Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Dress Fit for a Queen!

Simplicity 2692 is made of purple taffeta, and was made for Miss M, a former student and the same girl that ordered up the red Homecoming dress in the fall.  Same pattern as the homecoming dress, but view D this time.  Just a few little hiccups, but it's done now and ready for her to wear at a local carnival this weekend.  I think I mentioned in an earlier post that Miss M is the 2010 Queen of the Highlands for the Scottish American Society here in our area.  She chose this color to match her tartan plaid sash.
Fabric: "Purple Party Taffeta" from Joann's.  I bought the end of the bolt, which was about 4 yards.  Good thing, too... I ended up needing to recut the bodice and waistband.  The lining was free, as it was mistakenly sent from fabric.com in a previous order.  Perfect color match, so that was pretty awesome.  With the fabric being so lightweight, the entire dress is lined.  I used some black organza from the scrap bin to interface the waistband pieces.  Didn't want to fuss with a fusible, so the organza was a great sew-in substitution.
Alterations: Back in the fall, Miss M bought the wrong size pattern, but I just added on to get to the next size up.  Well, after 10 months, I forgot that very important fact, and didn't realize my mistake until the dress was nearly finished.  I put it up to myself and knew immediately that it was too small.  Miss M is about my size, and it had a 2" gap at the zipper opening! Like I said, I had enough fabric left over to recut the bodice and waistband, and just released some of the skirt gathers to fill the gaps.
Necessary Notions: Pinking shears! Boy, does this fabric fray! I used my pinkers to cut all the pieces, and I'm so glad that I did!  Fabric Selvedges! Any neckline that has a diagonal cut line is prone to stretch and lose it's shape as you sew.  As I cut my pattern, I preserved the selvedge edge (didn't cut across it), and used it to stabilize the front and back neckline edge.  It worked the same as twill tape, and is free.  I cut the length the same as the pattern paper shows, and baste it on with a long machine stitch. This time I used the lining selvedge on the taffeta (just the front and back bodice pieces), and the lighter weight really made a nice, clean (non-gapping) neckline edge.  I also used some selvedge to lock down the shoulder pleats, too.  Invisible Zipper, 16" long.
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate, depending on your fabric choice.  In a cotton, this would make a super summer sundress.  Fancier fabrics are fussier, and require a few extra tricks, but nothing crazy here.  Just some gathers and a zipper. 

Warnings:  The most important thing to focus on with the pattern is the stabilization of the neckline.  Whether you use twill tape or a strip of selvedge edge, it an absolute must for good fit on this dress.  This particular fabric was a little bit of a nightmare, but beggars can't be choosers.  It had to be this exact shade of purple, and I didn't have enough time to collect swatches of higher quality fabrics.  Acetate means low heat, and low heat means wrinkles/creases are not easy to remove.  It also picked up and showed the smallest specks of moisture, so I needed to make sure my workspace (kitchen counter) was always clean and dry. If you have the time and money, high quality fabric is worth the price (and your sanity!)
Future Plans/Recommendations: This is a great pattern. Easy to make, with a dress shape that works on all figures.  For my next version, I'm going to do it up with a border print and use view B.  I have some wonderful ombred silk floral print that goes from light pink to coral and coordinating coral silk to go underneath it...

14 comments:

KID, MD said...

It looks wonderful! Nice work!!

Marybeth said...

Beautiful!

Patty said...

Very nice! And thanks for such a detailed review. I like the use of the selvage edge as a stabilizer!

alethia said...

Thanks for the advice. The dress and the color is awesome!

Julia said...

She'll be the prettiest queen ever thanks to this lovely dress you've made for her!!!

Summerset said...

Nicely done - those cheap taffetas, while convenient, can be a bear to work with. She'll look fabulous.

thislightgetsin said...

What a gorgeouse intense colour. And I'm so stealing that idea of using the selvage ;)

gwensews said...

What a pretty dress! Nice work!

Bunny said...

She will definitely look like a Queen! It's a good thing you had the backup fabric to recut.

Racheal said...

Well done on another beautiful dress, loving the purple colour. I saw the girl in a previous post and i think this colour will look wonderful next to her skin.
Yes I love my pinking shears, a great investment.
Great job on the invisible zipper. I tend to suck at these and a result have bypassed some beautiful patterns.
Oh and congratulations on your weight lose, you must be feeling so much better :o)

Gail said...

I think it is cool that you are dressing the local beauty Queens - including yourself of course!

Faye Lewis said...

Very pretty!

Michelle said...

Gorgeous work! I love the purple! I am sure she will look fantastic.

amber said...

Even with the fussy fabric, I think this turned out great. I'm sure she will look beautiful in it.