Since summer has come and here in Italy it’s 40° (104 F) each day, I took a break from huge costumes and cosplay. But nothing can stop me from sewing things, and I started this small project that I planned from a year.
Last summer I bought a fantastic fabric with pineapples and flamingos but it stayed on my stash waiting to be transformed in something for too much. I didn’t know exactly what i wanna do with it until I found on Pinterest some vintage dresses.
My original idea was to do something like this one, but I ended with something different, as always.
First of all I did a sketch of what I wanted to do (yes, I’m a noob in drawing) and I matched a green popeline cotton that I dyed for a cosplay commission as lining for the dress. My first idea was to add some wood buttons but at the end I didn’t like the result and I bought pink ones.
As regards patterns, I reclycled the ones used for my Autumn ensemble, doing some alterations on the neckline and adding a proper collar.
I cut the patterns on my main fabric and lining too. Since it’s a very simple dress I also tried to match the pattern of flamingos on each piece. I managed to do it quite well even if it took me a while!
Once I had my pieces ready I pinned and sewed darts on the back pieces.
I pressed them, and this is the final result.
My popeline cotton looks awesome with this flamingos fabric!
The next step was to sew the chest darts.
This process can be tricky for beginners, since it’s a strange curve to sew, but if you’re a beginner don’t be afraid: pin it trying to match the notches, then baste it and sew it!
And if necessary trim a small portion of the fabric where you see some bulkiness, so the fabric stays in place and your piece will be wonderfully done in few minutes!
Here you can see where I trimmed the seamlines. I then pressed them.
I joined the back pieces of the lining and the main fabric too, and I pressed the seamlines.
Once done I had to finish the armholes and the collar too. Since it’s a sleeveless bodice I wanted to make it look neat on the inside too. So I pinned the armholes first
And then I did the same with the collar.
Once I sewed and sergered the seamlines I turned the bodice over, I pressed it and my collar was done!
Here comes an important step: when I sewed the armholes I left few mm from the end, since I needed some room to sew the back panels to the front one, or the lining would have been caught together during the process. This step is important ‘cos, you’ll see later, the lining has to be sewed separately and by hand.
I hope you understood, in case you don’t, don’t be afraid to comment below with your questions!
Once done I sewed the neckline too. This took me a while ‘cos it was not an easy process. Also I joined the collar pieces too on the back.
Now I just had to handsew the lining. I pinned the green cotton which was on the side, and I closed it with a whipstich.
And I did the same for the neckline part too! Here you can see why I had some problems sewing my neckline. It has a strange shape and it took me a while, mostly ‘cos I had to trim some parts, and baste them!
This is how it looks on the inside once I completed it
Since I wanted to add some color on the outside, I sewed some stitches with a pink cotton thread along the collar.
The last step for the bodice was to add eyelets and buttons. I totally forgot to add some interfacing, and i highly suggest you to do it, ‘cos eyelets will be more stable and will resist over time.
However I did them with the same pink thread and by machine. I have done eyelets by hand just one time and I think I won’t repeat the experience ahaha.
Here you also can see how I matched the fabric!
The last step was adding buttons and finishing the hem, which I closed with a whipstitch.
My original idea was to do a single piece dress, but at the end I totally forgot to modify patterns. I wanted my bodice to be opened but also joined to the skirt.
I ended up with separate pieces just one I realized that my shoulders would have never fit the waistline if I would add the skirt to the bodice.
As regards the skirt I used my remain fabric which was, more or less, 3 m (2 pieces of 150cm each). I pinned my two pieces and I joined them together.
Then I did some bias tape from the same cotton I used for my bodice lining
And I finished my seams with them. Once done I started the hem too.
Normally I would have sewed it with some invisible stitches but this time I wanted some colors on the hem too. So I sewed the hem with the same pink cotton thread used before. This is how my inside/outside looks!
The next step was doing the waistband. Here I had some problems ‘cos first I wanted to do something fast, then I had to redo all ‘cos my bodice didn’t fit the volume I created.
First of all I chose an olive green taffetà (which was in my stash) and an elastic
Then I sergered my waistband ‘cos this kind of fabric frays too much
If you’re following this making of as a tutorial, don’t follow these steps ‘cos they’re wrong!!!
Then I sewed and closed the waistband on the skirt
And I sewed it down with a white thread
Well, this is what I ended up with. A horrible waistband with too much volume. I wasn’t able to close my bodice so I had to redo it…
These steps are correct so you can follow them!
After I unstitched the whole mess I did, I started again. So, first of all I sewed an invisible zipper on one side
Then I gathered the whole skirt, matching its measurement with my waistline
I also redo the waistband adding a coutil ribbon in order to maintain a good shape
And finally I added it to my skirt. I finished the inner part with some invisible stitches instead of machine stitches
And this is the final result. Much better then the other one I think!
I hope you appreciated this project as I did. I’ve never sewed something like this before and I’ll surely do much more!
Thanks for reading!
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