The first part I took on was the bodice. I adapted a previous attempt at draping for the pattern and set straight to work assembling a basic square neckline bodice, flat lined with black cotton. I then folded over and whip stitched the back opening and applied hook and eye tape (reused from another costume). On the bottom edge, I added a 1" band to serve as both a decorative band and a way to hide the skirt attachment.
|Side view of gathered sleeve.|
- Have plenty of material, extra is even better! It took nearly a yard and a half for those sleeves and several do-overs...
- Cut all pieces single layer, chiffon tends to move as you cut. You'll end up with two different shaped pieces if you try double layers.
- Best trick: iron and spray starch each piece before sewing. The result is amazing! It makes the fabric less slippery and gives it the texture of organza, which is a lot easier to work with.
- Use this method to narrow hem chiffon by machine - it will save you hours of frustration! Tutorial found here: http://thehabygoddess.blogspot.com/2013/02/tutorial-how-to-hem-chiffon-and-other.html
|Inside sleeve detail.|
|Finished design front.|
|Finished design back.|
The second part I tackled was the skirt. Easy peasy compared the the first part - I just ripped two panels for a total 90" circumference, seamed and flat felled them and stitched on a 3" black cotton hem facing. Then, I narrow hemmed an opening, and balanced the skirt with full gathers in the back and tiny pleats in the front.
|Hem facing detail.|
|Overlapping closure detail.|
|A view of the "gown guts"|
Finished in time for and first worn during the annual trick or treat in the village event - which, by the way, was a whole candy bucket of fun! The three of us painted children's faces and hands non-stop from noon to four...and, last I heard, the count for the event was 1500+ visitors (and I'm pretty sure we painted each one of their faces)!
Next on the sewing list: accessories to finish my costume...