New techniques! New dress!

I recently got 3 yards of this peacock fabric, though I wasn’t sure what I’d do with it.
Ah, summer dress! But using a commercial pattern would be too easy, and I didn’t have one, anyway.

So I draped a pattern for a modified princess seam bodice, moving the dart from the armhole up to the shoulder (I call this a “shoulder princess seam”; I made that up, there may be another name for it.) I added a sweetheart neckline. I haven’t draped a bodice in years, so it had a bit of a learning curve.

I was worried that this fabric has a whole lotta pattern going on, and I wanted to break it up a bit; I’ve been intrigued by the cording adventures of @TheMistressT , so I decided that piping the neckline would be fun. I’ve never made piping, but I watched a few YouTubes; it looked easy!

I chose a soft rayon fabric for the piping that was a pain to cut (%$&#!$!!!). And it was too bright, so I tea dyed it. Still not right, so I paint dyed it. I used cotton string from the dollar store as the inner cording, because I had it on hand. It made almost 6 yards of piping, so I decided to pipe the princess seams, too.

I wanted sleeves, but I get hot, so I figured petal sleeves would be cool. It only took an hour or so to work out a pattern. I used a piping/binding technique I learned from an Indian YT for a nice finish. Had to make more piping.

I kind of hate the dress from the waist down. I ran out of fabric and had to piece the gores together; they were short, but I wanted the dress long, so I inserted them about 5" lower than planned, and that made the silhouette of the dress really dumpy. I remembered pockets, but made the hand holes a little too small. The princess seam needs adjusting, but I would have to rip out the piping, so I left it.

It’s the journey, not the destination, right? I got back into draping patterns, learned to pipe 3 ways (in a seam, along the neckline with a facing, and self-binding on the sleeves) (and to use firmer fabric), drafted a petal sleeve, figured out how to use the hem marker on my dressform, and even got a lot of seam ripping experience.

UPDATE: I washed it (which often improves the hang of a newly constructed garment), and am wearing it today. It looks better on me than the dressform. I think I like it after all.

It has a 1940s look, so I swooped my hair up on both sides like a thin Victory Roll. I look so sweet!

next project:

I was planning to use the same pattern, but I’m gonna rethink that. I need to adjust the top part and rejigger the skirt.


Well, I’m impressed with all that piping! And the petal sleeves are a cool technique. It sure does look like you learned a lot…looking forward to seeing the next evolution!


Your learning journey was so worth it! I just think it was very courageous to jump in and do it without a plan, facing the obstacles as you came to them by being creative (paint dyeing the piping!!!)…glad you persisted…and yes, I am sure the dress worn was much better than on the form! Great!

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Even though it’s not exactly what you want, it’s a triumph in perseverance and learning!

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Looks like a fun dress and those sleeves are awesome!

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Thanks, everybody! I wore it running errands yesterday. That neckline is so flattering on me (sweetheart necklines are great for busty women), a guy flirted with me! A young guy!

I now totally love the dress, and will make a second one with just a few adjustments.
:two_hearts: :love_letter: :love_you_gesture: