Floral Strapless Spinny Dress

I think the title says it all, ;). I saw this gorgeous white roses on blue background cotton fabric at my local fabric store and knew I had to make a dress out of it. Plus 50% off!

The pattern was a mash-up of different patterns. I used the full circle skirt from my Butterick 6019 instead of drafting my own and the rest from Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book. I used the strapless bodice with sweetheart neckline, side seam pockets, and used the strap piece from her faux sarong dress pattern to make 2. After tacking them on they ended up falling off my shoulders but I liked the look.

I used my size 8 strapless bodice pieces with a 3″ FBA (full bust adjustment). Then spiral steel boning along the seam lines with an additional diagonal piece as recommended by Gertie. Placed 9 pieces in all. Love my spiral steel boning cutters! I also added a waist stay to make zipping up the back easier.

Here is a photo of the insides, you can see the outlines of several pieces of spiral steel boning.

Here is a pic I took before attaching the lining so you can see all my steel boning placement lines. I’ve used plastic, rigilene, and spiral steel. I can’t go back to the others after using spiral steel. So much more comfortable!

Then instead of the lapped zipper I put in my preferred invisible zipper but soon regretted this change. So hard to zip up the bodice! It gets a little stuck over the waist seams for which the waist stay definitely helps. It also struggles zipping up the back (pliers were very helpful!). I thought the hook and eye would be more helpful with this step than it is. Lesson learned. Invisible zipper worked fine with silk, not as great with multiple layers of cotton. Looks really nice though.

It’s a little tight but fits me perfectly. It looks fabulous! Last step was the hemming. Took several hours but looks great. I ironed the hem up 1/4″ and then another 1/2″ for just over the recommended 5/8″ and I had lengthened the skirt down another 2″. I didn’t use anything extra in the hem but may need to add pennies later. Definitely some Marylyn Monroe moments when it’s windy!

And had to test the spin/swirl factor. It passed, ;).

Then wore it out right away for a local event because one must always wear a new make right away.

This is why I create and make my own dresses: fits like a glove, :).


Simplicity 2172 Steampunk Dress: The Bustier

Ever since I laid eyes on this pattern I knew I had to make it. When I learned of this Time Traveller’s Ball coming up in Nashville I decided this was the perfect opportunity. So finally found Simplicity 2172 in my sizing (size 14) and decided to start with the bustier thinking it would be pretty “easy”. Construction steps were fairly easy but definitely not quick!

I am more of a 34G than a 34B so I went with the 14 for the bustier and my usual full bust adjustment changes using this great tutorial on FBAs on princess seams by Vogue. I only used the front and middle center pieces for the FBA and left the side front panels as is other than the additional 1/2″ I added to the waist length throughout the entire corset. After careful measurements I also decided this was a good size because it would allow me the 0″ ease recommend for corsets with a zipper rather than adjustable lacing in the back. The pattern allows for 2″ of ease, so heads up on if you want this to be more of a corset or more of a fitted top. Because the finished measurements are 38″ for the size 14 chest and mine is about 41″, only needed to do a 3″ FBA (full bust adjustment).

So I made a muslin first of course and it was nearly a perfect fit, so a few adjustments later I was ready to begin! The only other change I made other than the 3″ FBA (full bust adjustment), was to add 1/2″ of length to the torso.

The pattern calls for light weight interfacing and plastic feather lite boning but I wanted mine to be sturdier so I used Pellon 101 shape flex and spiral steel boning. I ordered a roll of about 10 yards and definitely need to invest in better cutters! But I managed with what I had and got my 9 pieces cup and capped. For my channeling I used some twill tape I had in my stash and lined the corset with Bemberg. I used 5/8″ seams for everything but the top connection of the lining to the exterior fabric. For this I used a 1/2″ seam for additional height and coverage.

Had to snap a pic of the inside guts! Look how pretty those channels are, :).

Cutting the steel boning with jewelry clippers was not easy but I managed. Definitely will be investing in better wire cutters! Putting the end caps on took some trial and error but I figured it out. Looks so great!

Then I sewed some 3/8″ Pearl like plastic buttons to the front spaced 1″ apart. I ended up using 13.

For the lining I used Bemberg but ran out of blue, hence the 2 bits of black. I kind of like it.

And voila. A beautiful corset that will look fantastic with my costume but great with a pair of pants too, :). The pants are my Clovers. The sides at the top ended up being a tad big but nothing major. If I make another one I will shave off another 1/4″ off each side seam towards the top bust portion. Fits great with my strapless bra.

I’ll be adding a hook and and eye to the top. For some reason when I looked in my stash all I have is 4 hooks and no eyes. Not sure how that happened as they are sold in pairs, haha.

Back view

Side view.












And another front shot. I love this fabric and think the fit turned out fantastic, :).

Just finishing up the matching vest for my boyfriend, just needs buttons. Then onto the skirt!