Monday, February 21, 2011

Versace Inspired - Cutting & Construction Pt 1

It was with much anticipation and anxiety that I laid the navy blue wool lace on my cutting table.  As I laid the fabric out flat because the pattern pieces would need to be cut singly, I remembered why I got so much of this piece and at such a great deal...this is why:

Which wasn't a problem for this garment, the pattern pieces could be placed around these spots because they were spread infrequently throughout the fabric.  Other than that the cutting was soooooo simple compared to the patternwork which proceeded it.

Next up was beginning the construction process...and being the chicken that I am...I started with the back pieces first.  Each lace piece was pinned to and stitched to the fashion fabric.  Then the seams were pressed flat, open and finally pressed against the fashion fabric.

After realizing that these went together relatively easy, I took a big breathe and moved to the jigglesaw front pieces.  Of course assembling the front was a little more complicated.

a.  I marked and sewed the bust dart on the lace section first and then set it aside.

b.  The dart on the fabric side was marked and sewn next.

c.  The lace insert that forms the top of the bodice was sewn to the fabric section next...and pressed flat against the fashion fabric piece.

d.  Finally the side lace circle insert was sewn in using a 3/8" seam allowance and was clipped every 1/2" all the way around the seam.

This is a really important point...all the seams were pressed flat, then open and finally against the fashion fabric so that there would be no show through on the lace.

This is how the front looks right now pinned onto Lulu:

I thought this was a better representation of the dress than hanging flat on a hanger...and until I did this I was losing a little steam with the construction process.

So I've cut the lining from a dark navy blue rayon bemberg and I will assemble the lining and the shell of the dress this afternoon and stop there.  Why you ask?  Because I've gotten it into my head that the neckline edge and the sleeve hems need to have piping on them to add a finishing to the dress...and I've run out of navy blue piping. 

I'll head to Daytona Trimmings tomorrow to pick up some...well actually to restock.  Because when I went in search of the navy blue I realized that I'm running low on all the basic piping, white, red and navy blue.  More of each color will be bought to finish off this dress and for future projects.

A few observations:

~until I actually started the assembly process I didn't think/realize how much lace is in this dress...silly right since the inspiration dress is mostly lace...but I was concentrating so hard on the details, it didn't really register.

~the dress shell is lightweight probably because both fabrics feel lighter constructed than they did when folded and pulled from the fabric closet.

~I'm not sure yet about the belt and the button but since I still have time to decide about that I will concentrate on it later.

~there is probably another 6 hours of work to be done on the dress even after the lining and dress shells are completed.  So this dress will be finished next weekend...when I have another 3 day weekend.

It's been an interesting process and learning experience.  It really hit me that I enjoy interpreting a garment so much more than I like taking pattern pieces out of an envelope, making fitting changes and then sewing up a piece.  Besides replacing basics that I need, I think I'm going to do more of this type of sewing this year.  It really engages and challenges me more.  This is the second garment I've made this year in this manner, and I feel creatively like I'm firing all cyclinders when I use this process to sew versus the pattern/cut/sew method. always, more later!


  1. Looks awesome so far.

    Another 3 day weekend next weekend? Lucky!

  2. Looks great! Can't wait to see the finished dress.

  3. It's looking great so far. In fact, I like it better than the original!

  4. Wow!!!! This really looks great - can't wait to you finish it and model it for us!!

  5. This dress is coming along wonderfully. I was so happy to hear you are a enjoying the process.

  6. It's sot interesting to follow you on your creative process. Thanks for letting us in.

  7. Coming along really nicely. The fabrics are perfect. I know what you mean about enjoying the process and challenge of your "own" design, not one from the pattern books. You will be so satisfied with this when completed.

  8. I don't think it's uncourageous to start with the back - I think it's totally smart!

  9. You are amazing and inspiring to me. Last year I saw a top that I just loved and wanted to make it for my adult daughter. I did a drawing of it but haven't attempted it yet. It has a cut out like your dress. After reading your blog I am going to give it a try. Looking forward to seeing your dress.

  10. My dear,

    That dress is looking phenomenal so far. I love it. I can't wait until it is finished.

  11. I was showing my coworker your inspiration dress in the Instyle magazine yesterday at lunch, it totally blow her mind, lol, can't wait to see the results

  12. It looks really promising on Lulu! I am a long way from doing more than sewing from a pattern. I love following along when you make complex pieces from scratch though!

  13. Very nice rendition! Can't wait to see the finished product!!

  14. That looks amazing!

    I have a question, however, as I love the idea of dividing up a garment pattern with extra seams and then colour blocking (or fabric blocking, as in this case) - how comparable are the weights of your two fabrics, and if one is much lighter than the other, do they pull on one another to affect the hang of the dress? I'd be really interested to know, because it's what scares me the most about the process!


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