|Pattern Description: Close-fitting, lined, princess seam dresses A, B have interfacing and boning in bodice, lapped zipper closing. A: contrast band and bow. B: contrast lace overdress with scalloped edge trim, contrast drape with purchased decorative pin and covered buttons in back.|
This is a basic princess seam strapless dress. My niece asked me, about a year ago, to make her wedding dress and I said yes... then panic set in. I was totally honored that she thought so much of my sewing that I could make her wedding gown! She sent me some photos of dresses and luckily it wasn't anything too difficult and she was really easy to work with.
Her weight didn't fluctuate and she trusted my judgment and suggestions.
Pattern Sizing: Misses 6-22. I made the size 12 and did a full bust adjustment along with lots of fitting, starting with a muslin, along the way.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? yes on the outside, but there was a lot of engineering going on in the inside that wasn't in the pattern instructions.
Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions are very basic and do not give you any techniques that you really need for a wedding dress. I used Susan Khalje Couture sewing book AND started this dress (and got about 75%) of it done in Susan's week long couture class. The pattern instructions do not discuss the corset, bustle, anything. It does talk about boning but the boning only goes to the empire waist line. (useless) I decided this dress would be a perfect match for Susan's class which I had been wanting to take.
I made a muslin first and fitted it before my class with Susan Khalje. I started Susan's class with a really good fitting muslin that became my pattern.
marked muslin pieces
Susan's class gave me all the couture details and Susan gave me all the help I needed. I completely took advantage of her and that class and asked a zillion questions along the way. She is so helpful! My husband asked how or if the class helped and I said YES. The class made it a beautiful couture dress instead of a trial and error potential mess and made the entire process less frustrating. Khalje fitting dress
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? It is a basic princess seamed dress.
Fabric Used: The dress is completely lined in silk charmuese, underlined in silk organza, the main fabric is dutchess satin with a lace overlay. Here is a close up of the lace and satin. fabric
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: I made a corset using the an extended bodice piece. The corset goes from top to below her waist/hip and carries the weight of the dress. This dress stayed up through a long night of dancing. 13 steel boned corselette the corset has a hook and eye closure, waist stay, and boning. it is fitted very very tight and when you think it is tight enough, you make it tighter. I washed, to shrink the fine cotton fabric before sewing the dress. I asked Susan why did I have to preshrink it if I am not going to wash dress. She said all the steaming and ironing would make it shrink, so the cotton, a fine soft, but sturdy cotton should be preshrunk and dried. the corset it attached to the top of the dress. and then hand sewn to tack down
After the muslin of the dress was fitted and all the pieces were marked, those marked pieces were used to cut out the silk organza underlining. The cut out organza pieces were then marked with grain, seams, and all identifying information using WHITE tracing paper. (I had t look at it at certain angles to see the markings, but I can see why you would not want to use any color paper) Once the organza was cut and marked then that was used to cut out the fashion fabric. the organza was set right side down on to the wrong side of the dutchess satin, cut and pinned; then those two layers were set right side down on to the wrong side of the lace which was all hand basted together along the seam line and then treated as 1 piece. fabric layers
I did the bustle using ribbons under the back at 7 points and attached them to seams and then color coded the ribbons using embroidery thread. It was like a roman shade under the dress.
The zipper was installed by hand. The lace at the top of the bodice and at the hem was sewn on by hand as was the linen ribbon around the waist. this dress had a lot of hand sewing and I found it really enjoyable and relaxing. (I always had to look at my hands and my surroundings before working on it to make sure I didn't have any dirt or objects that could stain it nearby - and always used a pressing cloth)
I liked using silk thread to baste as it sewn in and came our really smoothly.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? If I had to make another strapless dress, this is a really good pattern. You definitely need Susan Khalje's book because the pattern doesn't have any couture techniques.
I also highly recommend Susan's class if you can swing it. She is so patient and knowledgeable. It was the best class I've ever taken. It really changed the way I sew. I also met some really nice ladies who made some really beautiful garments. It was a great 6 days.
I had other pictures I took during construction, and now can't find them. But I think the pictures I have give you the jest.
Conclusion: I enjoyed making the dress but am glad it is over. Making this dress was somewhat stressful because it wasn't for me and I felt it needed to be perfect. One of my nieces asked me at the wedding if I'd do another one, and I said, maybe, but for now, that is checked off the "bucket list".
Here is a photo of me, my sister in law, and niece in our dresses all made by me three dresses Those dresses were previously reviewed here
mother of the bride dress review
my dress review