Woohoo, another one done! A few months behind, but still moving forward. I worked on this dress pretty much exclusively at Christina’s, so progress was only made when I could get over there and actually sit down to sew. More than any other dress I’ve made so far, this dress has fought me the most, but it was absolutely worth it and I can’t wait to keep making more of them.

After finishing the bodice, I needed to sew the skirt panels together, hem them, gather them, and attach them to the bodice. I don’t have any pictures of the progress because I just wanted to get this thing done, but I will say that cotton+polyester lining makes for a really thick skirt at the waistband…

It drove me a little crazy that the people who came up with this pattern clearly wanted nice, clean edges on everything (hence all the understitching), but then had no cares whatsoever about raw edges inside the dress. Seriously, that is a lot of raw and the polyester was shredding a lot. However, I was also on a mild time crunch since I wanted to wear it to my Vegas trip last weekend. So, I attached it directly and the edges are currently raw (though I do have more lime green bias tape).

Next, the zipper!

Ohh, ahh.

I can’t remember exactly how long this zipper is, but it is long enough that it goes from the top of the bodice down into the skirt a ways.

As I may have mentioned before, I don’t own a zipper foot. I had one once, and then it disappeared and every since then I’ve been making due without one.

All you really need to do is lay the zipper on the fabric right sides together with the teeth facing out. Sew it as close to the teeth as possible (obviously without going over them). Sometimes if I’m not sure how close to sew, I’ll do it a few times starting from a safe distance, turning the fabric over and seeing if the zipper shows, and then sewing a little closer to the teeth. Rinse, wash, repeat. I’m sure those of you with zipper foots are rolling their eyes at me, that if I’d just pay $3 I could do it correctly once, but what can I say? I’m lazy in weird ways.

Yes, the dress is crooked. This is due to the fact that after I zipper it up, the zipper kept going an popped off the end after the teeth split open at the waistband. Clearly, there was too much going on there. It took a good 30 minutes or so, but Joe and I finally managed to get the zipper back on and I cut some of the seam allowance out of the waist area to make it easier to close.

Nail polish works really well on the ends of zippers.


So there it is, right? Well, not quite. At this point, I couldn’t get it to zip up on my mannequin. Okay, I thought, I’m clearly squishier than it, it should fit just fine on me. But no. Not for love or money could we get that sucker to zip past the waistband.

Rather than throw my hands in the air and walk away, I took a breath and grabbed my seam rippers. I took out the zipper, I detached 2″ of the skirt from the waistband, and I unpicked the seams along the center back of the bodice. I took another 1/2″ out on each side (we’d left a lot of extra fabric in there for just this reason), rebasted the back, regathered the skirt to the waistband, leaving lot of flat fabric near where the zipper would be installed, and put the zipper back in.


Matching jewelry FTW!

Spin spin spin spin! I can’t wait to wear this dancing…

Almost unintentional pattern matching at the back.

The only thing left on it is the bias tape along the inside waistband where the skirt is attached and some actual closures for the halter (rather than my hasty safety pins).

But otherwise it’s done and I’m thrilled. Also, really really tired. Next!