Couture Dress - full skirt / long sleeve

Project Description

What are you most proud of? So far, I've been able to keep my entire materials budget under $25 (exclusive of the class, but that has been so valuable for me that I consider that an entirely different investment!). UPDATE: The horsehair and hem lace cost another $15. Still, everything together was less than $50 for the most excellent-feeling dress I've ever worn. Also, I've ripped stuff out and started over. I tend to want to get to the end result, so I rush through things and just live with stuff if it's wrong but you can't really tell, so that's a huge thing for me. What advice would you give someone starting this project? Go through everything ahead, assemble your materials and notions, ask a lot of questions, and trust both Susan's advice and your own logic.

What you will need

  • Acrylic/wool blend (or maybe all wool); cotton muslin underlining; rayon lining.

Q&A with Hopeful sewer

Davesmom asked:
Your dress is looking mighty fine. The sleeve suites you. The colors you have choosen compliments your completion. Sounds like this maybe your first dress? I made a dress in home econmonics class back in the 60's it never fit me, but I got a 75% mark for my dress. Then in the early 80's I made another but it did not fit. The toile is a great way to get the fit then the real thing. I am working on a skirt right now. Just warming up to the idea of a dress. I do have this class. Did you find the the bust area easy to sew? It is a bit rounded and I not sure I'll concor this part of the pattern. I am doing a princess line only without the middle part on class pattern. I am a size larger than the class project.
Hopeful sewer answered:
Thanks! I absolutely love that style sleve. My history is that I've sewn a lot but never carefully like this, just by following the pattern or making really simple things like sleeves for a sleeveless dress. Like Susan says in one of the lessons, anyone can buy a pattern, pull out the instructions and follow them! Now that I've taken this class, even if I go back to that route, I know I will incorporate some of these techniques and steps to make even my afternoon projects better, so I'm totally psyched. For this dress, fortunately, I have a B cup so I don't have a problem with the bust area. I had to take the extended back in a bit, just like with Emily's dress, but so far so good. Today I'm finally starting the skirt, bodice, and midriff seams. I hope to put the sleeves in and join the pieces together by the weekend. We'll see!
twiggyann asked:
Call me old fashioned, but I would prefer two sleeves. Hehehe. It's looking great. I wish I had done longer sleeves.
Hopeful sewer answered:
:-) but this way it's more comfortable in that transitional spring weather. Plus, I can work on my passenger's tan.
Hopeful sewer asked:
I just finished basting down the seam allowances. Unfortunately, I can't upload pictures to Craftsy (their tech folks say the problem should be resolved in 2-4 weeks but until then I would have to start a whole new project for the photo to post. Anyway, the point of this comment is...Catch Stitching Works! I've been using a totally ravelly wool, but by taking Susan's advice and using smaller stitches, I was able to tame the edges and, testing the results, I really do think they will hold. I was amazed at how nice and flat the seam and the muslin underlining both stayed flat with no pulling or puckers at all. Yay! And I'll post the "before and after" picture of one of the seam allowances as soon as I can.
Hopeful sewer answered:
I was finally able to upload the picture of the seam allowance. It's over-exposed so you can see the smaller catch-stitches I made. It really works! I've had no problems at all with unravelling and the seams look great.
Davesmom asked:
Well your dress is coming along. Looks almost finished. What will you make next? I figured I would use the invisible zipper when I make a dress. First I will start with skirts. Then work my up to a dress. I also signed up for sewing with knits and I bought material for a tee shirt. I will post if I ever get things done. At present I am working on quilt for my son.
Hopeful sewer answered:
Your projects sound great and with a lot of variety so you won't get board. For my dress, I still need to do the 16-foot-long hem - finally found horsehair yesterday - and then there's the lining. So I'm not breaking out the campagne just yet! But I do hope to finish it by the end of next weekend. Not sure what I'll do next; family obligations will have me unable to sew for several weeks in October and November, so probably just a lot of dreaming!
BearCraft asked:
I've look through most of the postings for this project and I like yours the most! It is seriously amazing. Kudos.
Hopeful sewer answered:
Thanks! I'm woking on a sleeveless version now but with other obligations it's going slowly. Hopefully I'll have it to wear before summer hits!

Skill Level