Sunday, April 21, 2013

Construction Details for a Spring Wool Crepe Dress

The cold and the dark are gone.  The mornings get brighter earlier.  The days are not only light longer but they're getting warmer too and I feel like the bears that have come out of hibernation...this is MY time of year.  I love spring!  I love warm breezes and sunny days.  I may not be an outdoors kinda girl but I love this time of year especially because it means that I can wear skirts and dresses ALL.THE.TIME!

So of course my next project is a dress.  Hey, you knew that before I typed it! *LOL*  AND of course it's from my tried 'n true (TNT) dress pattern.  I made this dress back in 2008.



Lace was used to emphasize the pleat on the front of that version but this time I went with my next favoritest embellishment, piping, since I've sewn a lot of lace lately.  Yes, I know I've been piping everything in sight too but I need just a touch of white for this dress and I can add it best with some piping.  

I'm starting with a lime green lightweight wool crepe from Mood Fabrics... 


This will be my Mood Garment for the month and the first dress in my, "Fun in the Sun Summertime Dressing" Collection.  So besides discussing what I'm making, I wanted to share some of the construction details...

First up was making the pleat. I've done a pictorial version of the instructions this time but the original dress post contains concise directions also.

Added 3" to the dress center front

Full length view of the 3" added to the dress front

Marking the cutting line for the neckline

To sew the pleat, I sewed a line of stitching where the original "place on fold line" was then I pressed it down and flat.


The next sequence of pictures is how the dress was assembled.


Piping added to the neckline

White 2" lace added to the lining hemline

Close up view of the lace

Lace seam tape was added to the dress hem so it
would match the lining lace

The neckline and pleated front with white piping

Sleeve with piping detail at the hemline

Sleeve inserted into the dress

The dress took about 10 hours to make between Saturday and Sunday.  I know  because I clocked the time.  See after watching The Great British Sewing Bee, I wanted to know how long it takes me to complete a dress with a lining.  Yes, I did add a degree of difficulty by using so much piping on the dress but you know I wasn't going to have an unembellished dress.  Just wasn't going to happen. *LOL*

The most time-consuming parts of the dress were the piping (of course) because I hand stitch all of the piping down before sewing it into a seam.  Also, the sleeve hems needed to be faced and the hems (both dress & sleeves) were hand stitched.  

I did figure out that I can cut out and sew my dress shell together in two hours ~ that's including sewing in the invisible zipper.  It's adding all of that extra stuff that takes so much time...but it's all of the extra stuff that I really like and what makes the dress so special to me!

The dress featured above has been retired.  I loved wearing it and it's why I wanted another one.  The lime green & white shout spring to me and I'm loving the combo...so here is an outtake from the photos taken earlier this afternoon...


The dress will appear on the Mood Sewing Network on Tuesday.

...as always more later!


34 comments:

  1. Very nice! Do love the piping - just the right touch.

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  2. The piping is a great touch, love the green.

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  3. I absolutely love the color combination. It's bold, vibrant and fun....everything about it screams spring.

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  4. I'm loving that color on you!

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  5. I love the colour of your dress. The white piping gives it such a fresh look. Very classy with the matching lining and the lace.

    Beautiful.

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  6. Oh Carolyn...that is just to die for! Can't wait for the full reveal! You really know how to rock the dress :)

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  7. From the one photo with you wearing it, that's a great color on you! Love the extra details, and yes! I too want to know how long it takes me to sew now, after watching the Great British Sewing Bee!

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  8. Beautiful dress. Great way to welcome the warmer weather.

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  9. Lovely! I so like your use of piping--on a recent post you mentioned the need to use light interfacing on the neck, sleeves, etc that are to be piped. However, I didn't see that step on this dress--Is it not always necessary?

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  10. What a stunning dress! The piping is such a stylish feature. I guess you have sent all the dark and cold to us Down Under - we are loosing our light and warmth rather quickly at the moment...J

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  11. Great color for this dress and the piping is really nice touch.

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  12. oh my goodness - a beautiful 'springy' dress - love the color !

    ...and after watching 'the Bee' I DON'T want to know how long projects take me LOL

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  13. This dress absolutely says "Spring"!!! I love the color and you were exactly right about the piping.

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  14. Can't wait to see this pretty dress in full, Carolyn! Love the color.

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  15. Happpy Spring! This dress is a great way to start the season. The green/white combination looks stunning on you.

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  16. what yummy, yummy color for spring!

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  17. The lime green and white look so nice on you! Thank you for sharing your process.

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  18. I can't wait to see this is in all it's glory! I love that pretty green with the white piping - definitely screams spring :D

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  19. What a beautiful color for spring! I'm looking forward to seeing it for real.

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  20. Fabulous work..LOVE the piping. You are such an inspiration!

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  21. Thank you - thank you - thank you! What a wonderful dress and the piping and lace really do the trick, don't they? Love it! g

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  22. I love this dress, the color is beautiful. I've not done piping except for decorator pillows and I should try in on garments too.

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  23. Inspired by you, I'm on a mission to create my own TNT dress pattern this year. The first version I'm making is a teal wool crepe, and it was impossible to find a zipper that matched, so with some trepidation, I bought a black one. This post tells me, hey, pipe the neck and sleeves in black and it'll be a statement! What do you like to use for piping on your wool crepe dresses?

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  24. Great combo or fresh spring color and piping detail! You always come up with the most beautiful things.

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  25. yay fun sun colors! i was in a land of sherbet colored yardage this weekend.

    can i just say i love your outtake?

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  26. Lovely! I just discovered your blog and now have it in my reader. Thanks for the good pictures and simple information!

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  27. Love this color! And the piping! Am I sensing a little retro vibe here?

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  28. This is such a perfect color! I love it!

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  29. Wonderful spring color combo! I'm lovin' it...

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  30. I really like how you added a front pleat, and the piping just adds that something special to the dress. Fresh and Fun :-)

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  31. Great looking dress in crisp spring colors.

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