The Couture Dress »
InstructionsI made this dress using the pattern from Mary Adams's Party Dress book, but I used a lot of couture detailing and engineering from a combination of the Couture Dress class and Claire Schaeffer's Couture Sewing Techniques book.
Type of item: Clothing
Style: Retro / Vintage, Classic, Cute
Quilting cotton for the shell and cotton/ploy bastiste for the bodice lining
What was your inspiration?
My little sister has her first high school formal on Friday, so Tuesday (her boyfriend didn't tell her he bought tickets to the dance until Monday) we went fabric shopping and today I hemmed the dress and declared it finished.
What are you most proud of?
While I constructed the dress by machine, I did a lot couture details for the first time in the engineering of the dress. There's an elastic stay in the neckline to keep it from gaping (and also to allow a little more ease in the bodice to accomodate some growing she still has to do), a waist stay, a horsehair hem, a bra stay ( a piece of boning sewn into the back that she tucks into her bra to keep the bra from sneaking up over the dress back), and boning (though I've done boning quite a bit before).
I'm quite proud that the straps are pretty much decorative because the dress stays up and in place quite soundly on its own without them.
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
I really like Mary Adams's dress pattern, but it wasn't until I had already started cutting that I noticed that the seam allowance was only 3/8ths! I made it work, but I'd definitely advise making a larger seam allowance (like Susan insists on, but I had already stated sewing this project before I bought and watched the class).