My cousin is getting married this Saturday, and she asked me to be a bridesmaid about 6 weeks ago. Of course, I waited until yesterday to make a dress, but it was fairly simple.
My inspiration is this dress from Anthropologie:
I used Simplicity 3799, made it formal length, added an elastic casing to the inside, and added the ribbon sash...VIOLA!
The entire dress is more the color of the neckband - (may camera does wondrous things when you use the flash!)
Here's a close-up of said neckband:
The dress is made from dull satin and chiffon from the "dyed-to-match" table at JoAnn's with a poly-cotton broadcloth lining. (The wedding's on the beach so I wanted something that would breathe!)
With coupons and sales the dress cost under $30.00 to make and I just got shoes at Payless for $8.00!!! This is the cheapest wedding I've ever had to be in!
Thanks for looking!
Okay, I finally got around to coming up with a tute for this! I made another one from some batik fabric my Mom bought for me (YAY MOM!) and I took some pics along the way...well, actually, a lot of pics!
1. Cut out your dress and neck pieces. I cut one of each neck piece, interfaced them, then cut out the lining/facing. I've found there's better accuracy in the fit between the two pieces when you do that. BTW - if you want to add length, now's the time to do it. I figured out what my desired length from under my arm to the floor
and added accordingly. When purchasing your fabric, get your length twice and you'll have enough fabric.
2. Sew together the body of the dress and finish your armholes. I faced the arms with bias tape in this dress, b/c that's all the facing pattern piece does anyway. If you buy extra-wide double-fold bias tape, you can use it all folded up for the underarms, and press out the center fold for the elastic waist band casing.
Body pieces sewn together
3. Sew two lines of gathering stitches along the top of the front and back of the dress. Pull the bobbin threads to gather. I pressed the gathers down so they would lie flat when I was working with the neck piece and that made it a lot easier.
4. Grecian neckline -
- Sew your neck pieces together at the shoulder seams.
- Sew the inner
circles of the neck piece and its facing/lining together (right sides together), clip profusely and press. (I'm almost positive that this is NOT how the pattern says to do it, but this is how I did it and I'm happy with the results.)
- Sew a line of stitches 5/8" from the outer
edge of the lining/facing of the neck (the non-interfaced side). You'll use these stitches later.
- Pin the outer
edge of the interfaced side of the neck piece to the front and back of the dress. Remember the deeper curve matches with the fuller gathers (that's the front!)
- Sew all the way around the outer edge - even on the parts that aren't pinned to the front an back of the dress. You'll use these stitches later!
- Press your outer curve. Press the curve inward along the dress edge. Now you're going to use the extra lines of stitches. Use them as your guide to press the shoulder parts of the neck piece inward. Press the lining/facing piece all the way around along the line of stitches you did earlier using them as a pressing guide. Be careful not to burn your fingers with steam from the iron!
- Finish your neck piece. Pin the lining/facing to the part of the neck piece that shows and sew them together. I hand-stitched these together from the inside of the dress. You can edgestitch them together on machine if you want. (That's probably what I would have done if I didn't feel like watching a movie instead. This was sewn together while watching Stranger Than Fiction - great movie!)
Sewing the facing
Finished neck piece - inside
5. Elastic Casing.
- Find the placement of your waistband casing. I tried my dress on, and put a pin where I thought it should go. Then I folded the dress in half longways and pinned the other side. Then I folded it along those pins and pressed a line into it. I used that as my placement line for the casing.
- Sew extra-wide bias tape to the inside of the dress along your waist-line. Sew along the top and bottom edge of the bias tape. (Go higher for an empire style, or lower for a blouson style.) I started at one side seam and left an opening when I came back around, so I could run the elastic through.
- Measure, cut and insert your elastic. Sew the ends together with a zig-zag stitch.
6. Hem your dress, make a sash or tie some ribbon around your waist and wear that sucker!
If this makes no sense or if you have any questions, please let me know!