Monday, May 18, 2009

The Ballgown of Dooooooooooom! dress diary . . .

I tried to tell you it would be the dress that came from hell, but you all just chuckled and patted me on the head. It's a wonder that it even made it out to Naperville. You all know what I started with: the mushroom brocade and the organza overlay:

The skirt came together on Thursday night, and it went rather smoothly. The organza had a double border, so I slit it down the center and sewed the two flounces onto the skirt. The lower flounce has about six yards in it, and the upper flounce has five. I box-pleated the skirt into the waistband and box-pleated the upper flounce; the lower flounce was simply gathered with a basting stitch. The yellow and tan flowers with the silver and gold threads running through it complimented the colors of the brocade perfectly, and I began to entertain the smallest hope, deep down, that the bodice construction would sail through and it would practically make itself. Heh, heh.

The bodice itself seemed to go together well; following the lines I had marked in the fitting, I cut and sewed the bodice together, lightly boning it with 1/4" white steel and self-piping the upper and lower edges. This was the first four hours.

Then came the sewing of the hook and eye tape, which I had to hide with a small hand-stitched panel of brocade in the back. The sleeves came next, double puffed and with a small lace flounce. I had almost no organdy left, but I made it work. I set the sleeves in, and then made the tucker and hand-stitched that in. I finally pinned the bodice to the skirt in preparation for the last fitting. This was hours five, six, and seven.

Looks good, doesn't it? Of course, I made my sister crop my face out of the shot, because it was red and puffy. After all that work, it didn't fit, and I had little-to-no-time to fix it.

I literally have no idea how this occurred, and I was very angry at myself for it. I know how to fit ballgowns, after all, and this is nearly inexcusable. I was laced in all the way to my ribcage as well, so that wasn't going to fix it. I called Brian and cried a bit, took the damn thing off, and proceeded with my other preparations for the weekend. Then, I went back to the dress. Hour eight finally had me ripping, cutting, and frankensteining the back seam to add a little fabric at the bottom, putting in a placket to cover up the ugly.

Thankfully, the results were not all that noticeable. I wore it Saturday, and in spite of the trouble, I think it looked pretty okay.

My sister was in a lovely ballgown from Kaufmann's, of course;)

After all that, I hope I don't need to make another ballgown for another five years!

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