Evening Dress - Part 3

LaurieNovember 17, 2009

This is a continuation of my earlier posts. The wedding is April 17, that's 5 months away. I am almost done with the skirt. Need to hem the fabric & lining & finish the slit opening. The top is almost done, as well. Just have not sewn the lining to the fabric.

I am still pondering what to do with the princess seams on the wrong side of the fabric. I have pressed several times and the ham that Myrna suggested is a great tool that helps the curves press flat. The seams are trimmed to 1/2"..right to the edge of my machine basted line. Sherry mentioned the possibility of using pinking shears to trim those seams shorter and I do have a pair (Wiss 9"). They are old and not very sharp. I've looked online at ways to sharpen them (foil folded or fine sandpaper folded...then cut through it several times). Or, maybe I'll just buy a new pair. As the seams are now, they press nicely, but don't stay that way. Kind of come away and I don't want extra "bulk" inside my top if I can help it. On the right side of the top, the seams look fine. Maybe I'm too concerned about the bulk inside, but it still bothers me.

While I'm wondering what to do about the top, I am going to cut out a sample jacket (the Vogue one in my first post). The Vogue dress size 18 seemed to work for me, so I was going to cut out the size 18 jacket to practice with.

When the dress & jacket are eventually done, Patti has got me interested in making a clutch purse...I am really looking forward to that : )

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If you think the pinking shears would help go for it. Just be careful maybe test on scrap.
Dupioni even with the batiste is not considered a stable woven fabric, You need run another stitch 1/4" from the already 1/2" basting before cutting with the pinking shears.
This also serves as a guide for not pinking too close.

When you clipped the seam did you stagger the clips or notches? One side of the clips are not exactly across from the other side or parallel.

May trying adding another basting stitch 1/4" from the 1/2" (same as in the pinking prep) trimming the seam allowance a bit more.

The clips should stop just before the stay stitching.

You could try hand basting, one thread strand, loosely tacking to underlining. Would be like hidden stitches catching the underlining under the seam allowance and bodice. Clear as mud? Refer to sewing book on hand stitches, hidden or maybe catch stitch..

Jacket: Go for it, if you added any length to top add to jacket also, would still use the one inch seams.

Have Dentist appointment tomorrow, LOL 2 fabric stores on the way.. Be home after 3 EST.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 4:46PM
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Try cutting up fine sandpaper. You have to do it a few times to work. When I took a quilting course-- we cut our templates out of sandpaper. It works good because the sandpaper sticks to the cotton and makes cutting out your quilt pieces easier. Anyway I was surprised how it sharpened my scissors.

What a lovely idea to make an evening bag. If you can sew that dress you can certainly make an evening bag. I think it would finish off your look perfectly.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2009 at 6:14PM
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I would go for the hand stitching rather than the pinking. I don't think pinking would have them lay any flatter. Did you try running your thumbnail over the seams on the wrong side after you've pressed. Sometimes this makes them lay flatter than the iron.

Pattie is right about the length but as this is a different pattern than the top. Measure the length on both pieces. You want the jacket longer than the top and the widest part of the darts at your waist.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2009 at 7:30AM
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Myrna, The finger or thumb pressing does help. On small areas sometimes a new wooden spoon can also apply the pressure too. Sewing Clappers are sometimes useful but think a little over kill on the silk..
Laurie is going to try the hand stitching on the top.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2009 at 1:22PM
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I am so excited this day is finally here where I can show you pictures of the completed dress!!!

I hand stitched (catch stitch) the princess seams on the inside of the top to keep the bulk down. The skirt still needs the hook & eye closure on the waistband. There are several things which I need to improve upon, but I am still very happy with this dress : ) My understitching at the neck, armholes & skirt slit is not so great. Maybe after I do a bit more detailed & light pressing, it will look much better. There's still a little wrinkling on the lower back area of the top. It may be possible to move those last 2 buttons over a bit to give a little more slack. I would still wear it as is, because the wrinkles don't bother me that much.

Side note: I bought a new suit to do my swim workouts, so that strap tan on my upper back will be gone in a couple months.

For the next 5 months, what's the best way to "store" this dress? Hanging inside an extra plastic bag that I have from the dry cleaners? Does this fabric need to "breathe"?
Do I need to worry about moths?

Thank you to all GW members for your support! This dress couldn't have been done without you!
An extra shout out to Patti & Myrna, my sewing angels : )

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 8:36PM
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Laurie, So proud, You did a great job, needs a little tweaking but think by letting it hang for several days and pressing it will be wonderful.
Might even take to a dry cleaners to have it pressed.

Storing, you can use plastic or even wrap with sheet, pinning or basting top of leaving opening for hangers..
Consider hanging the top on a padded hanger..
Make sure that it is not being crushed, and long enough to cover length of the skirt.

Big Hugs Patti

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 10:06PM
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Congratulations Laurie: It looks lovely on you

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 11:16PM
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Nice work, Laurie. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 1:22AM
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Congratulations, Laurie. Great job; beautiful dress. Please post a picture of you wearing it at the special event for which you made it.

I've just been a lurker but have been here through Parts 1-3. I'm going to save these threads as they contain such useful information with the great photos you took all along the way. Thanks Laurie and all those who helped to create such useful step-by-step lessons on doing it the right way.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 9:53AM
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Patty, Myrna, Sherry & gininmn - Thank you for your kind words : )
It's good to learn that I could make a storage cover/bag with a basted sheet.
I will post a picture of me wearing it at the wedding. Hopefully by then, it will be properly pressed and look even better.
I'm looking forward to making the jacket and then the clutch purse!

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 12:04PM
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good design!good work!

Here is a link that might be useful: Wholesale Formal Evening Dresses

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 2:01AM
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That looks so smart on you! The color is wonderful and for my 2cents worth, I'd get the outfit pressed at a dry cleaners but I'd point out the areas you were concerned with - don't want pressing lines showing. You really did a super job and I applaude your talented efforts. The basted sheet storage cover sounds like a great idea....Budster

    Bookmark   April 11, 2011 at 4:56PM
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Only now do I realize the date of the post.....LOL ! Trust me to be jumping in and not checking things out. Budster

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 1:12PM
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Thank you! The professional pressing did help quite a lot!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2011 at 12:41PM
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I was stumped, but then found what think is the final thread.

Link to the jacket.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Evening Dress Jacket

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 3:01PM
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Re: pressing seams flat.

Don't forget the technique (maybe you're doing it already) of pressing the stitching (laying the sewn pieces flat on the ironing board) just after you've sewn it and *before* you press it open.

I made my wedding dress out of dupioni, and the seams pressed pretty crisply. But I think I did press the stitching first. Then I pressed the seams to one side, then to the other, and last of all, pressed the allowances open.

And then I pressed from the *right* side.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2014 at 3:01PM
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