The Detailed Notes
NB/- please skip if at all faint of heart – she's not pretty until the final stitch has been knotted and cut!
- Sew chiffon and satin pieces together, treating them as one layer rather than two.
- Sew cotton and interfacing pieces together, again, treating them as one layer rather than two.
- Sew channels for the boning by simply sewing bias binding to the relevant areas – it's inside all the layers so no one will see it (besides, buttercup yellow on white is one of my favourite combinations, but not one I'm likely to wear anytime soon!).
- Sew pleats into a long rectangle of satin (mine are 1.5cm deep and separated by 4.5cm). Press.
- Baste along sides and bottom of bodice.
- Create loops and space evenly along back edge: these need to face into the middle of the garment at this point. I also sewed a piece of webbing on each edge to provide additional reinforcement and support.
- Create "modesty" panel (urgh - what a gross name!) to go in between the lacing (essentially just a rectangle which has been finished on two sides – top and one side).
- Sew lining and outer together as per normal, but enclosing the end of the loops and the panel.
- Turn right-side out. Loops should now be facing each other, and the "modesty" panel should be flapping about on one side.
- Attach lace to bodice, hand sew in place and then fold up cumberband to cover seam. Hand sew everything into place.
- Appliqué (in the loosest sense of the word) the lace to the bottom of the chiffon for the skirt.
- Hem satin for skirt to required length
- Treat chiffon and satin as one and gather the top edge.
- Sew skirt to bodice (keeping lining free)– my skirt was 3m wide so I had a lot of gathers to pull in order to get it to the right size! I sewed it along the length of the bodice from one set of loops through to the end of the modesty panel, but left some (c.3cm) hanging out either side. The reason for this is to make sure I could get it on and off!
- Sew side seam on skirt.
- Finish upper edge of skirt that is not within the bodice. I just clipped the edges diagonally and then turned it over two twice and sewed two lines of stitching – two because my fabric frayed a lot.
- Hand sew embellishments onto bodice (in order that threads can be hidden between all the layers.
- Hand sew lining over bodice/skirt seam enclosing all edges.
- Sew 'snaps' (I'm sure I used to call these something else, but I can't remember what – been reading American patterns for too long!) on panel and opposite side of dress to keep the the panel in place underneath the ribbons.
- Thread ribbon through loops, put on, draw up ribbons, knot and wear!
- Grab martini and relax (Obviously my hair will be done (nay, set) and my make up perfect at this point….
PHEW. That took me almost an entire lunchtime to write up, and three weekend days of cutting/sewing to create! I need a lie-down, and possibly a whiskey.