Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Bias Tape Dress is Done! Just in time for the Dance!


Slow and steady wins the race they say. I am happy to take on long hand-sewing projects, but I like my machine projects fast. This dress took 2.5 weeks of constant sewing in every available moment and I am pleased with every second. I began this project after making Little Miss the bias tape skirt and coveting hers. I have been charting the dress making progress on my Instagram  and have appreciated the cheering on. 

It all started with a few thrifted spools of bias tape, The Party Dress Book and an invitation to a dance fundraiser. I rarely have occasion to wear a dress like this and was thrilled when the stars aligned for me to make this. 

                         

After having used the reds for the previous skirt, I opted to use the blue and green bias with my project. The colors as they were felt a bit flat to me, so I painted them. I used multiple colors of metallic spray paint to add dimension to to the plain strips. 

                

I searched my stash for a print fabric to add to the blue and green bias. I found "Paisley" by Amy Butler's "Love" line. 


                

I cut a bajillion strips of the bias fabric the base fabric from the skirt pattern in the book. I decided to make separates to get the most use of the pieces in the long term.


After making the skirt for my daughter, I was looking for a faster way to apply the strips to the base fabric. I used an extra large twin needle to allow me to sew two lines of stitches at once. I used blue, green, pink and white threads. The colours coordinated with the print and would not be a glaring contrast. It took a few rows to get a hang of sewing double strips, but once I did, it went relatively fast.


After sewing the strips to the skirt, I applied a basic waistband and an invisible zipper at the center back.


The skirt is pretty full, but I wanted to be sure it maintained its' fullness with movement. I knew I needed a petticoat. I found one at an estate sale that needed some modifications and repair. 


Vintage petticoat.

I added six layers of tulle to the petticoat I may add more in time, but it was an unwieldy task .

Skirt with petticoat under.
After making the skirt, I still needed a pattern for the top. I found Simplicity 4885. It has the look of the bodice of the dress in the book, but is designed as separates. This meant I would not have to modify it like I would have for the top from the book. 

                

I placed the strips on the bodice, added a full lining and an invisible zipper.

Full lining
A note on the bodice. The photo on me on the first photo was taken when I thought I was done. I looked at the pics and decided I did not like the curve along the bust line. I deconstructed it and reworked the print strips to the positions as seen in the final photos. My suggestion to you if you make this is begin your strip placement at the bust line and then sew above and below that strip. It may reduce the chance of curving. 

Simplicity 4885

The completed ensemble.
Little Miss saw the skirt on my custom dressform BIRA and asked if this was for a contest. I was not making it for one, but after checking Pattern Review, I saw this qualified for the Bargainista Fashionista contest there.  You get to make a designer garment at a bargain price. The contest does not factor in labor, so I was able to make my dress for $22!
I called Mary Adams to find out the cost of the dress as it was not available online. After making this, when she said $1700, I was not surprised! I would charge that and more for my less than wonderful version! :)

The contest review asks specific questions and you can read my review here. It includes some other details that would have made this already long post, longer. If I have missed something please let me know. I have been in this dress for weeks and feel like I am coming out of a fog.

The dance was last weekend and we had a blast!


I am so happy I made my dress. In a sea of traditional black tie dresses, I am happy I stood out in my strip pieced dress.


 There were a few bug eyes when I shared, that I made this. 


This dress is fun to wear and fun to make. 



Happy Sewing,
Bianca

25 comments:

  1. Wow! That's an heirloom, handed down to your most beloved and stylish descendants.

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  2. Dang! I knew it would be good....but, this is nothing less than sensational! Well worth the time and effort. You will be the belle of the ball and I can't wait to see more photos!

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    1. Thank you Sue! I am really excited about this! It was fun to make and I can't wait for the dance! Let's hope the weather and my hair cooperates for good pictures!

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  3. You did it! It's so cool! It looks really beautiful. What a lot of work. You will look great in it--can't wait to see pictures. Also...can we back up to the part where you CALLED MARY ADAMS?! What was she like? Did you talk much or just get the price for the dress? After reading that book, she is an artist I would love to talk to. Congratulations on a job well done. I can't wait to hear more--and good luck in the contest!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! It was a lot of work and I can't wait to make another! I have cut a halter top to pair with the skirt! :) I called Mary when I couldn't get a response to my cost question via Facebook. The last time I contacted an author I admired, she broke my heart. I was nervous, but she was great! I called and she picked up. She was in the middle of a class so we didn't talk long. I told her that I love her work and about the contest. She asked me to send her pictures of the dress when done.

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    2. That took guts! I'm glad she is nice in real life. I bet she loves the pictures.

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  4. Oh My Awesomeness! This is beautiful and so glad you have somewhere to wear it

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    1. Thanks Victoria! I love that "Oh my awesomeness"! I have not heard that one before!

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  5. ehrn you tell people how this dress was created, be prepared for the deer in the headlights look. They are not going to know what to say. Beautiful!

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    1. :) Thanks Rhonda! I will let you know how it goes!

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  6. Your skill and creativity never ceases to amaze me!! Your work is truly an inspiration! And goodness, this is going to knock some socks off some people this weekend! Can't wait for the pics! And enjoy the party!

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    1. Thanks so much Cindy! You are so kind to say that! I am excited about this! I bought new shoes and have a hair appointment! :)

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  7. This dress is amazing! The patience needed to put this together - wow. What a creative use of bias tape!

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    1. Tomasa, thanks so much! I think the patience line crossed into obsession pretty early on :) I was compelled to finish it and I am glad I did!

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  8. This is fabulous, a lot of effort yes, but totally stunning.

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  9. You are so talented! And such an inspiration! :D

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