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Topic: Maybe I'm getting a little too excited....dress help?  (Read 1207 times)
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« on: April 19, 2007 07:23:21 PM »

OK. First things first. I haven't used a sewing machine since I was in yr 8, and it caused me a lot of pain - but I WAS in a textiles class with a teacher I didn't like, trying to meet deadlines and getting stressed.
Now I want to do a little sewing. Well, a LOT of sewing actually. I want to make myself a rather girly dress....I'm pretty determined to do it, and although I'm not really skilled I think at a stretch I'll work something out.
I've drawn some not so good sketches for it:

OK. Now basically, in case my shonky sketches don't show, it's going to have a slightly fitted bust/torso area, and I want puffy sleeves (which shouldn't be too hard...) I'm thinking that I'll probably have to do a zip on the back. I've fitted a zip beforehand, but I've never done a fitted top or shirt. The skirt will just hang, probably, and might be lined.

I'm thinking of making it out of a cotton fabric like drill, and I have some pattern ideas (there was a Lolita dress here a while ago that was similar to what I want, but minus the sleeves.
So: are there any fabric recommendations? I'm not very rich so I'd like something fairly cheap. Would I need to line it and what would the white trim be made of? Bias tape, or just white drill or something?
And am I dreaming, or do you think that it's possible to make this dress?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2007 01:43:34 AM »

I can think of two ways to make this dress, one easy, one a bit harder. The easy way would be to make it from a stretchy material, eg stretch jersey. Trace a fitted t-shirt and extend the lines at the bottom into wide arcs, or make it in two parts as a t-shirt and circle or part-circle skirts. In that case, the white would be white jersey or ribbing.

The second wasy would be to make it out of cotton or something similar. Nothing too stiff though. Personally, I'd get a pattern either for a similar dress or for the top and modify it, especially if you haven't made fitted tops before, so you know where to put the darts. In this case I'd use either bias binding or white cotton for the contrasts. Probably best to cut the cotton on the bias for the neckline, to make sure it curves nicely.

Provided the fabric isn't see-through, I don't think there's any need to line it. There are tutorials on here for puff sleeves, they're pretty straightforward.

Oh, and your drawings are beautiful! I'd love to see the finished dress
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2007 03:17:18 AM »

Thanks for the help Cheesy
I found a tutorial on here for a Lolita dress that looks fairly doable - I'll modify that.
They're really quite quick drawings...I am first and foremost an artist, so if you want to see better ones I have a deviantart account. http://ludicrouslouisa.deviantart.com/
I think that I'll do a practice sleeve with calico or something first to see if it works. Do you think I should have some kind of belt or bow around the waist?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2007 04:26:05 AM »

I think it looks nice without a bow or belt - I like the clean lines.

I'm in procrastination mode, so I've just drawn up a diagram of how I make puffy sleeves. These ones are elasticated rather than buttoned, so you'd have to adjust it slightly if you want buttoned sleeves. The length of the long straight bit is the circumference of your sleeve.

« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2007 04:55:56 AM »

Thanks very much Cheesy I promise to post a picture when/if I get around to sewing it (I have no cash for the fabric, but when I get it I'll be going into town quickfast!)
Funny...everyone here seems to have thrift stores where you can get sheets and clothes and stuff, but I haven't found any here
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Duct Tape Rules!!!

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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2007 05:49:07 AM »

You can also hunt out things at garage sales.

Don't call it trash...I can make something with it!!!
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2007 05:07:46 AM »

Thanks for  your help everyone. I'm drawing up patterns at the moment - I'm probably going to make a sleeve test with calico first cause I think the sleeves will be the most unlike anything I've ever done before and they'll also be noticeable so I want to get them right.
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