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Forum > Pattern Modifications, Design Changes & Pattern Drafting > Pleated/gathered waist embellishment

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Pleated/gathered waist embellishment
How would you do this?
HarrietHomeowner

HarrietHomeowner  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/18/13 8:14 PM

I am refashioning a dress to make it look a little more stylish, and on my "rant" about it (in the "rants" thread), someone suggested adding some sort of wrap at the waist, something like this (but w/o the jeweled ornament -- don't know if this pic will show up):


The dress has a loose empire waist and it is a synthetic velvet with a little stretch. There is no zipper or other closing. I shortened the original long sleeves to cap length and can use the extra fabric to make the belt.

My question is: what is the best way to form and attach it to the dress? Does this make sense? I can try to post a picture if necessary. Thanks for any advice.

ETA: no, the picture wouldn't post, so here's a link:

Dress with gathered waistband
-- Edited on 10/18/13 8:16 PM --

LauraTS
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LauraTS  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/20/13 3:20 PM

Hm. If you want it ruched, you'll have to have something to ruche it to - either a back of the belt that's flat, or the dress itself. But if the dress is already made that will be hard, especially if you want to keep the stretch factor. Maybe a knit belt ruched to a knit backing, something that's not permanently attached to the dress so you can remove it to get in and out of the dress?

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Miss Fairchild
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In reply to HarrietHomeowner <<
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Date: 10/20/13 4:59 PM

What about a piece of chiffon or something heavier, maybe georgette, and using round elastic to gather it in certain areas? For example, start of with a length of fabric twice as wide as your intended result, and as long as you want it. Then, about every 4-5", stitch a piece of round elastic, vertically to the fabric. Stretch the elastic as you sew. When the belt is finished, hand tack a light cotton fabric, maybe batiste, to the back for added stability and to create a lining. Instead of hand tacking you could stitch the backing with your sewing machine, using a large stitch and stitching on the long edges

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a7yrstitch
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In reply to HarrietHomeowner <<


Date: 10/20/13 5:20 PM

Do you wear a necklace when you play? If not, here is an idea for your velvet dress.

Follow the neckline with a faceted bead to capture the light. These could go shoulder to shoulder on just the front.

Study the nap of your fabric cut from shortening the sleeves. If the nap is noticeable in the light, cut and stitch together sections of fabric for your belt so that the nap all runs in the desired direction. Space out the front segments so that you can attractively repeat the neckline trim down the seam lines between segments at the front center of your belt. Say you had three inch segments, you could center a segment on your front center and accent the seam lines of that segment and the adjacent two segments with the faceted beads or trim.

Since you have to move in your dress, I was thinking elastic shirring in the back or at the sides of the belt to allow for movement. Wondered if stepping into a belt (meaning no fasteners) made the most sense for this event. Braided matched thread belt loops with snaps could secure it at the sides, or a couple of basted stitches, or safety pins from the under side of the side seams. It would be tempting to secure at both side seams and also at two points across the back - presuming you need to move aggressively when you play.
...................................
An inner belt could be another comfortable option. Stitch in a sort of 'pleating' tape on the inside of the high waist - perhaps the top stitching at the seam and the bottom stitching below the seam. Leave uniform gaps in the 'pleating' tape that would create an outward tucks or pleats.

If it is just a bit of excess that you are trying to tame, you could stitch a run of elastic button loops to the inside of the empire waist. It should be achievable with a stitch in the ditch approach. Then run elastic through the button loops on the inside to belt in the fabric. This should streamline the dress without impeding your movement.

On tv, there are often closeup views to allow scrutiny of the dresses if that is what one is watching, but most of the details will not be visible to an audience - just the shape. I think that we, the audience, are totally focused and mesmerized on performance, and hands, and fingers, and arms, and shoulders, and posture, and facial expression. If we are watching, we are watching to see how you feel and express the music. We are watching, in fascination, your execution.

Shortening the sleeves as you have will nicely highlight your shoulder line and help even those in the back row appreciate your movement and flow with your performance. Are your sure that you need any further embellishment?

Seriously, consider checking your shortened sleeves to see if they work with the shoulder to frame your neckline and provide a nicely proportioned ribbon of color contrast to showcase your arms in motion. Please accept that you are the embellishment to the evening.

One last thought. Forget belting the dress. Try pinning in loose princess darts from the high waist down in the front for shaping only, not for a close fit. And pin in elastic from high waist side seam to side seam across the back only. Perhaps that will comfortably streamline the dress for you.

If there is an after party, you well know that a simple shawl in a fabulous fabric will provide an extra bit of pop when your artistry in motion must cease while you and your instrument are parted.

Congratulations on your accomplishments. I hope that the evening proves to be magical for you and the audience.

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HarrietHomeowner

HarrietHomeowner  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/20/13 7:27 PM

Thank you all for taking the time to respond. I'll let you know what I end up doing!

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