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Topic: Daddy Daughter Dance Dress  (Read 1250 times)
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thankyoulocust
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« on: April 06, 2009 08:18:44 AM »

Dang, that's some crazy alliteration in the subject line, heehee.  So, every year they have this (as well as a mother son dance) and my daughter always looks forward to it.  She always plans out what she's going to wear and this year we decided that I would make her something.

A few months back, a formal wear store here was going out of business and one of our neighbors picked up this really poofy and fancy skirt for Bethany (my daughter) to play dress up in. It was a grown up size 10 so I figured that I could just kind of reconstruct it into a dress. With no real direction or skill, I started going at it. And.....quickly realized that it was a disaster waiting to happen. I decided that given my very limited sewing repertoire, I really needed a pattern. So, I go buy a pattern. But, once I have the pattern, I'm looking at the fabric requirements and I have nowhere near enough fabric for the chosen pattern. So, I buy fabric. Oh, and did I mention that I picked an insanely complicated pattern? Yeah, it was a dress with a fitted bodice and a very full skirt. It was also fully lined, with a netting ruffle and a zipper. I've never made a dress with lining, nevermind a damn zipper. Matter of fact, I've only made one other dress from a pattern period and it was a very simple affair...a casual sundress with elastic in the top back edge. So, this pattern was definitely above my skill level. Oh, wait. I may have forgotten to mention that I picked this pattern up on Monday. As in Monday, March 30. And the dance was Saturday, April 4. Yeaaaaaahhhhh. In hindsight, many bad decisions were made.

Anyhow, I managed to sweat, curse, and muddle my way through the pattern. And the end result was...BEAUTIFUL!! I couldn't believe it, really. Let's not dwell on the fact that I was still sewing at 3pm Saturday and the dance started at 6pm. The outer fabric I used was a polyester/cotton blend. It was very similar in look and feel to that really heavy satin that's dull with just a hint of sheen. The lining was a pale pink broadcloth and even the netting for the ruffle was a shade of pink! The black lace on the bottom and the black satin ribbon tie were my only deviations from the pattern. And really? Bethany looked like an absolute doll. So of course I took a million pictures of her. Here are all my favorites. There are a lot of them:)











Ok, I know Bethany is unbelievably cute in the above picture, but could you also take note of my first zipper? You can't really see it, can you? That's cause I did it right (I think)!!! I felt like I had performed successful brain surgery when I finished with that part. Moving on.

Here's a gratuitous shot of my daughter and my youngest son, Dorian, together.  Mostly just because it's cute.



And in case you were wondering if the skirt is perfect for twirling, why yes, it is.



On the technical end, I used McCall's 5033, View B, size 10.  The only issue (which ended up being a pretty freaking big hassle) I had with the pattern was that apparently the skirt front was supposed to be one piece while the skirt back was 2 pieces.  Only the pattern layout for cutting the pieces wasn't clear on that point.  Since I'm a pretty novice sewer, maybe somebody could tell me where I went wrong.

Ok, so here is my view and the way you're supposed to cut the pieces out.



So, from the looks of things, you're supposed to cut the back and the front exactly the same way.  The skirt front (5) and the skirt back (4) both look like you're supposed to cut them in two pieces, right?  But then if you look at the directions, it clearly says to sew the center seam of the back, but there's no mention of that for the front. 



On the other hand, the lining does specify that the lining front (7) is one piece, cut on the fold.  See?



But the directions for sewing that part are pretty much the same as for the outer.



So, then with the bodice front being one piece and the skirt front being two pieces, the bodice had more fabric in front than the skirt because some of the skirt fabric was taken up by seaming the two front pieces together.  Which is why when I got to the part where you attach the bodice to the skirt, I had to put in an inverted pleat on the bodice.  I didn't know what else to do at that point because I for sure didn't have enough time to rip everything out and start over (it was step 24 out of 37).  So, was it user error?  Or is the pattern not correct about how to cut the pieces out?  Comments, constructive criticism, and any help with my pattern issue are very much appreciated:)
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Hadassah
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2009 08:35:15 AM »

It is beautiful!
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antigone
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2009 08:36:37 AM »

Oh wow, it's beautiful!!! Cool colour combo (hey I alliterate too) and very sweet daughter. Thought it was an adult dress in the little pic on the front page! Gorgeous dress & I like the photo where you can see pink flowers in a tree to match Cheesy Well done!
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llisaredd
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2009 08:37:47 AM »

Firstly, the dress is very, very lovely Smiley And your daughter is adorable in it. I hope she had a good time at the dance with her daddy.

