Sunday, January 13, 2013

The 2-in-1 Party Dress

{Part of this post was first posted on the Project Run and Play blog last week, I'm reposting it here in case you missed, plus I'm adding some more details...}

 This was one of my ideas of remixing The Party Dress, a free pattern and tutorial by The Cottage Home. I'm a huge fan of this silhouette! One of my absolute favorite things to sew is a party dress (special occasion, holiday wear, church/Sunday School, flower girl type...) like the: Jingle Bell Dress, Bow Dress, Purple Rose Party Dress, The Little Blue Dress, Purpledicular Dress, Gabriella Dress Knock-Off, Red Christmas Fairy Tale Dress. Party dresses are a super fun way of expressing your creativity. Think of it as a cake and you get to decorate it any way you want to.

Some of the changes I made to The Party Dress pattern/tutorial were...  instead of having the button closure in the back, I installed an invisible zipper and added a hook and eye closure. I sewed French seams for the side seams of the skirt and used liquid seam sealant on the skirt back seam. I went monochromic. And I created a narrower sash, downsizing it to the width of the beaded trim that I found.

I sewed a regular dress in size 4, then also a sheer silk overlay in size 5, making a second look possible, adding versatility to my little girl's wardrobe. By creating a sheer silk overlay The Party Dress becomes The 2-in-1 Party Dress. The silk sash with beaded trim can tie around either version of the dress.
There were a couple of little details that I added to the sheer silk overlay. Since the tutorial calls for a construction where you need to topstitch around the armholes, I decided to make the finished edges prettier since this is sheer fabric and that means all the seams show, so with machine embroidery I added embroidered topstitching around the armholes and decided to continue this same idea around the neckline as well.
 What looks like large polka dots on the skirt band are actually fabric flower petals which I found at the local craft store in the cake decorating section.
 I simply tucked in these fabric flower petals into the skirt band as I was sewing along.
 So I actually made the skirt band an encased hem (like a bias bound hem ~ just think of the skirt band as really wide bias tape) and did the topstitching on the skirt band part. I ended up making the skirt band 7 inches wide instead of 5 inches in order for the flower petals to fit.

I added thread belt loops to both the dress and the sheer overlay by using this vintage belt loops tutorial.

 I also made a cardigan sweater to with it... I bought this white cashmere sweater at a church bazaar...
 intended for me to wear...
 but later discovered this hole in it...
 so I downsized it to my daughter's size, finishing off the bottom and sleeve hems with this lovely Liberty of London bias tape that a friend sent me...
 then I removed the yellow buttons and replaced them with white buttons.

See you here tomorrow when I'll be blogging about stripes and polka dots...