Thursday, December 29, 2011

I can't wear my Christmas dress at New Years! That's tacky!

I started this morning with some cleaning. I started putting away what I got yesterday. I didn't get around to putting it away last night (I was slow in taking pictures), but I knew if I let it linger much longer, it would be underfoot for much longer than it need be. I got most of it out away, several things I still don't have an idea where they are going to live yet. One of the things I didn't put away was the bolt of pink tulle from the sewing kit. Not because I didn't have a spot for it, but because I wanted to use it.
I really liked this tulle back when I first saw it, back when I bought that bag with some of the contents of one of these sewing kits. Only that tulle was mostly missing, with what was left was just hacked to bits. This one had most of it there, with only a small bit of it used. I decided that I needed to make something with it.
I decided to revisit an old technique, using it as an overlay. I had done something like that with the Wedding dress I made for Charlotte a while back, but this was a little different. The wedding dress was made with lace and kept the edge of the lace and the bodice was hemmed separately, with the tulle I'd hem them both together. For the material for the actual dress, I chose that pink broadcloth that I bought way back when for making the Garden Party dress. It was one of the last times I bought broadcloth, since after that I learned that calico was better. I usually avoid using broadcloth in my sewing since it's so thin, but this was an under cloth, and would use some of that fabric up.
For the patterns I chose the typical bodice pattern. I have good luck with it, and I like it, so why pick something out? The bodice came together pretty easy. Although I did have to work out how to sew the hem, with a tulle overlay and using tulle to help hem it. And I did have to redo one side dart when the tulle wasn't laying flat and didn't get sewn with the broadcloth, but that was an easy fix. The bodice was done pretty quickly, I mean I've done it enough I should be able to do it in my sleep.
For the skirt, I was trying something a little different. The pattern was the full skirt that I use often, it's actually the skirt that belongs to the bodice in the original pattern. I hemmed the bottom like usual, but when hemming the sides I did it a little differently. I attached the tulle to it at the side hems. Except that the tulle was much longer than the skirt itself. Then I pinned the tulle to the skirt, tucking it so that the tulle was gathered over the skirt itself. I sewed that down. Next I started to pin the skirt to the bodice.
I wasn't able to keep working on the dress after that. I ended up going out today as well. Originally I declined going, several times, but when I was asked over and over, I broke and went with. There was just a few places to go to today, nothing horribly exciting. I didn't get much of anything. Don't believe me? The only thing I got was a new permanent marker since my old one has been quickly fading on me. Really, not that exciting at all, and not really worth going out for. It's good that I got a new marker, but it wasn't like I was in dire need of one. All it really did was take time out of finishing the dress.
Back at home (and with my new marker put away) I got back to sewing. Since I had just started pinning the skirt into place before I left that's where I picked it back up. I finished pinning then sewed it down with large stitches to see if I liked how it looked (and to see if I had messed up anything). When I tried it on Charlotte, I was not pleased. The skirt fell at the worst place on the body. It made the dress look misshaped, and made Charlotte look thick waisted. I have a nasty habit of adding skirts too low and them not closing in the back becasue of that, so this time to counter that, I added the skirt exactly at the waist, and it still looked terrible. This was a style of dress that really needed the skirt to not be exactly at the waist. The best laid plans, right? Luckily this is an easy fix, just take out the stitching and lower the skirt. I just need to do more pinning. I lowered the skirt so it now was attached more at the hips instead of right at the waist. This new position looked much better. I was so pleased with it that I sewed it down. After that it was time to add the sleeves, originally I was thinking that I could use some tulle scraps and made some small off the shoulder straps, but when I was deciding what to add, I decided that it just didn't need anything. It looked perfectly fine without them. Better in fact. So I decided to not add any sleeves, it was now a strapless dress.
But I wasn't finished, since it was now sleeveless, I decided that it needed something else at the top. I ended up choosing an old favorite, a capelet. I used the same pink broadcloth for it. It also has similar tulle on it. It's actually not exactly same tulle as the dress. This is actually pieced together from the cut up pieces of tulle I got from the first (mostly used up) sewing kit. I used all off the new tulle on the dress, mostly the skirt. Luckily I still had the older stuff, or else the cape wasn't going to be made. I was able to use the tulle so that all of the pieces are showing the silver flowered part. I was even able to use some of the pink ribbon that I already had on hand. I really love it when I'm able to make something without buying anything new for it.
When I was done sewing the cape, it was time to finish it. And yes, I did finish it. I was working late tonight in order to get it done. You can really tell how much I like something when I make the entire thing in one day. It's finished and Charlotte's been wearing it. Four days after Christmas and she's already got a new dress!
It's just so pretty.
So pretty!


  1. that dress is gorgeous! Charlotte is absolutely beaming in it!

    I loved all the dresses you made for your Christmas display too, especially Charlotte's second dress. :-)

  2. Aww, thank you so much! I'm thrilled that you like it all!