Secondly, it's hard to tell from what you've posted (because I rarely use patterns so I have to read them several times from beginning to end to understand everything) but I wonder if the outter layer is one piece (both front and back) and the lining is 2 pieces (front and back so 4 pieces altogether). Does that make any sense? As I said, it's hard for me to tell based on not reading the pattern several times over.

Lastly, again, a lovely dress! You should be proud Smiley
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thankyoulocust
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2009 08:42:28 AM »

Firstly, the dress is very, very lovely Smiley And your daughter is adorable in it. I hope she had a good time at the dance with her daddy.

Secondly, it's hard to tell from what you've posted (because I rarely use patterns so I have to read them several times from beginning to end to understand everything) but I wonder if the outter layer is one piece (both front and back) and the lining is 2 pieces (front and back so 4 pieces altogether). Does that make any sense? As I said, it's hard for me to tell based on not reading the pattern several times over.

Lastly, again, a lovely dress! You should be proud Smiley

Thanks!!  I think I get what you're saying.  Basically, you're saying what if the skirt outer is supposed to be 2 pieces total, one whole piece for the back and one whole piece for the front?  But I don't think that's possible because the zipper is 18 inches long and is supposed to go from the top neckline down to where it has that circle marked on the pattern.  See where it says "stitch center seam from lower edge to circle"?  The circle is where the zipper stops.  So I think the back has to be in two pieces for both the outer and the lining. 
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Aislynn
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2009 08:47:45 AM »

You did a fantastic job!  It looks gorgeous, and I bet she felt like a princess at the ball.

To answer your question, the skirt front was meant to be cut on a fold, too, just a fold that's perpendicular to the selvage edge.  I'd bet money that pattern piece "5" is the front, yeah?  And "4" is the back?  Notice how, on the layout, there's only one 5, but each 4 piece is labeled separately?  That's the clue.  Honestly, it's not a big deal if you have a front seam--the only difference it ought to make is that you'll have a front seam.  The seam allowances might throw off the length of the waist, a bit, but obviously you ended up with a beautiful dress, regardless!

Oh, and the lining layout is so different because it uses a different width fabric, probably.  Adult dresses are like that, too, and for that reason.
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kjlutz
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2009 09:08:08 AM »

Beautiful Dress. 

I can't believe it was your first.  Great Job.

Oh and if it's any consolation I rarely follow the suggested layout (I always find that they waste fabric and are very confusing).
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thankyoulocust
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2009 10:06:57 AM »

You did a fantastic job!  It looks gorgeous, and I bet she felt like a princess at the ball.

To answer your question, the skirt front was meant to be cut on a fold, too, just a fold that's perpendicular to the selvage edge.  I'd bet money that pattern piece "5" is the front, yeah?  And "4" is the back?  Notice how, on the layout, there's only one 5, but each 4 piece is labeled separately?  That's the clue.  Honestly, it's not a big deal if you have a front seam--the only difference it ought to make is that you'll have a front seam.  The seam allowances might throw off the length of the waist, a bit, but obviously you ended up with a beautiful dress, regardless!

Oh, and the lining layout is so different because it uses a different width fabric, probably.  Adult dresses are like that, too, and for that reason.


OHHHHHHHHHHH!   I see what you mean!!!  Yes, 5 is the front.  And so I was supposed to fold the short side over just enough to fit 5 on it and the rest was supposed to be cut out on the single thickness.  And the tip about there being only one number 5 on that piece, but 2 number 4s on that piece makes a lot of sense too!!!  Thank you SO much for demystifying that for me.  I was just talking to my husband and telling him what you said (trust me, he's heard quite a lot from me over the last few days about that part of the pattern) and I said "but of course they never TELL you that on the pattern, you're just supposed to know it somehow" and he says "well, probably people who have sewn more than 2 things from a pattern would know it".  Hmmmm, touch sir. 


Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments and especially thanks to you, Aislynn, for helping me with that.  I'm sure it'll come in handy for my future endeavors in sewing.
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threegirlsandaboy
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2009 11:02:57 AM »

My goodness, that is just beautiful!  I think you did a fantastic job, especially if you're a pattern newbie!  Yes, those layout instructions could have certainly been better.  Aislynn is certainly right in her assessment of the situation.  Your actual #5 pattern piece probably also had written on one side "cut on fold" or something along those lines.  If not, then that pattern company really needs to work on that...  Either way, the dress is stunning! 
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