There were two things that were invaluable to me in getting the dress shell constructed.
1. Lulu - even without legs and just sitting on a chair, she was invaluable to seeing how to put the top of the dress together because I couldn't work out the order on myself.
2. My silk organza pressing cloth - even with the sequins on the lace, I was able to use quite a bit of steam because of my silk organza pressing cloth.
First some stats:
My TNT dress pattern. I used the pattern pieces from this dress but use the v-neckline in the back of the dress from V8666.
4 yards of 4 ply navy silk crepe
2 yards of poly lace with clear sequins
14" invisible navy zipper
1 hook and eye
5 yards of navy piping
3 yards of navy rayon bemberg lining
After spreading the fabric out, I realized that I was describing my TNT dress just lengthened. So I choose the empire waist version with the banded middle to use to make the dress.
After cutting out the front and back pieces from both the lace and the silk crepe, I hand basted the lace to the silk crepe.
A back view of the top basted on Lulu...
Then I basted the piping around the neckline.
The band was cut from the silk crepe and stitched together. However, the lace was cut as one long piece, then hand basted to the band. The piping was then machine basted to both sides of the band.
I pinned the band to the top and carefully stitched the two pieces together. Then the seam was pressed to the center of the band and I stitched the piping flat by stitching in the ditch.
This was the most complicated and time consuming portion of making the dress. To make sure that everything worked...I took my time, measured twice and sewed slowly. I really wanted this to look as good as I could possibly make it.
The skirt was very easy compared to the top of the dress...just had to make sure it was long enough! After it was sewn to the top of the dress, the piping on the bottom of the band was stitched down using the same application as I used for the top of the band.
Next was the invisible insertion and let me tell you I was holding my breathe because even though I have managed to get the invisible zipper in on a band without making a horrible mistake lately, I really didn't want this one to end badly. So I made sure to mark the zipper per Summerset's instructions and basted it in. It's not perfect, the bottom piping is off just a smidge but it works and I'm going with it as is...
The lining and sleeves were next and I will discuss them in my next post!
...as always, more later!