Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pink and spearmint dress update

Hello all! Been busy working on my pink and spearmint dress (which I affectionately refer to as my "ice cream" dress, since the pink looks like strawberry ice cream, the spearmint looks like mint ice cream, and the tan looks like coffee ice cream, and maybe I'm just a little too hungry when I sew...) and I've gotten a lot done in the last few days. I've sewn the top layer of skirts to the bodice, and I'm quite proud of how it turned out. I used my serger to properly finish the seams, and they look very nice and professional. Sewing points into a cavity is infinitely trickier than it sounds like it should be, and I had a lot of trouble with it until a) I looked at a friend's dress to see how it was done, and b) I took the time to actually hand baste it in place. The trick is to get very close to the edge of the stretchy top fabric that's the concave part you are sewing the point into. This is much easier when you're not dealing with pins and it's hand basted.

Yay for sergers and nicely finished seams so they will stop unraveling!

After finishing the godets, I made the bodysuit and basted it to the bodice. In a super blonde moment, I made the bodysuit tan, instead of the pink I had intended, so I'm going to have to change my plan a little bit. In the end, I think my subconscious knew what it was doing though, cause I think this will turn out better in the end. I also made some elastic straps, which are covered in the cappuccino dance crepe, and are now wonderfully soft and will be the right color for when I'm in comp tan. These are really easy to make, some day I'll make a tutorial for it, since the technique could be expanded for making those arm bands that floats are often connected to (which is probably what I'm going to do for the floats on this dress).

And now I'm working on putting the zipper in. More pics to come once I can actually wear it!

Edited to add: Zipper is in, and thank God, it fits! It's tight, but nice and snug. Phew. Was worried there, this lace doesn't stretch as much as the lycra does.


  1. Here is a tutorial for sewing in godets: Even though it is intended for hand sewing, it is the clearest explanation I have found online.

    I love the name you have for your gown. I name mine as well, though the dress sometimes creates its own nickname. The one I called "Winter Sky" because of the pink and blue was almost universally called "Disney Princess" after Cinderella's dress, which is just blue, but often shown on a pink background.

  2. Thank you outdoor blogger!

    And thanks bgballroom, that's what I ended up doing.

    1. Hi
      I am a skater and have previously bought my skating costumes but now that my level has gotten higher so has the price of the costumes,
      I am thinking about making my own ice skating dresses since I can sew.I was wondering do you actually save money by making your own ballroom dresses.

    2. Yes, and no. If I were to buy a dress like this it would cost more, but there are cheaper alternatives that would cost less than the materials I put into this (though it would look cheaper). My smooth dress (the pink and teal dress) cost me a lot less to make for a couple reasons: the fabric was on sale, it uses less than a standard dress (no layers and layers of skirts), and I used preciosa stones instead of swarovski. It cost me in total about $400. There are chinese dresses that you could buy that cost around $300, but they are made using korean rhinestones. Originally, I set out on this to save money on a dress, but I've come to really enjoy making the dress, from designing it, to planning how to do it, and then completing it, it's more than just saving money now.

    3. Wow you're quick to reply !
      I think I will give it a go since I enjoy sewing and I've worked out the cost it ends up cheaper for me since I don't pay labour costs. Have you heard of Jalie patterns I have heard that they are very good I think this one might work for you Sewing Pattern #2917 Dance and Freestyle Skating Dresses if you modified it a bit, this is the one I'm going to use Sewing Pattern #2801 Skating Dress with Large Keyhole Back . Wish me good luck.

    4. I have heard of Jalie, a woman I work with in a costume shop recommended them. That pattern looks very nice! Best of luck!

  3. outdoors blogger - I spend a lot of time at Pattern and the people there LOVE Jalie patterns. I haven't used one yet but would love to try them.

    I agree with Blessing that you may or may not save money sewing your own costumes. My gowns are probably around $400 as well, but yours will be much less due to using far less fabric. You will be able to be splashy with your crystal budget!

    Pick up some cheap fabric for testing, either from thrift stores or online stores, and make a bunch of leotards (just the body) until you like the fit. I recommend the Kwik Sew Actionwear book for help with technique if you haven't sewed a lot of knits.

    Be patient with yourself and enjoy the process. I take about 3 - 4 months to do a gown, including pattern drafting, all the sewing, cutting, fitting plus embellishing, but yours may well be quicker again due to less sheer volume to deal with. Have fun!

    1. Oh my gosh your like me, I spend a lot of time as well on pattern .Would you guys like me to review the pattern on my blog.I'm planning to take lots of pics, I'll post them on my blog when I get round to doing it so you're welcome to come and have a look and tell me what you guys think.