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The Making Of A Dress II

We finished dying our silk. We now continue with the cutting of the fabric, basting (by hand of course), and sewing the different pieces.

Since silk georgette is as slippery as water, you can use a felt sheet underneath to keep it in its place. DO NOT USE pins, but rather weights. The pins will distort the fabric. Outline your patterns with a disappearing ink pen (always test on a piece of scrap first). As soon as you are done tracing the patterns, begin basting their entire outline with a contrasting thread.

Once all the pieces have been cut and thread traced, you can begin to put them together, sewing them by hand with a basting stitch. See below:

Basted Skirt Pieces

Basted Bodice Pieces

Silk georgette is semi-translucent, so we decided to add a nude interfacing to the torso pieces. This adds some stiffness, and body to the #fashion fabric, as well as opacity. When handling this kind of fabric, try not to stretch the #fabric. If you noticed, the pieces are at a 45 degree angle, a bias cut, making it susceptible to stretching. Another advantage about interfacing, is that you don't have to use french seams, as the fabric is not longer truly "sheer". You can finish the seam allowance edges with a zigzag stitch.

Once you are very sure that all the pieces fit perfectly, you may use your sewing machine for the permanent stitches. Go slow, you are not working in an atelier with a fashion show due in less than twelve hours, so take your time sewing it.

Use a short length stitch, a cotton thread, and a fine needle. Why cotton thread and not all purpose polyester? well, would you rather have the thread snap, or the fabric ripped? Personally, we prefer the former. We can always repair the broken thread not so much a ripped fabric. There other reasons for it, but we won't go into details here.

Below you can see the dress with the left side unfinished, this is where the closure goes. There are no flounces yet, because they are the last addition. At this point, try it on to see how it fits, then do the proper alterations.

As always, specially with V necklines, you must stabilize the edges with stay tape. This helps avoid any stretching or gaping while wearing it. The neckline is finished with a bias binding made out of the same fashion fabric. Also, on the same topic of bias and stretching, you must allow the skirt to hang with weights to get all the stretch out of it (read about Madeleine Vionnet and the pitfalls of bias cutting).

Meanwhile you can make your own #buttons and #loops for the closure:

We now continue with the flounces for the neckline and the skirt section. The hem of the flounce around the neckline is finished by machine using a roll hem presser foot (we prefer the industrial one for more control). The flounces around the skirt are attached by hand with a slip stitch, and the hem is also rolled by hand.

Flounce Patter for Neckline & Skirt

Rolled hem presser feet (left: industrial sewing machine, and right: home sewing machine).

Finished skirt flounce already attached to the skirt. 

 Rolled hem by machine (reverse side).

The neckline with the bias #binding and #flounce attached. Notice there are no gaps but rather the neckline sits perfectly against the body in the front and back.

This garment was created for educational & editorial purposes not for style purposes. It's perfect for a photo shoot in the south-western region of Andalusia, Spain.

Optional: you can make your own flowers to dress up the sleek hair.

The finished dress. Until next time!


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