It’s done!

Another dress come and gone, and I’m fairly certain that as much of a pain this one was to make, it’s my favorite so far. Last post, I’d just finished attaching all of the swags.

Next came attaching the bottom ruffle. It was approximately 12 yards, which isn’t really a lot considering it’s only a 6 or so yard hem. If I could do this one again, I’d definitely add another 6 yards minimum in that ruffle. The dress continued to fight me the entire way, breaking multiple threads during the gathering process and jamming on the heavier duty upholstery thread. I finally wound up resigning myself to hand gathering, but not before once gathering the ruffle to the bottom tier instead of the skirt base and once pinning the skirt to my robe for a few feet. The hem, thankfully, went much smoother.

I sat back for a while and tried to decide on what to do with the swags. I didn’t like them the way they were, they obviously needed to be gathered somehow, but I wasn’t happy with the way a gathering thread made them look (too much fabric with the lining), and I didn’t want to go the drawstring route again. So, instead I tried a little bit of pleating and it turned out pretty close to what I had in mind.

I also knew I wanted some sort of buttons to decorate the swags and bodice. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, but I did know that they needed to be decently sized, metal, and intricate. No luck over at Joanns, but I did run across these at Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley!


They were absolutely perfect at 1.5″ in diameter. It was probably a good thing they only had just enough to evenly decorate one tier of swags and the bodice because otherwise I would have bought enough to cover every tier and at $8.25 a button…ouch… I left with 8 and then had to decide which tier to put them on.

I wound up going with the bottom tier because it helped give it a little more weight near the bottom and that’s the tier I was going to add the china silk trim to anyway. Also, ignore the mess in the background; needless to say, this dress sucked up a lot of my regularly scheduled cleaning time.

But before I sat down and resigned myself to an hour of hand sewing, I fiddled with the china silk trim first. I knew I wanted it to line the bottom tier and along the neckline of the bodice, but I also wound up needing to make mini sleeves for the bodice since the armhole was cut a little too low and you could see my corset peeking out.

The neckline trim was sewn down, but the sleeves and tier trim were pinned on just to get an idea of what it would look like. I can’t tell you how many times I redid that trim on the bottom tier. It drove me crazy not knowing exactly what I wanted it to look like, but I finally got it done.

Awesome, complete with Joe helping keep it up.

Next came the mini sleeves. I didn’t have enough fabric to do a full set of sleeves like the aqua and orange striped dress, but I had enough to do the job.

After gathering it into the armholes, I made a quick elastic casing along the edge, slid in just enough to keep it snug around my arm, and done!

After handsewing the buttons on, it was done. Really really done. I can’t really express how thankful I was to be finished with this one.

It’s not the best picture out there, but it was taken with my phone after we’d been dancing for a while. Halloween was a total win.

And to show just how delinquent I’ve been on the posting front, I’ve already started 2 more dresses…. More posts to come soon!