Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Golden Glow Sparkle Dress Knock-Off Tutorial

 Here is my daughter's Christmas dress for this year. It was originally blogged over at Sewpony for The 12 Days of Christmas series. In case anyone is interested in making a similar dress I will show you how I made this one and share my experience and advice when working with sequin fabric.

Last month, a friend gave me a Little Skye catalog. Going through the pages, my daughter fell in love with the sequin dresses. I found some teeny tiny gold sequin stretchy fabric at a fabric warehouse, it was exactly the type of fabric I was hoping to find!

This is the perfect season to wear sequins. Adding *s*p*a*r*k*l*e* to the holiday season. The dress becomes one giant disco ball! Bringing light to our dark winter days.

She thinks the dress is gorgeous :)

I'm so pleased with the perfect fit and am thrilled that she loves it so much. She has already worn the dress, to church and to a gingerbread house decorating event. Running around in it, dancing, rolling on the floor. Happy news the dress did not fall apart! I must mention when she was decorating the gingerbread house she was wearing a long sleeve art smock I sewed her.

 Project Details
Patterns: Oliver + S Fairy Tale Dress, bodice 3 inches shorter (like I did for the Red Poppy Field dress) no darts (it is advised to avoid darts when sewing with sequin fabric), 'sleeve' shape adapted from Oliver + S Roller Skate Dress
If you are looking for a similar pattern that is all ready to go, try the Oliver + S Bubble Dress
Size: 5
Fabrics: teeny tiny flat gold sequin stretchy fabric, lining is light yellow cotton blend
Notions: 12 inch zipper

 My sewing notes: The key for me was to keep it as simple as possible, the fewer the seams the better, that is why I decided with no sleeves, do not cut fabric folded (to avoid that I cut out my front bodice pattern piece all in one piece), cut pattern out on the wrong side of the sequin fabric, use old rotary cutter and scissors that you don't care if they get dulled, I used a thin ballpoint needle size 9/65, zigzag stitch 0.5, long stitch 3.5, sew very slowly, finger press seams open, finger press hem, do hem with facing.

These were helpful when learning about sequin fabric: click here, here, here, and here.
 For the skirt I used 18 inches by 50 inches (which was the total width of the sequin fabric), the skirt has 14 pleats and it's about .75 inches deep for each pleat. First I finger pressed the pleats, pinned them, and basted them using the sewing machine.

 The most difficult part was sewing in the zipper. It did not turn out 100% perfect. I decided to not waste time and try to fix it because thankfully my girl has long hair to cover it up :) Hopefully I will do a better job of installing a zipper in sequin fabric the next time around.
 The dress is fully lined and the skirt lining is gathered.

 I used the skill that I learned sewing up the Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt when adding ribbon to the bottom of the hem in the front. Instead I used 1 inch wide polyester twill tape underneath. First machine sewing the twill tape to the bottom of the skirt fabric, then hand sewing the facing to the back of the skirt fabric, making an enclosed hem.
 I have to admit I was a little nervous about sewing a sequin dress because I've never worked with sequin fabric before! Cutting out and sewing up this dress went so much better than I thought it would. I was so fortunate to find such teeny tiny sequins. I really benefitted from the fact that the sequins were so small and flat.

There definitely was the potential for failing at this sewing project due to lack of experience. But I tackled my fear of sequin fabric! And I encourage you to tackle one type of fabric we've been afraid to sew with.
 Warning: when working with sequins be prepared to pick up all those little sequins ~ they end up all over the place! I read somewhere that it is suggested to lay down a large piece of fabric (like a bed sheet) under where you are cutting out the sequin fabric and where you are sewing it for a quicker and easier clean up.
 Not only was sewing up this dress a big learning experience for me, but it was also money saving.
.75 yards of teeny tiny gold sequin fabric $11.25
1 yard of lining fabric (light yellow cotton blend) $3.50
Zipper $1.31
Total cost to make $16

Golden Glow Sparkle Dress $196
Total savings $180
PS Looking for a similar sequin dress in a woman's size to knock off? Here's one.