft a fitted bodice pattern
  • how to underline (with the help of Tasia’s Tutorial)
  • how to understitch facing (again, with the help of Tasia)
  • catch-stitch facing
  • french-seams
  • gathering with 2 lines of stitching (used to only stitch 1 line and gather, it’s so much better with 2, a lot more evenly spaced)
  • properly prepping the center back seam for the zipper (cleanest back-seam edges I ever had!)
  • hand-pick a zipper

Things that could’ve turned out better:

  • back-neckline could’ve been about 2 inches deeper (but I’d rather have it too high than too deep with the bra strap showing)
  • I used blue threads to gather, thinking it would be easier to take them out that way, but I ended up not taking them out because it would’ve taken forever. So I should have used white thread. This doesn’t bother me so much though.
  • I made the waist-stay tighter than the waistline of the dress, which makes the part of the dress at the back that’s not attached to the waist stay stick out. Have to correct this (make another, looser hook on the waist stay)

But I’m happy with how the dress turned out :) And I can cross another project off my Mad Girls List!

The Floral “Paris” Dress

I finished it! The only thing i have to do is adjust the waiststay, made it a little tighter than the dress, so now the dress sticks out a little at the back when I close the waist-stay.

I’ll have another WIP post on this dress, or I guess it’s more of an “inner construction post”, because this is the first dress I made that’s nice on the inside too :) Just couldn’t wait to post pictures, so that’s why this one’s first :)

See all posts about this dress

The Floral “Paris” Dress – WIP II

Yesterday and today (tuesday and wednesday) I…

  • cut the underskirt
  • sewed the underskirt side-seams (french seams! I love them, so neat!)

  • adjusted the waistline (my waist is about an inch higher up compared to an “average body”)
  • gathered the underskirt and skirt

  • sewed the straps and side-seams of the bodice, and zigzagged those seams
  • cut, zigzagged and “fusible-interfaced” the facings
  • attached the facings to armholes and neckline
  • understitched the facings

  • catch-stitched the armhole facings by hand

So now I don’t have that much left to do! Maybe I’ll finish tomorrow :) Pinned the skirt and bodice to my dress-form to see what it will look like:

To do:

  1. catch-stitch neckline facing by hand
  2. cut both skirts open along the back (for zipper)
  3. attach skirt and underskirt to bodice (make sure to sew center back folds of bodice in place)
  4. finish that seam
  5. add waiststay
  6. prepare skirt for zipper: 1. Sew up the skirt till where zipper comes in; 2. Sew underskirt to skirt like here (use iron to press it flat).
  7. Insert hand picked zipper

all posts on this dress

Floral “Paris” Dress – WIP I

I finally started sewing the Floral Dress (I might be calling this “The Paris Dress” as well) ! I want to be done in a week, so I can take it to Paris with me :) I really need a dress like this: sleeveless, bright, summery, scoop neckline, 50ies. I don’t have any 50ies summer dresses! Or well, not enough :)

I started by taking the old skirt apart, finishing the seams with a zigzag and then blind hemming the skirt:

Then I worked on the bodice pattern for a while (made about 3 half muslins) using a bodice-sloper from a german sewing book (“Mein ganz persönliches Schnittmuster” by Lee Hollahan):

Is  it weird that I used the obituary pages of the newspaper for this? Didn’t do it on purpose…

The fabrics and notions (you can see the blind hem on the skirt):

I bought a metal zipper, but when testing it I found that it doesn’t zip very “smoothly”. Is this a problem? I thought metal would be nice because alot of vintage dresses have metal zippers…

The (under)lining fabric is so soft, and so easy to iron! (except that it’s really slippery…)
So after cutting the pieces I basted the underlining to the bodice:

and sewed the darts…

This is how far I am now. My To-do list:

  1. cut skirt lining (underskirt)
  2. sew side seams of underskirt (french seam)
  3. sew straps and side seams of bodice
  4. check fit (waist)
  5. finish seams with zigzag
  6. fold and iron center back
  7. cut and zigzag facings
  8. iron fusible interfacing right along the seamline of the facing
  9. sew on facings
  10. understitch facings
  11. catchstich facings by hand (sew center back folds in place!)
  12. baste underskirt to skirt at waist-edge
  13. cut both open along the back (for zipper)
  14. gather skirt and underskirt (at the same time)
  15. attach skirt and underskirt to bodice (make sure to sew center back folds in place)
  16. finish that seam
  17. add waiststay
  18. prepare skirt for zipper: 1. Sew up the skirt till where zipper comes in; 2. Sew underskirt to skirt like here (use iron to press it flat).
  19. Insert hand picked zipper

Sounds like a lot. When I write down all the steps seperately I can see where the time goes when I’m sewing… I feel like it takes soo long to get anywhere when sewing. But there are so many little steps. It’s worth it though.

If I find a nice trim in Paris (couldn’t find the perfect one here), either pink like the big flowers on the fabric or orange like the smaler ones, I’ll sew it to the hem of the underskirt :) I really liked the look of the underskirt-trim peeking out with the heart cut-out dress I made so I want to try it again.

Back to sewing!

Flower Dress – Inspiration

So, in the post before this one, I explained I want to reuse an old skirt I made, of which I still have enough fabric left to make a dress out of it:

And here’s the inspiration post!

Tasia from Sewaholic

Betty Draper

Betty Draper Part 2” by Sian O. on lookbook.nu

I’m not really sure about the neckline though, I’m considering one like in the picture above from lookbook, or one of these:

first dress from halens.ch, the rest is from modcloth.com (old ones I’ve collected in my inspirations folder)

I do know that I want to make it sleeveless. A nice, summery dress :)

I want to use the pattern drafting book I got for my birthday to draft the bodice. And I want to make this dress prefect on the inside! Going to use underlining (don’t know what kind of fabric yet…), an underskirt with a nice trim, add a waist stay, a hand-picked zipper etc. I’m probably also going to make a muslin first, because the fabric is just a children’s duvet-cover I found at the thrift store, so I don’t have that much to work with. It’ll be a “learning” project, want to try lots of techniques I’ve shied away from in the past.

As for the skirt, I’m just going to take it apart and redo everything.

Floral Skirt

This is an od picture of a skirt I once made and haven’t worn since that summer. I got the fabric at the thrift store, it was a children’s duvet-cover.

It was an easy skirt, just an elastic waist, very very basic. As I was still pretty much a beginner, the “finish” isn’t really nice:

But since I still have more of the fabric, I’ve decided I’m gonna make a dress with it, reusing this skirt.

(btw: what’s funny is that a design student in my town took the image at the top from my german blog without asking me or even letting me know, and last year I went to see the exhibit of the bachelor “projects” or whatever you’d call them (thesis?), and it was the strangest moment of my life, seeing myself on the wall, on a huge poster, and all over the pages of a magazine she printed, with this image of me cut into strips, ripped into pieces, cut into triangles etc. It was unreal! But I never managed to really do anything about it. She didn’t mention me ANYWHERE. Like, I’m sorry but you can’t do that when you’re writing a thesis type thing (even the maturaarbeit at our school is very strict about citing sources)! I always wondered whether I should’ve called the school, if they would’ve taken away her Bachelor’s degree. I mean, her entire thesis was about the different ways she cut up my picture! (She choose it I guess because there are three of me and the title of her thesis was “prosopagnosia”))