Lacey Spring Dress

I’ve had this mint green lace in my stash for awhile and finally decided what to make with it. Another Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book dress!

I used her wedding dress as my starting point. I used the sweetheart neckline strapless bodice top in nude lining under a lace overlay in the boatneck style for which I salvaged the lace and attached it to the neckline. Then I used the cap sleeves in lace only before attaching it all to a self-drafted half-circle skirt with pockets! And I salvaged more lace to hem the skirt bottom. So yeah, a lot of hours went into this dress but I love it!

I made it in a size 10 with 3″ FBA, but that’s about the only adjustments I made. It is fully lined and the lace skirt portion is underlined. I was a good seamstress and let the skirt hang for a few days before evening out the skirt and hemming. I was having trouble underlining it when flat pinning the underlining and lace together, so I did that part while hanging it on my dress form. Worth the time.

I used spiral steel boning because it’s the best. I’ve used Rigilene and the plastic stuff, but spiral steel boning is amazing! I then make my own boning channels using Petersham ribbon. I plan to add a waist stay at some point.

As for other techniques, I used a lapped zipper. I might add horsehair braid in the future.

Overall, love it!

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Butterick 6019: Bodice Construction

Loving this dress! I’ve been taking my time with this one making sure the fit is absolutely right. I used Gertie’s adding an underwire to a bustier style top tuturial to add underwires that I took out of an old bra that didn’t fit anymore. It was a little tricky finding the best fit but what I ended up doing that worked really well was to lay the old bra on top of the bustier and trace the outline of it, then matched the underwires up with the outline. I was going to add additional boning but I have the cheap plastic kind and it was bending funny so just put in the 2 recommended by the pattern. Look at that pretty placement! You can’t see from the photo, but I have a layer of Pellon 950F ShirTailor interfacing lining the cups and then sew-in fleece interfacing on top of that. I didn’t put any interfacing on the bottom portions.

On the outer bodice front pieces I lined the cups with the same Pellon 950F interfacing and then used Pellon featherlight interfacing on the bottom sections. Essentially I lined the bra cups twice with the Pellon 950F (once on the outer fabric and once on the lining) with a layer of fleece lining inbetween them. This gives the top wonderful structure so I won’t need a bra at all with this dress, :). I opted to not put in a waiststay since everything is so structured and I’ll be attaching the halter top.

I made 3 muslins total, one using the original size 14 D-cup pieces with no adjustments, one making adjustments, and the final version. As can be seen by the two pieces below I ended up adding about an inch to the bottom cup pieces and about an inch to the top as well to ensure full coverage and excellent support. For sewing purposes I am a 34DD, I used the size 14 pieces.

And a photo of muslin #3 and then the final version. Perfect!

Due to this awesome pattern it’s hard to see all the line stitching on the bodice lining.

And complete! I had to adjust the band a little due to adding an overall 2″ to the bodice top and not adding any length to the band…oops! It all worked out. Also instead of understitching the lining I’m just putting “invisible” stitches to attach the lining to the outer bodice.

I also added a bit of a V to the front cup for visual aesthetics. This dress top is super supportive! And the fabric pattern is perfect. The dress is almost completed. Just the zipper, hem, and halter strap left… I am also using Gertie’s horsehair braid tutorial for the hem line. I selected 1/2″ wide polyester horsehair braid to add a little structure to the hem. Keeping the overall vibe of this dress more casual.

Shirring!

So I have finally had the chance to begin working on my very own Butterick 6019 version A Shaheen look a like dress, pattern by Gertie. Yay! I’ve spent 1 day making muslins of the top to ensure the proper fit ending up making 3 different ones but finally got it. I had to add about 2″ to the overall pattern to get the fit, support, and coverage I wanted. Then I played around with using just batting or adding interfacing and deciding to go with both, more details and photos in a future post, ;). Gertie’s blog has been wonderfully helpful. Using her adding underwire to a bustier tutorial. Still working on it. But I progressed enough to shirr the side pieces. I did some research after seeing people with Brother sewing machines can have some trouble. I came across this post by Tina referencing my Brother cs6000i specifically. And bingo! Worked out perfectly, :). This was my first attempt and I of course practiced on a scrap piece first. Then I wound up about 3 bobbins and shirred away. I just wound my bobbins on my machine like I would any other bobbin threading it through the guides. Dawn Nicole also had a great tutorial here that includes photos.

He is the first few rows. As Dawn clarified, ONLY WIND THE BOBBIN WITH ELASTIC and then use a regular top thread. After adjusting the tension on my bobbin (had no idea I could do this!) I threaded my machine and just eyeballed the rows. When using stitch setting 00 as long as I kept a little over a presser foot difference between rows they measures 1/2″ from each other so I would stitch another row in between to get the desired 1/4″ distances between rows. On the first piece I did about 10 rows before I realized I wasn’t leaving a 5/8″ seam allowance on the sides, oops! After I finished all the rows I tied off each end and then steam ironed over the piece so it would shrink up nicely. Perfect! Overall it took me about 2 hours to complete both panels. The sewing went quick, it was the tying that took awhile. It’s recommended to not back stitch the elastic. I was a little weary but overall it wasn’t very hard at all. Love the effect. Now I know how they do that for sundress tops, :).

Love this floral fabric pattern, absolutely perfect for a Shaheen look a like. And the fun part is I selected this fabric before even knowing that was his style, haha. Was just looking for a nice spring/summery floral.

As you can see side by side the shirred piece with the non-shirred piece it crinkles up nicely!

And a more detailed photo of the stitch lines.

Butterick 5953 Dress

I am in love with this dress! You can purchase this pattern online at Butterick, it’s part of the Patterns by Gertie line. I made a test muslin that turned out pretty good considering I sewed my darts on the wrong side, haha. The actual dress was overall easy and the only time consuming parts were putting in the facing (stitching, trimming, understitching…) and ironing. I think this fabric is beautiful and great that it has a little stretch but not the easiest to iron! It just doesn’t want to crease very well, so good news is there will be very few wrinkles. The pattern suggested fabrics did not include polyester lining material but I think the leopard print worked great for the accents. I made a size 16 due to my measurements of 38-31-42. I took in the sides and darts considerably. This is where having a dress dummy is so handy, I could pin it and look at it on the dummy. It’s very hard to make back dart adjustments on yourself!

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Look at those gorgeous lapels!

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I covered the buttons myself without a fancy button kit using this tutorial. It was pretty easy. I used 7/8″ buttons and then cut out a circle pattern that was large enough to cover the front and bunch in the back of the button. Now the first trial failed miserably due to the unraveling nature of the lining fabric but I solved that issue with some trusty Fray Ease around the edges.

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And voila, beautiful accent buttons. I used my new Brother cs6000i for this project and and so thankful for the easy button holer! Makes perfect button holes every time, :).

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I adjusted the darts in the back as well to bring more of an hour glass shape to the dress, turned out beautifully with minor puckering. A lot of that is due to the ironing difficulty. And check out that godet accent!

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I like the little splash of leopard print in the back. I also used a blind hem stitch for the bottom instead of hem tape. I didn’t use any hem tape on this entire dress. The blind stitch hem is a feature on my new machine that I have never had before and think it is fantastic. I’d have to say my favorite feature is my overcast stitch though. I don’t have a serger so it’s as close as I can get to finishing my clothes. Works great, just a little extra work on my part.

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And voila! A beautiful pinup worthy dress, especially with those leopard print accents, ;).

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