Saturday, August 18, 2012

Project 16: Flowergirl Dress #1

I'm quite excited. I got the first flowergirl dress done and in the post yesterday. But I totally forgot to take pictures of the finished garment. Oh no! All I've got are these progress pics where I was checking with my SIL that she liked the trim.

Here the trim is just pinned on. The hem of the underskirt is stitched, but the chiffon overlayer hasn't been hemmed yet.

Pattern: Ottobre 02-2005-11. Obviously, I've lengthened it to make a dress, but I've also made a couple of other changes. Instead of running a couple of rows of shirring thread at the underbust, I created a seam which I pressed up and topstitched, creating a casing for some 1/4" elastic. I also added quite a bit of width to the bodice, skirt and sleeve pieces to create extra gathers and volume.

I've forgotten what size I made (I think it's probably around the 110 mark). I'm putting this down to me working on 4 projects at once!

Considering we were working on a budget AND the girls will only wear these dresses once or twice (at the most), price was one of the most important factors in selecting the fabric and trims. The dress is a polyester satin, with a polyester chiffon overlayer. The sequin trim is stretchy which means I didn't have to insert a zip. The fabrics were purchased at EastCoast Fabrics and the trim at Spotlight.

This is the first time that I can recall working with chiffon and I was a little apprehensive. I used the gelatin trick suggested to me by margk and it worked like a dream. Before sewing, I hand basted the chiffon to the satin pieces for the bodice and the sleeves. Because I was working on two dresses which aren't too dissimilar in size, I used different colour basting thread for each girl so I wouldn't confuse the pieces. I left the skirts separate.

To hem the satin, I overlocked the edges (I wasn't being too precious about couture sewing techniques on these dresses!) because they were unravelling like crazy, then turned and stitched a tiny hem. I then turned and stitched a tiny hem again so you couldn't see the overlocking. I roll-hemmed the chiffon skirt. It was really hard to get the skirts exactly the same length all the way around, but I figure the girls are going to be mostly on the move, so hopefully no-one will notice. ;-)

Next up, I have to finish both my daughter's flowergirl dress and MY dress for the wedding. I've got 27 days. Time to get off the computer and get sewing!


  1. Looks adorable - find out if you will be able to post photos from the wedding. I would love to see the frocks in action!

    1. I'll totally be able to post photos from the wedding. I'm the 'official' photographer!