Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Very Special 'Special Occasion' Dress

(Aka How to sew a Communion dress Part 2)

(Part 1 covers most of the sewing detail & the patterns used)

The Communion dress was finished in plenty time and my niece loved it, so much so she wants to keep it forever! (Lucky I sewed that garment bag!)

For a first time sewing a dress like this, I was very pleased with how it looked.

 

All the seams of the chiffon were French-seams, which is recommended for this type of sheer fabric that can fray badly.

The chiffon was difficult to work with not only because it frays, but also my basic sewing machine doesn't handle very lightweight fabric well.

 

The dress was lined with a silk cotton fabric which I had in my stash. The picture shows the step just before I sewed the armholes, and then pushed each back piece through shoulders to turn the dress right side out. I can guarantee that I held my breath for the turning part!!!

 

 

 

 

 

I also added a layer of soft netting to the skirt portion of the dress. This was sewn between the outside layer and the lining, so that it wouldn't irritate her skin.

To ensure the netting would hold it's shape while she sat and walked, I added broiderie anglaise trim to the lining hem, then turned it up to enclose the folds of the net. This also made the inside of the dress neater.

 



There was only one fitting and I made a few changes. I recut the bolero from the Brooklyn Shrug pattern in the book Sewing Clothes Kids Love, and took out the gathers on the sleeve cap. The curve of the front needed to be reduced (tucked under in the picture) so that it wouldn't hide the lace trim. The placement of the lace was altered to follow the line of the princess seam.

The folds of the chiffon sash didn't hold well or lie very flat, so I sewed it from the inside with invisible thread.

 

 

 

 

 

It suited her so perfectly.

 



Sometimes I take my sewing skills for granted, or get caught up in the little details that I think are not perfect, or should have sewn differently. In focusing on the tiny details it is so easy to miss the bigger picture.

As her godmother, it was such an honour to be trusted with making this dress for my niece. What made it even better was how much she enjoyed the process, and how delighted she was to be so involved in the design of her special dress. She loved that it was made just for her.

 

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10 comments:

  1. The dress is gorgeous, Angela!

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    1. Thanks Cindy, and most importantly she really loved it :-)

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  2. Goodness! This is amazing!! great job!!

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    1. Kathy, I'm not sure about 'amazing' "blushes"! But thank you :-)

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  3. Oh, it's just precious, great job! I'm also following you on Bloglovin' now and not just Twitter! So, will keep up to date with what you sew.

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    1. Thank you :-) and for the follows!!!

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  4. Wow! This dress is amazing. Love the heart detail.

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    1. Thanks Marsha, the heart detail was all her idea :-)

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  5. Such a beautiful dress. Having just made my first prom dress for my friend's daughter I know how wonderful it feels to make something like this for someone so special. I love the details. Gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you Janene :-) You're so right, it's an extraordinary feeling, the intensity of sewing it and then to see it being worn and enjoyed :-) And it's such an honour to be trusted with the job.

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