Party dress

I’ve been sadly neglectful showing you this project! I’m very sorry, I know you’ve been worried about it. I made this party dress for my sister’s wedding dress rehearsal dinner. It’s simple and pretty and I love it!

low waist

I also love that it has two different looks. I can wear it with the belt low on the waist, and a bow in the back. Or I can wear it with the tails wrapped around and tied in the front, which pulls the waist slightly higher.

high waist

It looks simple, but figuring out the way to sew it was much more complicated. I started with a medieval dress pattern so I could follow the princess seams. But I removed the sleeves, changed the neckline, added a belt and streamers, widened the skirt, raised the hem, lined the bodice, and removed the zipper. So basically the princess seams are the only thing I kept.*

The bodice is, as I mentioned, lined. I cut two of everything and sewed the inside and outside separately. I cut just one panel for the back, and it’s all one piece including the skirt. I stitched the bodice and liner to the belt and belt liner (and tails). Then I sandwiched the back panel between the inside and outside and sewed it all together on the back seams so the raw edges are all on the inside. I left the neckline and armscyes raw for the moment. In the skirt I used french seams to hide the raw edge in the seams. The hem, neckline and armscyes are all trimmed with more of the white fabric, cut on the bias and folded over all the raw edges. I mentioned I removed the zipper. Instead of a closure the back panel is wide enough that I can just slip the dress over my head. I only had to hand-sew one seam – the inner belt liner is folded down over the top of the skirt and hand-stitched down to hide the final raw edge.

Sewing was actually my first love, I learned to sew LONG before I learned to knit. But it has disadvantages. I haven’t figured out how to set up that sewing machine on the bus yet (and it’s really heavy besides) I think this dress probably took 4 or 6 hours of sewing, combined with another 2ish of cutting fabric and a final 30 minutes for the hand stitching. It’s really much faster then knitting, but it still took more then a month to get it all done because I had to find the time to hang out in my craft room with my sewing machine…

*See? I it’s not just that I can’t follow knitting patterns…


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