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Fashion Friday! Skirt


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I saw this skirt on Pinterest and knew I needed one. The orignal is a Nic + Zoe skirt from Nordstroms, which cost about $130.

I made mine for $16.20! I purchased the fabric and zipper from Joanns. I used my 1-hour skirt technique for the basic skirt and added the pleats as an embelishiment. Total time to construct was less than 2 hours.
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To make this, I created a basic pencil skirt. I created 1 1/2″ tubes of the fabric and stiched them to the front of the skirt in an asymetrical design.

The skirt takes an 1/2 yard more fabric than a pencil skirt to create the pleats.

Take my class on a 1-hour skirt at Quilting at the Beach and create your own!

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Beading the Gown


I spent 2 days sewing the beads on the gown.  It came out beautiful, but it is very time consuming.   When you make beaded items, it is better to buy the fabric pre-beaded, if possible.   Most of the beaded fabrics I as able to find were much too heavy for this gown.

I used the beads that Nicole, Tory & Keira strung for me.  The color of the beads is random on purpose.  Some are sparkly, some are irredescent and some are pearls.

The best thing I did was to have pre-strung beads.  Instead of having to load the beads one at a time on the gown, I was able to hold a string of beads & load them ~6 at a time.  It made it easier to hold the beads along the lines of the design to see how many I needed for each curve & where they needed to be tacked.  I used the backstitch embroidery technique for the beading.  See the technique at beadingdaily.com.  I strung 6 or 7 beads at a time, instead of the 4 they recommend, because it fit better with the curves of the design.

Beading in process

Beading in process

Another way to have done it was to have strung beads the exact length I needed and couched them onto the gown.  Couching is done by laying an embellishment, either beads or braiding, on the garment and then stitching over the embellishment.  This could have taken less time, but I would have to be very careful on the length of each string of beads.  It is an easier technique for braiding.  This is how I attached the braid in the previous post.

I ended up having to redo one section of the beading because when the gown was put on Jac’s form, it was uneven.  It was noticable from a reasonable distance away.  It took a few hours to remove the beads that were there & reapply them in a more balanced curve.

All-in-all, I am very pleased with the results.  But I will save beading for special projects only.

sewing the bodice


Another week of sewing under my belt.  This week I sewed the bodice together and the bodice lining.

bodice sewn

bodice sewn

I have decided to put an invisible zipper in the side seam in order to get in & out of the dress.   But buttons down the back of a gown are always beautiful, so I did that also.  I wanted it to look like that is the real closure.  Before I sewed the center back seam, I added button loop near the center back seam.  The I sewed the two back pieces together near the edge, as shown below.

Button loop on back

Button loop on back

sewn areas on back

sewn areas on back

By folding the fabric from the left side over to the right, I end up with a button placket that looks like it is an opening.

Folding the center back seam

Folding the center back seam

Buttons will be added:

Center Back buttons

Center Back buttons

I had the button loop left over from Leann’s gown and I probably still have enough left for another dress or a nice blouse.   That is why I need so much storage for my sewing.  I keep the remaining fabric & notions from previous projects, because you never know when you will need them again.  (At least, that is what I tell my husband that I need an entire closet just for my sewing supplies.)

Great progress.   Next weekend we have a fitting!

Cutting out the dress


On Sunday, I cut out the dress!

Because I custom fitted the muslin, I had separate pattern pieces for the left and right.  That means I had to cut the bodice in a single layer.  The benefit of this is that Jac will get a custom fit, even if her body is lopsided.   And lets face it ladies, we all have lopsided bodies in one way or another.  For most women, one side is larger or higher or something.  By custom fitting your clothes, you can hide the difference.

Here is the bodice being layed out on the fabric.

All layed out & ready to cut

All layed out & ready to cut

Take a deep breath, because we are ready to cut!   I always take a break & a deep breath before cutting such important fabric.  I also cut it all in one sitting, just so I don’t forget how I had it layed out for the nap of the fabric.  In my experience all fabric has a nap.  In some it is much less noticeable than others.  But it is possible that the human eye will not be able to see a change in color, but the camera will.  Since a wedding dress is photographed all day long, I didn’t want to take any chances.  All the pieces were cut out in the same direction to the sheen of the fabric will be consistent on all photos.

Half of the bodice cut

Half of the bodice cut

And here we are – All done cutting.    I can breathe a sigh of relief.   I got it all cut out and I have enough fabric left in case I run into a problem with any piece.  Hard to believe that this small set of folded fabric will be a wedding dress with a train – but it will. (the cd is just there to give you scale.)

All cut out

All cut out

And speaking of scales,  the entire fabric for the dress, fashion fabric & lining, weighs a total of 1 lb 10 oz.  It is going to be so light, Jac will feel like she is naked.   Oh, I hope that comment does not trigger any nightmares of walking down the aisle in her birthday suit.

Next: construction begins!

Layout and cut out


Saturday I started with cutting out the lining of the dress.   I will be underlining the bodice and lining the entire dress.  I cut 2 copies of the lining for the bodice and 1 copy for the skirt with 1 inch seam allowances.  I cut larger than normal seam allowances to give the ability to adjust the fit better as the gown is constructed.

After cutting out the linings.  I traced the seam lines on to the cut pieces.  I didn’t want to put any markings on the dress fabric to prevent any markings coming through on the dress itself.   Any markings I need to make to the actual dress fabric will be done with thread tacks.

Marking the seam locations on the lining

Marking the seam locations on the lining

Underlining is a technique where you sew the underlining and fashion fabric as one piece.  The benefit of it is that it gives more structure to the fashion fabric, reduces the appearance of seam allowances to the front of the dress and can add richness to the color of the dress, depending on the color of the underlining.   In Kendra’s dress, I underlined the ivory silk with white giving the dress a more etherial look.   For Jacquelyn’s dress, we want to have a deep ivory color, so I am underlining it with ivory colored china silk.

It took me about an hour to cut out the lining and another hour to mark it.

tomorrow:  cutting out the dress.