Linen Petal Dress Creation

I have a few cuts of fabric that are solely dedicated for when I need a quick filler project to get my sewing fix. Yes, I am addicted, no, no help is needed. These two linen fabrics I’ve had for a while now, and finally decided to put this look together.

The petal style skirt was inspired by a look of Michelle Obama’s a few years ago – I love the idea of scallops without the actual hem being curved. The visual interest of this is something that I don’t see in most clothing stores except very expensive ones – because the seams cannot be set by machine, they must be worked by a seamstress.

So many petals!

 

To start – all the petals!

Full disclosure – I did mash-up two Butterick patterns for this dress to make the whole process as quick as possible: B5707 for the bodice and B5894 for the skirt.

 

 

 

Then I sewed them all together! Shocking!

Then I stitched over each seam with a pre-set decorative chain stitch from my Pfaff.

At this point, the skirt is nearing completion. After I did all the decorative stitches, I attached the hem of the black linen around all the curves of the petals. Once each side was done, I stitched up the sides and put the decorative stitch over the side seams.

The bodice was fun to work with and sewed up rather quick. I adore the box corners on the bodice and the kimono style sleeves.

Close-up of the box cornered bodice, dart, and sleeve style.

All that’s left is the keyhole neckline, which just required a quick rolled seam at the opening. I added a bit of decorative stitching to add visual interest to the bodice because it felt a bit flat.

Backside detail of the keyhole sewn open (before pressing)

Then just sew the bodice and the skirt together, throw in a zipper, and voile: dress!

Photo credit: Nick Ferris

Tower of Terror Bellhop Hat

As a Disneyphile, there are a few cast costumes I think are cute, like the Haunted Mansion black and green striped victorian dresses, the Gibson Girl’s, and the Tower of Terror Bellhop. I remember walking past these costumes in the cast member costuming building and being so very jealous – the main entrance costumes didn’t have quite the same uniqueness to them.

The adorable HTH Bellhop dress

 

 

Then Disney had to go and release a new dress line. And one of the dresses is the Hollywood Tower Hotel Bellhop Dress…

Be still my heart!

 

 

 

The dress is accompanied with a hat and a purse, which are cute. The hat oddly enough is too big for my gigantor noggin, so I get to make my own and share it with you!

Here are the mats:

One happy little beret/hostess hat

Thick black ribbon

Thin yellow ribbon

Charm

Russian Net

 

First Step: Sew the ribbon together.

 

Then tack down the edge at the ends at the front of the hat so the charm sits over a clean edge.

 

I did sew the Russian net to the underside of the ribbon. Just gather up the end at the center and then pleat the netting towards the back.

Then hot glue the very base of the ribbon at the bottom edge of the hat and make it snug.

But notice something wrong here? The ribbon is gapping like mad and looks completely off! There’s only one way to fix this!

 

Gather the very upper part of the ribbon around the entirety of the hat and pull tight.

 

Then hot glue it glue it down and you’re all done!

Sansa Stark Mockingbird Cosplay

Let me first say that I am a huge fan of Game of Thrones. Seriously. Big fan.

I’m absolutely in love with the costuming on the show – it’s beautiful, intricate, unexpected, detailed, and wholly perfect. Which is why I’m making Sansa Stark’s black dress (Mockingbird Dress) from the show. It’s simple but stunning:

Credit: Could not find. If you know, please let me know so I may give credit where due.

Credit: Could not find. If you know, please let me know so I may give credit where due.

Credit: Could not find. If you know, please let me know so I may give credit where due.

Detail of the detachable collar piece. Credit: Could not find. If you know, please let me know so I may give credit where due.

So naturally, I scoured the main pattern companies for a similar pattern. And what did I find? Simplicity 1137: the “replica” of the costume! With a few MAJOR differences:

  • Feathered bodice: actually not feathered – they used chainette trim
  • Bodice is a bolero – not part of the dress.
  • Opening is in the back, not the front.
Pattern: Simplicity 1137

Pattern: Simplicity 1137

I went to work onย the pattern, only to find that (like all Simplicity patterns that have come before this one) the bodice is ridiculously sized. The bust point for this – had I cut it without altering – would have been above my boob. Really guys? After sitting at the table for a full 2 hours and a second draft of the front bodice piece actually working, I ended up having to add 2.5 inches to the length and to redraft the neckline. The arm scythe and all the actual measurements are perfect on the pattern otherwise. Just not the length. Argh. Then I did the same to the back, which was considerably easier. FYI, the dress will be all one piece. I’ll be making the bolero the top part of the dress and have the whole dress open in the front instead of the back.

Front bodice alteration

Front bodice alteration: Original pattern piece over the new corrected pattern piece.

Back bodice alteration

Back bodice alteration: Original pattern piece over the new corrected pattern piece.


On to the Sewing!

The materials for the dress:

  • Black Linen/Rayon blend (hey, I wanna be comfy!) – 8 yards
  • Strung Black Rooster Feathers: 5 yards
  • Strung Black Goose Feathers: 1 yard
  • A ton of assorted fusible interfacing – so many layers!

What you don’t see before we get to the cool stuff: Cut bodice pieces, used self lining. Lining was interfaced with featherweight to prevent over-stretching. Fashion bodice pieces were interfaced first with featherweight, then again with woven interfacing – they ain’t going anywhere! All pieces were then re-cut (because when you interface, things get wonky). Lining pieces were all sewn together. Darts were all sewn before applying trim.

Okay, now the fun stuff!

How to on the Feather Trim:

  • Remove feathers from bias tape on which they were strung
  • Cut 2″ strips of black linen blend
  • Pull individual treads off the strips to create a frayed edge
  • Machine sew feathers onto strips – going over each feather 2-3 times
  • Cut quills off the feathers above the stitch line
Feather trim close detail

Finished feather trim close detail

Layering the bodice:

  • Mark each placement line
  • Sew strips of feather trim on bodice starting from the bottom and working your way upward
Layering the feather trim onto the bodice

Layering the feather trim onto the bodice

Look at all that detail when its done:

Close-up of finished side of bodice

Close-up of finished side of bodice

Now to get to work finishing off the sleeves (which have been lined with basic black lining fabric from JoAnn’s that I had left over from a previous project). This picture shows the completed bodice with one sleeve pinned on to give a better idea of the finished bodice.

Full bodice with one sleeve ready to go.

Full bodice with one sleeve ready to go.

 

I’ll post an update soon with the finished dress. This certainly is one of my favorites for dreary day photoshoots!