Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Last Prom Dress

It's been a while since I have updated this blog. Although I have been busy with family matters, I am happy to say I have not neglected my favorite hobby and managed to sew some. I just didn't find time to publish them.  So bear with me as I slowly but surely post some finished projects.

Simplicity 1874 by Jessica McClintock

For this year's senior prom, my daughter chose this pattern. Of course the first thing I did was check out the reviews from Pattern Alas, there were no reviews posted so I had no idea what to expect. A glance at the instructions was not very encouraging. There were 28 pieces in the pattern.

She decided to go with view C which was simpler and which allowed her to wear a bra without worrying about the straps showing at the bag. I was just glad I didn't have to worry about creating any weird looking "growths" on the bodice. So with the pattern selection over with, it was time to do some fabric shopping. She wanted a blue or purple gown and after ordering some swatches from Mood Fabrics I ended up buying three yards of solid charmeuse silk in Mazarine blue. It was a beautiful shade of dark blue.

Since my last Prom project, I have read a lot of tips on couture sewing from sewing books, magazines and online blogs. So I have decided to apply some of those techniques on this gown.

I underlined the bodice with cotton flannel in addition to the regular lining that the pattern instruction called for. The underlining not only added body even without boning, it also enabled me to "invisibly" stitch the seams open.
 See below.

Seams of bodice befor catchstitching.

The catchstitches hold the seams open and flat.

View of the right side of the bodice.

Views of the bodice and skirt attached. I have decided not to underline the skirt part.

Turning the lining outside in. The only thing I would have changed here was the choice of lining color. I suddenly turned cheap and decided to use lining from my stack. It would have been better to use lining in the same color as the main fabric.

Understitching to stabilize the lining.

Attaching the invisible zipper.

Sewing the jewels on the right shoulder strap.

One happy customer!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Road to Prom

In less than a month, my daughter will be attending her senior prom. I am so excited to be part of her journey as she prepares for this special occasion. Unlike last year, I think we are doing better time-wise in terms of getting ready.

It all starts with the right pattern. I can still remember the frustration and anguish I experienced last year trying to decipher the Vogue Bellville Sassoon pattern (insert link) we chose for her prom gown. After browsing through several websites, she narrowed down her choices to four and two of them were from a pattern company I have never tried. Her no. 1 choise was  Marfy 2349 (insert link). After reading details and reviews on this company, I discouraged her for the following reasons:
 1. The pattern ships from Italy. Even though it can be purchased from the McCalls pattern website which is US based, it is still going to ship from Italy and that means longer waiting time.
 2. The smallest size available is 42 which translates closely to a size 10 in the local patterns. That means trying to size down the pattern to fit my daughter.
 3. Apparently, Marfy patterns have no instructions at all. With a deadline to beat, this is no time to experiment!

I'm glad she listened. I stumbled upon a nice older Vogue pattern on e-bay and she fell in love with it.
So now I'm waiting for it to arrive.
Vogue 7901 picture.

Meanwhile I have ordered fabric swatches in the two colors she prefers (blue and purple).