Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Serenity gown progress [Part 1]

I've been busy for the past few days working on this gown and answering a ton of emails (which were questions about wigs), but now I have some free time to update this blog, yay!  Today is a dump of progress photos and descriptions on how I did things.

This is the pattern I made for the bodice of the dress.  I'm cheap (and personally I find pattern paper to be a waste of money), so I used some ancient cheap wrapping paper I bought for $1 and drew the pattern onto that.  Newspaper is another cheap alternative for pattern making, but the ink can rub off... so whenever I use newspaper, I always wash the garment when it's done, but yeah... I PREFER CHEAP WRAPPING PAPER.

Pinned the pattern to white lining fabric.  I'm using a cheap white posh lining since it feels nice against my skin and... it's cheap.  Joann's carries a matching casa lining for their casa fabrics, but honestly, why pay $5.99/yard (before a coupon) for lining when you can pay $2.99/yard (before a coupon)?  The stuff goes beneath the outer layer, so to me it's pointless to spend a lot of money for lining.  Anyway, the lining I'm using was left over from two previous princess costumes I've made.

And of course, the pattern pinned to the white casa satin (outer layer).

Pinned the pattern to the underlining.  For my underlining, I'm using white organza (because I have 9 yards of the bloomy stuff laying around).  Underlining generally serves to hide seam lines in a bodice once they've been pressed open and they're practically a necessity if the bodice you're making is white (which mine obviously is).  Another reason I'm doing this is to add a little bit of strength to the bodice for when I add a buttload of embellishments to it.

So I cut everything out and sewed the underlining to the casa satin (on the wrong side of the fabric, of course).

And of course... you sew it together.

Pressed the seams open and voila!  This is the underlining sewn together with the satin.  If you don't press your seams, everything looks pretty... crappy when you're finished.  The fabric just won't lay right.  At all.

And the lining sewn together.  I was an idiot and made my images too small today and you can't see the casings I've made for the boning... but they're there.  Didn't press the seams open for that reason.

Carefully pinned the satin and the lining together (on the wrong side).  I forgot to mention way earlier, but I do not recommend this project to a beginner.  All of the fabrics I'm using are either delicate or fray like no tomorrow.  ...Which brings us to what I did next!

SERGE IT!  SERGE IT GOOD.  My biggest pet peeve when it comes to sewing aside from loose buttons are fraying edges.  Fabrics such as satin, organza, chiffon, and certain linings fray badly so a serger is a must in my book.  The fabric was fraying quite badly so I ran the top raw edges through my serger.  For those of you who don't have a serger, there are sewing machine attachment foots or you can use the good 'ol zip-zag stitch method (which is folding the raw wedges older then securing them with the zip-zag stitch).  It's quite time consuming and annoying to do... which is why I basically said, "SCREW IT!!" and bought a serger.

The bodice after its been turned inside-out and pinned.  I'm about to iron where I've placed the pins so it lays flat.  After that... well... that's where the "fun" part begins.

The white moon ring... thingies!  I made a stencil to make mine look uniform and neat.  I wanted my rings to be a good enough size so I wouldn't have to sew on like, 20 bloody rings so I did my math, figured out I'd need 12 rings and they measure around 2.5in.  There's 13 in this picture because I made an extra just in case I had to cut one in half for the back.  And of course, the peach ring thing is my stencil.  There's still a lot of work to do to prep these things before I can sew them on... ugh.

So yeah... that's what I've been up to!  Hopefully the special lace I've ordered will come in the mail later this month so I can finish this gown within the next few weeks.  I've learned my lesson about lace when I made my Crisis Core Aerith Gainsborough dress last summer... making your own trims from scratch is not fun no matter what.  I almost went insane making all the trims for that... I'll probably post pictures of that thing later.


  1. Gosh Looks like soo much work good luck!

  2. Damn. That looks like a lot of effort.

  3. Can't wait to see it when its finished.

  4. Yeah I really want to see how this will look when it's finished.