Monday, 24 November 2014

Project Formal. Culmination. Burda Style12-2013-122, 123 and 01-2014-113frankenpattern

Project Formal was a success. This dress is a frankenpatterned construction of black silk chiffon over ice blue silk twill, appliqued with lace motifs, and supported by an inner corselet. It was designed by my daughter with multiple revisions. I stretched my abilities with this frock, and am pleased with the outcome.







See my beautiful daughter graduating from high school. I am so proud of her.



I've written about some of the construction earlier:
dying lace
 underpinnings
day version
The basic construction of the frock was relatively straightforward after the trial versions. I made a silk twill layer with cotton batiste lining at the bodice, and a silk chiffon outer layer. These layers were constructed with the silk chiffon layer and outer silk twill layer as a single fabric, with the bodice neckline attached right sides together to the batiste lining for a neat upper edge finish.
I used the silk organza pattern piecing /underlining technique I learned from Susan Khaljie's Craftsy class to construct the bodice, making the marking of seamlines and other details very easy. The bodice has has additional rigilene boning in the side seams to aid stability.
 The skirts were basted together at the waistline with a selvage stay of silk organza, I hung the basted skirt up for several days weeks whilst I worked on the bodice, so the hem would not drop after I eventually hemmed it. When constructing the dress, I left in the selvage at the waist for added stability. The skirt is also attached together at the centre back at the zipper and centre back seam, with a tiny detatched section at the back hem.


I hand appliqued lace motifs to the bodice before attaching the skirt, through the top two layers of fabric, then continued hand applique of the lace motifs to the skirt attaching the lace to the outer silk chiffon layer only below the waist seam, to allow free movement of the outer skirt.
The hand applique was the most time consuming part of the project, taking approximately 30 hours. It looks pretty good even close up. My daughter really wanted a soft flowing skirt, hence the silk chiffon, in retrospect, hand applique on silk chiffon was not my cleverest idea, but I could not think of another method of attaining the soft flowing skirt with the lace applique she wanted. The inspiration dress had lace machine appliqued on organza and tulle, which would be much less time consuming!


Inside, all the seams are tacked to the silk organza underlining.
Unfortunately, I had a little trouble with the upper bodice, despite all the fitting work on earlier versions. After adding the lace applique, the added stiffness of the fabric make the neckline stand away from the body, which was not at all modest. After considerable trial and error, some of which may have been slightly fraught, this was fixed by first gathering the upper front bodice by hand, slightly, through the bottom two layers of fabric , then machine stitching lingerie elastic, on stretch, to the upper border of the bodice to draw the sweetheart neckline in towards the body.
This adjusted upper bodice was then stitched to the inner corselet at the centre front neckline.

Here you can see the elastic and gathering after I have removed the corselet in order to wash the dress and its underpinnings separately.

My other fitting adjustment was very last minute. In a not entirely unexpected manner, my finishing-her-exams- for- year- 12 daughter somehow managed to reduce her overall circumference by about an inch in the last two weeks of school.  Fortunately the corselet was originally fitted on the outer fastenings, so on the afternoon of her formal I sewed the back of the dress by hand to the back of the more tightly fastened foundation, gathering rather more than slightly. I may have spoken sternly to  my daughter about increasing her ice cream intake and decreasing her exercise regime whilst I did this.

The other effort of note was the hem.
My daughter is petite. This was just as well, as she wanted a full length 1/2 circle skirt from a narrow width of silk twill, 114cm (The Fabric Store, Auckland).
We could not quite manage this, until she came up with a brilliant idea of a nod to the current high/low hem fashion. She chose to have a higher curved hem in front, of the inner fabric only, to both accomodate the narrow fabric, and also to display her pretty sandals.
Here we are working on hemming. I used a machine rolled hem for both layers. I machine rolled myself 6 new scarves whilst I was practicing ;).

The frock was successful.She was happy.

I am hoping this dress gets another outing at a University Ball or even two.








31 comments:

BeaJay said...

