Monday, January 21, 2013

Floral Sundress - Part 1

Last autumn I was shopping a sale at JoAnn's and came across some gorgeous cotton prints on clearance. I picked one out for my sister, and then drew several designs for her to choose from.

This is the design she picked. I was a little surprised that she wanted the bow, but she utterly insisted on keeping it.

The only major change we made was choosing a rust-colored fabric for the contrast instead of brown. Above you can see the pieces cut out, based on the same pattern I used to make her black bodice earlier in the year.

The detail I've been most excited about are the tiny, covered buttons on the back. I covered them with the contrast fabric, so that they match perfectly. Here you can see them on a close-up of the floral print.

The tricky part was making the button casings, which had to be sewn, trimmed, and turned inside out with the loop hook (visible in the second from the top tube). More on loop construction in part two.

After sewing the bodice, I did a second fitting and adjusted the seams at the top edges. It's not a luxury I get with a lot of my projects, as I have to work with a dress form and measurements - I can't do fine-tuning. So it's fun and satisfying to be able to do it with my sister.

I chose not to line the inside, as that works better for sundresses, and put the serger to good use. It was necessary to add facing to the top and back edges, and cut and hand stitch notches so that it could follow the curves properly.

Then the sash! Step one was fairly simple - just cutting matching pieces with diagonal edges and sewing them right sides together.

Step two involved inserting the gathers, which you can see here.

Ready to see the dress come together? Continue to Part 2!

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