The Teardrop Peacock Dress

by brae  

For my holiday party dress this year, I went with something different.  The outer fabric is a three-dimensional fabric on a mesh base.  It's SUEDEsays teardrop embroidered sequins ivory and peacock blue fabric from Joann.  The under dress is a matching dull satin.

The pattern is Simplicity 1606.  This was my first time using an Amazing Fit pattern, and I must say I rather liked it.  The side seams have a 1" seam allowance, so you can let out (or take in further) as needed during the fitting stage.

I used muslin for the bodice first, planning to use those pieces for the bodice lining.  I cut a size 4 at the bust line, fanning out to a 12 at the waist.  I find sewing pattern bodices to be too low for my tastes more often than not, so I used the size 12 cutting line along the top of the bodice.  I cut the 12 for the skirt portion from the final ivory satin for fitting with the muslin since I knew the skirt would be fine at the hips and need minor adjusting at the waist if at all.

The basting and fitting does add time to construction, but the goal is a perfect fit not fast assembly.  I ended up letting a little out of the 1" side seam at the top and kept the waist measurement as is.

The challenge for this dress was the outer fabric I chose.  It has what amounts to a border print edge.  I wanted the scalloped edge along the bottom of the skirt, but the pattern piece has a curve along the lower edge.  I folded the teardrop fabric and pinned as you would a plaid, matching the elements to get a symmetrical layout.  I pinned the pattern piece to the fabric but then cut wide large panels, keeping the full scalloped edge.  Unfortunately, I didn't think to take photos since I wasn't sure it would even work.  :\

I pinned the satin skirt panels to my dressmaker's model and then draped the teardrop fabric to fit.  I've never formally learned to drape, but I understand the basics of fabric.  I pinned huge darts into the skirt panels and removed the excess fabric from the side and waistline.  I sewed the darts and cut away to 3/8" seams along them since the fabric was partially sheer.

The mesh base doesn't fray, so I cut along the scalloped edge without needed a sewn hem.  I hemmed the satin under skirt so it would not show.  Since the satin under skirt is fuller than the outer skirt, it acts like a crinoline and holds the skirt out.  A happy accident.  :D

I sewed the muslin bodice (with the boning) and the satin bodice and pinned it to the model so I could plan the teardrop placement.  I reversed the teardrop direction, because it just seemed a better aesthetic.  I didn't bother with a fitting of these pieces, just used the same seam allowances I had for the bodice pieces.  I used ivory bias tape to finish the neck and armhole edges.

Unlike the directions indicated, I sewed a 22" zipper from the bottom to the top.  The over fabric was strong enough, but I did have to sew the zipper in two sessions.  I pinned the zipper in place, and then sewed from the top in as much as the fabric would allow on both sides.  I then opened the basting and the zipper to allow more room to sew the lower portion of the zipper.  There is also a hook and eye at the neckline.

In the end, it was just a little snug at the bust line but not uncomfortably so.  If I make another like this, I will add a tiny bit of room at the bust line but keep the waist as is.

The shoes are Aerosoles Paperback in pewter.

4 comments

Comment from: Debora [Visitor]

Lovely! :D

01/21/17 @ 16:47
Comment from: Jeanne [Visitor]

Fabulous – the dress and the fit both! Well done!

01/21/17 @ 23:53
Comment from: Elga [Visitor]

Wow Brae, you did a wonderful job, I can imagine that it was a bit challenging at times! And the dress looks great on you

01/22/17 @ 13:15
Comment from: Fay Zerbolio [Visitor]  

Brea, your dress is beautiful. You are one talented woman.

01/24/17 @ 13:31


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