Finished my dress in time to wear it to my friend’s Oscars party! Literally within an hour of leaving, ;). I used BurdaStyle 11/2014 #121 Hourglass Lace Gown which can be purchased for $5.99 here. There are not seam allowances added into the pattern so adding those was fun and time consuming, ugh. Then apparently the printout pattern pieces had been updated since creating the instructions because there was no 6 and 6a on my pattern printout, only a piece 6. And I did not need to add any length to pieces 1, 2, or 3.
Ran into a few snags but made corrections as I went along. Thinking maybe I should have purchased that online sew-a-long but it’s ok. One snag was the directional queue “cut interfacing according to the shaded areas on the cutout layout”. “Shaded areas” was very difficult to determine. It looks like I should have cut interfacing to about the waist of each piece but it was very unclear. There were interfacing lines marked on 2 pattern pieces for the batting so I just used this as my interfacing line. I mean, logically, “interfacing line” should be interfacing, right? Maybe too short but I figure it was more to support the bust than anything else as the back has no interfacing other than on the lining and the front has it all plus some batting. Then I decided to use black interfacing which works great for the bulk of the dress as it is black but not the chiffon backed lace panels…
This was the second snag. The chiffon turned out to be much more sheer than I would prefer, by “sheer” I mean absolutely see through. So I ended up using two layers of chiffon backing which creates a nice sheerness and not see through. The top portion is lined but only to about the upper hip. As for the interfacing even white would be completely visible so I ended up not interfacing the lining at all for the lace panel sections. It was only going to be interfaced about an inch anyway by the way I cut everything so I did not feel it was necessary. I couldn’t find skin toned chiffon at any of the local Jo-Ann’s, so I bought white and dyed it with tea. I didn’t soak it long enough the first time so tea-dyed the pieces a second time and longer. Much better color. Then when I went in search of more chiffon for a second layer I found a flesh toned in the color champagne and used that under the tea dyed chiffon.
So after all of those changes the lace side panels looked great with the second layer of chiffon and I also cut 2″ off the hem and ended up putting in a 2″ blind hem. I was able to use my serger to cut off the extra 2″ and finish off the inside edge of the hem. If I were to make this dress again I would cut off 3″ from the length and just do a 1″ blind hem. It looks so nice other than some extra fabric in the hem here and there because of putting in a 2″ hem instead of 1″ or 1.5″. The pattern recommended hem was 1 5/8″.
Other notes. I did not use the recommended 36″ wide lace and used 60″ wide as that is what I had found. Note to self, only needed about 3 yards, not 4. And because I doubled up on the chiffon, needed about 4 yards of that one, not 2.
Over all everything from the waist down and the back fit great. I couldn’t find a 24″ invisible zipper so I used a 22″ and it worked just fine. The sleeves were a bit tight and I had to bring them in considerably in the front. I realize now I should have taken the 1″ of length I had added to the bodice out of the front sleeve yoke. Duh! I just love the lace though! Sewing the sleeves to the shoulder yokes was tricky being lace but I discovered wonder clips work great. No more needles falling out of the lace as I try to sew, ;).
I am not 100% happy with the fit of the bodice. In my mock up I had put in a 3.5″ FBA and it had been a tad big so I took out a 1/2″ and somehow it seems that the finished dress bust ended up larger than my mock up. I may decide to take the top portion of the front bust apart, cut out new bust pieces, rearrange the front sleeve should yoke, and take out about 3/4″ from the bust area. So basically I would end up with a 2.25″ FBA, or maybe just take out a whole inch for a 2″. Normally with McCall patterns I do between a 3 and 4″ FBA and those are made with B cups. BurdaStyle is designed for a C cup.
I also want to state, I LOVE MY SERGER!!! It took me about an hour to learn how to re-thread it after one of the threads broke but it helped me to finish all of inside seams so nicely. It did two steps for me at the same time: trimmed off the excess fabric and finished the edges and inside seams. You can see in the photo below how the left side looks so much better than the right. Got rid of all those pesky fraying threads!
And the finished insides, it just looks so beautiful, :).
Photo of the front view on my dress dummy.
The back view, the back had the same gathering as the front plus this nice small train in the back. I have seen several makes of this as a wedding dress.
Close up of all that gathering
Close up of the bustier portion. If it were just a tad tighter it would be perfect.
And look at that sleeve detail! Instead of putting a loop so I can actually button or un-button the sleeve vent I just sewed the button on to close it up and used these beautiful pearl buttons I found, :). They added a nice finished detail.
I didn’t get a lot of photos of me wearing the dress but I have one of me and the boy on the “red carpet”, ;).