A few weeks back my good friend Kristi called. She and her husband are finally able to be sealed to their daughter so it was time for me to start on the dress.
I promised to make this dress years ago so, in spite of the seven flower girls and four brides maids dresses on my to do list, I set to work on the sealing dress.
Even after giving this project priority, I couldn’t completely turn my mind away from the impending flower girl project. I ended up using the same design concept for this dress. A peasant style bodice with a full skirt layered under a corset in a contrasting texture.
With the basic concept in place, details needed consideration. A bit of lace at the gathered neckline and ruffles for the sleeves of the eyelet under dress.
Piped seams with the tone on tone plaid of the corset, and soft billowing organza laces to soften things up.
I am in love with the floppy bow.
Another requirement for this dress was alterability. Kristi wants her girl to be able to wear this same dress when she’s baptized, so it will have to grow from the size of a five year old to the size of an eight year old.
Now, I didn’t spend so much time stitching in costume shops for nothing. Inch or more seam allowances and quick alterations are standard issue in those places so making an expandable dress is fairly old hat for me.
The corset is pretty expandable without any extra attention thanks to the lace up closure. Still though, I left plenty of extra space in the side and shoulder seams. Also, rather than stitching up all the seams safely inside the lining I finished off the front piece and the two back pieces individually and left the side and shoulder seams out in the open.
I did the same again with the bodice of the under-dress. The best part though, is the skirt. I gathered it to fit the fully extended bodice and bound the gathered edge. I pleated the gathered and bound skirt to fit the current size of the bodice and stitched the two together. Now when it comes time to alter the dress there will be no need to redistribute the gathers. Just release those pleats and the job is done!
It’s not the prettiest on the inside, but it’s tidy and very efficient and that’s what counts this time.
I boxed it up and sent it off today. Farewell little dress, good luck!