Added Sep 22, 2009
I haven’t sewn anything but diaper covers for my new baby for a long while, but couldn’t resist when I saw this contest on craftzine. It was a fun diversion from the 24-hour schedule of having a new baby, and I would love to update my machine.
We visited a large rummage sale in search of colorful or unique scarves to use. We came home with some light blue sheer curtains and taffeta scraps. After a couple evenings working and reworking with some coaching from my husband, the dress was completed.
I designed the dress having been inspired by an evening gown I saw in a magazine. The dress is in two parts, the taffeta accent band with tails as a separate piece. The dress is constructed as described in the instructions, but made the shirring closer (3/8 inch) than they recommended. In the end I wish I had more rows as the shirring was a bit shorter than I wanted. The taffeta accent band is constructed as a long rectangle with tapered ends overlapping in the front. There is a hidden snap where it overlaps in front, and a snap at the tapered ends. The tails are long tubes and are sewn onto the accent band. The accent band is worn over the dress. The design is simple but elegant.
I asked two friends to model the dress. They both agreed and loved the dress. My husband shot the photos with an older point and shoot nikon. The photos were combined on with the free photo edit software GIMP.
I didn’t understand well how elastic thread worked, and thought that I could reduce something infinitely with it. Unfortunately no, I was able to go only by about half (at least on my machine). Considering that this dress has over 10 feet of sheer curtain, that was not enough. So I sewed the rows gathered. Now it won’t stretch more than about 36 inches. Which is okay, because it fits the models very well. It was a little sad that it wouldn’t stretch enough to fit me but understandable since I have five kids and am currently breastfeeding our youngest.
I had always thought that my antique Bernina 801 machine wouldn’t sew slippery or slinky fabrics. This project proved me wrong – both the sheer and the taffeta sewed fine! I’m thrilled!
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