What a fabulous dress. Your daughter is stunning.

Dilliander said...

Wow, totally awesome! Congrats to you both on a stunning gown, your daughter looks gorgeous and so happy.

Dixie said...

This dress is so lovely! The lace appliques are very tastefully placed, and the color of the gown is just beautiful. It fits very well, and your gorgeous daughter looks fantastic in it. A very nice make!

Sewtime said...

Ooh, I've been waiting for this post! The dress is beautiful and your daughter looked stunning. Congratulations to you and your daughter!

fabric epiphanies said...

Your daughter looks beautiful and happy! You did an incredible job! I love the black silk organza over the blue and the appliqués really make the dress.

Vicki said...

Doesn't she look beautiful!!? Great job on the dress.

colesworth said...

beautiful, very elegant (and so much work!)

liza jane said...

Beautiful! The dress and the daughter! That hem, that lace appliqué... I can't imagine. Gorgeous, gorgeous work.

Paola said...

Wow! Just stunning!

Sue said...

Absolutely stunning! The colour combo is beautiful with the lace.

Sew, Jean Margaret said...

You must be so proud of your daughter and your sewing skills. Absolutely beautiful work.

Sewingelle said...

So totally beautiful. Both your daughter and that amazing dress.

Summer Flies said...

Well done, it is as spectacular as your daughter is beautiful. I love the peak-a-shoes hemline - what a clever idea!

Uta said...

This almost leaves me speechless, but I have to somment! The design is beautiful and suits your gorgeous daughter perfectly, so ethereal and light. The execution is perfect and shows all the time and love you've poured into this project. This could be right from the haute couture runway (maybe Elie Saab?). Beautiful!

Alice said...

Beautiful dress, you should both be very proud of your accomplishments.

Nanna said...

lots of hard work & detail went into that dress,& lots of love! the outcome is fantastic!

Helen

Rosi said...

Just stunning.

Hen said...

Oh how beautiful! Great design and execution. Congratulations on your daughter's graduation.

Mary Nanna said...

Beautiful work - your gorgeous daughter and her gorgeous dress.

Allison said...

WOW!What an incredible job you have done of this special gown. I've very much enjoyed reading your construction posts and love the finished project. As usual, I am in awe of your skills, your ability to translate a concept into reality and your eye for the finishing details which set your work apart from the every day. And, your daughter looks absolutely stunning!

thornberry said...

This dress is incredibly beautiful, as is your daughter! I only dream of making such a lovely garment for my girls once they are that age. Clare was looking over my shoulder and pretty much gasped - and was super interested in how your daughter did her hair! You should be very proud of your sewing abilities, and of your gorgeous girl.

katherine h said...

The dress, and your daughter, are both absolutely gorgeous. I wish I had your patience for sewing all those lace motifs.

Little Hunting Creek said...

What a lovely dress-and daughter! What beautiful work you do. Congratulations

fabrickated.com said...

It's wonderful to see such a beautiful, well-fitting dress on such a gorgeous girl. She enhances the dress and vice versa. The colour is subtle, with a range of depths, and the purpley blues work so well with her complexion. I like the shoes too. I know you are proud of her achievements, and I am certain she feels the same about this labour of love.

SewRuthie said...

WoW Karen, Stunning !!!

EmSewCrazy said...

Beautiful! The dress and your daughter. What an amazing milestone for you both!

Carol said...

Stunning dress on a gorgeous girl. You should be proud of your work on both of them! :)

Carolyn said...

Wow! Your daughter looks absolutely stunning. Congratulations to you, for your beautiful daughter as well as the superbly crafted ball gown. That lace appliqué!! Magnificent!

tropicalthreads said...

What a beautiful outfit for a beautiful girl!

Sharon said...

I can't believe I missed this gorgeous gown for your daughter. Your skill in turning her sketch into such a stunning gown is pure perfection and your attention to detail amazing. Your daughter looks radiant and so happy with her stunning gown.

Kestrel said...

What a beautiful dress! Your daughter looks lovely