What do you usually do about the fact that your dress form's, um, bosoms are probably smaller than the live ones that will go into the dress?
I have a set of foam pieces that can be used to pad out the form, some are kind of shoulder shaped, some are more hip shaped, some are tummy shaped, and some are breast shaped. I bought them online somewhere, but for the life of me I can't remember the brand name or the web site 'cause it was over a year and a half ago.
Although, to tell you the truth, I usually don't worry about it. It's never actually been an issue because I try everything on the live person at every step of the way anyway.
Step Six: Sewing the Overdress
When I originally sewed the Underdress I basted it together using a zig-zag stitch and 3/8" seams, and saw that was too big. I did not trim any of the seam allowances after sewing since I was just basting.
After finishing the Underdress I had Swivel try it on and saw how much I needed to take the garment in. I calculated that if I used 5/8" seams that would make the garment snug enough, so I resewed all the seams at 5/8" and then trimmed the extra fabric out of the seams (actually, I am using a serger at this point, so that all happened automatically).
When I made the overdress I sewed it with 5/8" seams from the start. Note that if you made any alterations to the Underdress, the same alterations need to be applied to the Overdress -- you want the two layers to be as close to the same as possible, except one is longer than the other.
Note that I have not sewn any of the layers together or done anything about sleeves yet. I'm not going to put the layers together until after I've added the chiffon skirts, and I'm putting the sleeves in last so that they will be attached to all the various layers.
[ 01-15-2002: Message edited by: Laura La Gassa ]
First of all I want to add my fervent thanks for writing such clear instructions and including pictures. It is a great public service! I'm definitely going to pick up a copy of that book you recommended.
Second, I have a question about the underdress. My recollection of my ballgown (not made by me, and of course I'm not at home where I can look at it) is that there was simply the dress over the leotard. What does the underdress do?
[ 01-10-2002: Message edited by: Sania ]
The underdress gives me a place to attach a second (or more) layer of chiffon skirt. There will be chiffon gores in the dress, and then a chiffon skirt underneath. I felt that one layer of chiffon in the gores was too sheer, and although I suppose I could make the gores multi-layer I thought I'd try this approach. I also think, with this particular white material, that the dress looks better with an extra layer. This first time I've actually tried this sort of thing.
It's great that you are posting all the steps to making a dress. Maybe I can make you one next tima? Or maybe not, because i cannot sow.
I just wanted to say thanx again for working on my dress.
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Right now, I'm sewing my own dress for the upcoming "Royal Ball" on February 2. It's challenging (not only because it will be my second dress EVER ), because it's going to be ORANGE! (The Dutch crownprince is getting married on February 2 and the national color is orange, so there you go )
This topic is a great reference, I'm following all the steps closely Thanks Laura for posting your "step by step gown construction project"!
Thank you for this topic. It takes the mystery out of dressmaking. I'm not sure if I have enough courage to try this but it's filling me with thoughts that I could make my own!
Laura - your work seems very professional.
What is your work area like? Do you have a large counter space/table for cutting out your material? That is where I have a most trouble unless I am sewing something that is very short. When you begin working with layers and layers of chiffon, limited space can be not only irritating but also can cause the material to slide and possibly end up being cut incorrectly.
How about a picture of your entire sewing area.
Thanks for all the tips.
Ok, hang on, I will go take some pictures of what my husband terms "Laura's Sewing Empire."
You will be appalled at how messy I am.
Be back in a few,
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