Arsenic and Old Lace...the Tutorial

Remember today is the last day to Vote for round #2

Thank you to all who voted  last week for this lovely dress...
It really was a fun dress to make.  Do you want to know how I did it?

Here's the original from Modcloth...
this is the biggest picture I could get :o)

Now for my version...
Looking at the original I wanted to make a few modifications:
-Length (a dress or skirt should be at least knee length-have you tried to pick up a running toddler with a short dress on in public?)
-Neck-who wants to be tugging up their dress all night?
-Sleeves-From the beginning I wanted this dress to have sleeves, it took me several hours of cutting out different types and researching what would look the best with the dress---I'll explain why I choose the sleeves I did later
-Back Zipper-who really likes zippers on the side?  I know it makes the dress look great, but it makes you feel like you have to know advanced yoga to get out of the dress-so I moved it to the back.

Now on to the dress.   The original is still not available-the problem with that is that they don't have a fabric description yet.  Thank goodness for the magnification feature, I tried to pick a fabric that had a similar drape and look to it.
I ended up picking a satin crepe, one side is satin the other side crepe.  The black lace wasn't too hard to find.  I wanted lace with a bit more empty space-but couldn't find or justify spending an insane amount of money for the lace.

I found Simplicity Pattern 4070 to have the most features that matched what I was looking for.
If you have ever made a dress from a sleeveless pattern you need to modify a few things.  I traced the original front and back bodice pieces on a large piece of paper.
 I added about an inch to the shoulder seam, making sure to end at the same point at the under arm.
You want the shoulder seam to end just about the top of your shoulders.  If you don't do this step your sleeves will look funny-like you have really broad shoulders and picked the wrong size of dress.
I made sure the pattern pieces had the darts marked in them too.  Because my fabric was lightly colored I traced the dart lines on the wrong side of the fabric with pencil before I started sewing.
I sewed the bodice and linings following most of the instructions-not sewing the lining at the sleeves (something you don't do when the dress has sleeves)
After the bodice was complete I sewed the skirt to the bodice.  But first I added all the pleats.
The back has two deep box pleats.  I didn't really measure these, I just made sure that the center of the pleats lined up with the dart line on the bodice.
I sewed the back two pleats first then pinned all the darts in the front.  Once again I lined pleats up with seams on the bodice to give it a fluid feel. I also added the zipper after this point.
Once the dress was complete I added the lace.  I cute out the design I wanted then used liquid stitch to keep it in place.  I had thought about stitching it down, but the size of lace I used would have bunched up and been uneven.  The liquid stitch is permanent and really great to work with.
The lace on the skirt was pretty easy to attach-the bodice was a different ball game.  At several points I had to put on the dress and stand in front of the bathroom mirror and glue the lace on-it was comical.
I printed out several pictures of the dress from different angles to try and match the placement of the lace.
 With the curves of the bodice I made sure the lace was laying flat.  Notice the pleats lining up with the bodice seams?
 This really was a fun project to work on.  It wasn't too hard either.
If you plan on attempting this make sure you have some patience stored up when you start working with the lace-or if you have a dress form or a model your life would be a little easier.  Hope you enjoyed the tutorial!


andie jaye said...

wow! this is a dress i'd LOVE to wear, but could never make! it's so classy. very "breakfast at tiffany's"

over from strictly homemade

Maridith @ Strictly Homemade said...

This dress is amazing. I don't believe you have more comments because this dress is truly amazing. I can see Princess Kate wearing this dress. Really it is breathtaking. Fabulous job. Thank you so much for linking up to Strictly Homemade Tuesday and I am pleased to tell you your link was the most viewed and my favorite!!
Please come by and link up again!

SarahPyrah said...

way cute dress. you did a beautiful job!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely dress, it's so elegant!

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