Friday, June 05, 2009

Prom dress finished!

The day before D-Day! I spent 2 and a half hours last night, hand sewing a hand rolled hem. This morning, I put on the finishing touches and now I just have to make the two matching purses (one for the turquoise dress too).
prom dress finished
It started with having to rip out some of the back of the dress. The bodice fit great around the shoulder blades, where I had added the quilted "design feature" but it bagged out at the waist so I had to take it in. So I had to rip out the zipper too. I had not put it in properly with the proper zipper foot so I had to rip it out anyway, but it was sewn and basted in so there was much ripping.
prom dress finished
Once I had ripped it all out, I decided to reinforce the skirt back with two pieces of lining fabric. I had not been able to cut the back exactly on the straight of grain and it bagged a little, so by reinforcing the edge with lining fabric, I was able to get a clean look on the back.
prom dress finished
I also trimmed the quilted "design feature" so it would come in at the waist. Here is the zipper, ready to be installed.
prom dress finished
This is how that zipper foot pushes out the rolled zipper teeth as you sew. It is still fussy and you have to be slow and careful but it works.
prom dress finished
Once I had the zipper installed, I had to gently press the quilted part of the back to get the fat edges to meet properly. It was especially fat around the bottom of the bodice because I was into all those layers of hair canvas. I don't know how the zipper would have worked if all I'd had to work with was that heavily constructed part, so I am glad I put in the "design feature".
prom dress finished
Then it was time to hem. I had to take it up about 2 and 1/2 inches so I set a rubber band on my machine at 2 and 3/8 inches.
prom dress finished
Then I sewed all around the hem so the line of stitching was at 2 and 3/8 inches.
prom dress finished
I trimmed off 2 and a quarter inches of fabric, leaving an eighth of an inch outside the line of stitching.
prom dress finished
About an inch at a time, I rolled the fabric over at the stitching line and then rolled it again to conceal the raw edge.
prom dress finished
Alternating tiny stitches in the fabric and small stitches in the hem, it took me as I said, about 2 and a half hours to sew around the bottom of the dress.
prom dress finished
Here's what it looks like on the outside.
prom dress finished
I sewed on the hooks and eyes for the halter top part.
prom dress finished
And I sewed on the hangers on the inside.
prom dress finished
I'll try to get pictures of her wearing it at the prom! And now for purses...


Purl Crossly said...

Wow. What a beautiful dress. Love the quilted bodice. Incredible workmanship.

Anonymous said...

I have followed the making of this dress with due admiration; now finished, it looks really lovely. Please give yourself a big pat on the back from me. OllieV.

Flamingo K said...

Great pictures--easy to follow and such a pretty pretty dress!!! That quilting adds a wonderful touch and its just sooooo lovely. Good job. Hope you post it being worn.

JuliaR said...

Thanks you guys! I HAD to finish the dress because I couldn't stop thinking about it, even when I wasn't working on it. Now I HAVE to finish the purses so I can finally get back to whatever I was doing before. I know - it was the blue coat of which I was not enamoured. I guess I should finish it and not break The Rule.

Anonymous said...

This dress is HOT Julia! Can't wait to see your niece wearing it.

It could have been the difference in weights which affected the skirt seam. It never ceases to surprise me in sewing....always a learning experience in there somewhere.

The dress is fantastic though, well done, I am sure you are now relieved!

My last piece was made this past March/Apr for my friend's daughter's Confirmation. She wanted to look like a bride she I took my 17yr old on as Advisor and apprentice. She helped with taking measurements, I made the sloper pattern. DD designed the style, I designed the pattern and made 2 muslins. DD accompanied me on all fitting trips. I was hoping she would see the process and learn something at the same time. Together we chose silks and all the materials. I called it the dress that never wanted to end. It seemed to take forever, the fabrics were so delicate and I was so apprehensive. But, I finished it 2 weeks before D Day, delivered it and next morning I was on a flight to the Caribbean for 3wks vacation! I was so relieved but glad that I had the stress of knowing I had to get on that plane and the dress had to be done.
Afterwards, DD said she was amazed that I made the dress from scratch! She couldn't believe it. We normally use commercial patterns together so I help her with her fittings and she does most of the sewing.
As soon as I get the pics from her Mom I post some in my flickr acct.

Norah said...

One lucky niece you have. Too bad her other aunt isn't quite as talented. Maybe she needs some firewood split, I'm good at that! Ha ha. Seriously, you've done a lovely job on both dresses. A mighty congratulations to you.

gwensews said...

All the hours you have put into this dress definitely shows. It's really lovely. Very nice hand rolled hem. Making the purses wil be a breeze after making the dresses! Not to mention, less stress!

djStoreRoom said...

Hi. You have been awarded the Lovely Blog Award at!

Happy Sewing!

JuliaR said...

Heather, you are braver than I am, making your own pattern! They have courses in pattern making and I would take them before I dared do it on my own. You'll have to send me your Flickr link - make me a contact!

Norah, we all have different talents! Liz likes construction so maybe you could teach her some of that!

Gwen, you are right about less stress with the purses!

AlaskaBerninaGirl said...

You are the bomb! WOW, that has to be the most beautiful dress I have ever seen! Great Job Julia!

Rachel said...

That color is beautiful!!

For sewing help and amazing project ideas check out The Sewing Republic :

If you need definitions about sewing stitches this site has an awesome glossary! There are some pretty fun tutorials too.

I'm trying to spread the word because I'm a sewing fanatic!

Anonymous said...

I love the rubberband stitch guide idea! I had to run to my sewing machine to give it a try and I'm so excited.

ca from Atlanta

tinka said...

stunning work! the few glimpses of the quilting was so tantalizing~ i do wonder how it looks on person & the color~ oh!!

Julia Tyrell said...

I almost can't believe that was made by one person only. I wish I could create evening dresses like you do, but I know it takes a lot of talent and practice to do so. Unfortunately I don't have that much time. Nice blog, nice dress.