Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Ballgown for Taylor P., Part 4

I was going to have another day dress post, but I had some major issues with it so I put it aside until my blood pressure came back down and worked on the ballgown instead.

The ballgown skirt has been easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.  The bodice has been a nightmare.

First, the skirt:

Remember how last time I had the two huge panels of satins laid out across the floor with the Emerald green (E) over the Mint green (M)?  Remember how I pinned them across the top and it ate all of my flower pins?  Well I basted them together so that I could get my pins back.  Then I gathered it.  Yes, all of it.  Here it is, gathered, and put on Her Ladyship without a waistband.  Holy crap, all that fabric was HEAVY!
Ignore the sewing machine cord, please.  Couldn't find an extension cord anywhere.
I got a waistband on it and pinned it down for hand sewing on the inside later.

Next I sewed the E green braided trim onto the ruffled organza trim and then sewed those pieces in three places, at the front and on the two side seams (which, when gathered, ended up about halfway between the front and the actual side of the gown.)

I hemmed up the E overskirt and then pulled up the E into the trim to create a ripple effect:

This was hand stitched into place.

After that, I took some similar organza trim and made "fans" to accent the pulled up sections.  Each "fan" was topped with an organza flower with pearl cluster centers.  These were also hand stitched onto the skirt.

The skirt just needs the M underskirt hemmed up to walking length, and the waistband whipstitched into place and a closure on it and it will be finished.  I put it aside to see about the day dress but ultimately decided that the day dress will get my attention all day Saturday.

So that's when I tackled the ballgown bodice.

I'm modifying the pattern to fit my design, and that presented some... challenges.  I called in the reserves (awesome seamstress Aunt!) to help me through some of the parts that had me stumped, and together we conquered it.  I'll spare you the gory details, but for a few hours it was ugly.  Seams being ripped out and done over again.  Pins everywhere.  But we finally got it tamed.

I finally got all the right pieces in all the right places.

No, you aren't seeing double.  That's the bodice and the lining.
And the bodice and lining were matched up to be sewn together as one piece.
The skirt isn't the only part of this monster that kept nomming all of my flower pins!

Next: the bodice will be adjusted at the shoulders; the trim will be sewn together and then on.  The sleeves will go in.  The eyelets will be set in the back.  Laces will go through the eyelets and it will be done!


  1. I am tired READING about this! Cannot imagine DOING the work! Guess that is why I have sewing projects in drawers that I never finished! My hat is off to you! Love the trim and fan details! Can't wait to see it on it's owner!

  2. Gorgeous! Although I have cheated and seen the sketchings, but I must say it is absolutely divine!! I almost wish I were still doing re-enacting to commission you to do a piece for me! Ah well...I shall have to dream of finding the perfect material for my dress to go with my spencer so I can commission that instead! :}