Tag Archives: chiffon

Prom dress is finally out of my life!

27 Jun

A couple of months ago I mentioned that I was making my sister’s prom dress.

When I first offered it seemed like a nice idea- she could have something handmade, I’d have the chance to work on a big project and do something different. I quickly realised that actually this was a very stupid offer to make.

1. She wanted something made from chiffon. I dislike chiffon.

2. She wanted cut outs on the sides and an open back- 2 things I’ve never done before.

3. She wanted beading-   long.

 

Actually, the cutting and sewing process was fairly straight forward. Surprisingly, the first fitting was pretty close and I only had to make a couple of tweaks like pulling in the side seams and adjusting the zip.

The major problem came with the fact that my sister is tall. She sent me her height measurement which I set on my dress form and then added a few inches for the kitten heels she said she was wearing.

Everything plodded on, I did all the beading (more on that later) and then got her round to try on the dress with shoes so I could mark the hem.

She wore 6″ wedge heels people.

Who does that?!!!! She did this to me TWO DAYS BEFORE THE PROM!!!!

She also went back to her swimming training so she lost weight round her waist which was impossible to take in since I’d already beaded it and put on muscle on her shoulders so it took us about half an hour to get her in it.

I can honestly say this has been the most stressful week of my life. I had to order more fabric, pray it turned up in time and then attach an extra strip of fabric and hem it in the 2 hours I had between finishing work and her going to prom. It was the worst hem I’ve ever done. Ever. I had planned to take my time and do a rolled hem but that was just an impossibility and since there was 3 metres of hem I couldn’t even pin it before stitching, I just had to fold and stitch all in one go.

 

DSCF4720

 

She’s pulling a stupid face because she’s annoyed at me for taking 14697465902927 photos of her and her friends had just turned up. I’m just not cool enough…

So a bit about the dress:

I drafted the pattern. I spent ages looking for something similar but there was just nothing so I spent about 3 hours draping on my dress form. The main fabric is a burgundy chiffon from eBay and the lining is a really cheap (£1.45 p/m!) polyester ‘satin’ which felt really gross at first but I washed it in vinegar and tumble-dryed it (I’m getting good at that now!) and it felt lovely and smooth and soft afterwards.

There are 3 different fastenings on this dress: 2 invisible zips down the side and then 3 hooks on the shoulder. I can safely say invisible zips in chiffon are not fun.

DSCF4718

I was really excited about doing the beading part-that lasted about 5 minutes. I used silver and burgundy bugle beads, burgundy seed beads and strips of cerise and silver sequins and once I’d got 2 rows down I got fed up. My God that shit is boring.

Knitting is long- it takes me about 40 hours per cardigan- but I can watch tele at the same time. Beading takes all of your concentration and is just so mind-numbingly dull.

For anyone that’s interested; I couched them. That basically means threading a few beads ( I usually did about 5 or 6) and sewing that row down and then threading it back through the last bead. Thank goodness I did that because thanks to her new beefed-up shoulders we did pull some beads off. But only 5 or 6 instead of a whole row because of the way they were sewn on.

I don’t know if she was particularly happy with her dress. I’m not very happy with it to be honest- I’ve told her for her Year 13 prom I’m only doing it if she wants something simple and poofy!

 

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Biggest project yet- eek!

4 Apr

My sister is 16 and has her prom coming up in June or July (I really need to find out!) and we’ve been out a few times to try on dresses etc but prom dresses are expensive!! She trains for swimming like 5 times a week so she doesn’t have time for a part-time job and really she’s struggling to find the money to buy one.

I politely offered to make her one, not really knowing what she had in mind, to which she accepted.

After talking with her it turns out this is what she wants:

 

EEEEEEEEEEEEK!

That’s a lot of beading. And I’ve never worked with side cut outs before so this is going to be a challenge!

The fabric arrived this morning, which I’m just washing and then I’ll be getting started. I’m making the main body of the fabric in a lovely wine chiffon lined with wine ‘silk’ (not real silk, she is on a budget!)

I’ve taken out the idea of a side zip now, I think in favour of fastenings (I’m thinking hook and eye) at the shoulder or a hook and eye system at the side, but I’m wondering if she might be able to slip into it without any fastening since the back is so open. I think I’ve figured out the rest of the construction in my head, it’s just the doing-up part I’m not sure about. Any suggestions? And well wishes- I definitely need those!

chinelo bally

Dressmaker| Author| Blogger| Freehand cutter

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