I wish I had posted a few "in progress" posts, as I have a lot to say about construction. Feel free to skip to the cute pictures and ignore the words. :)
The pattern I used I Simplicity 2065, which is a licensed Disney Tangled pattern for Rapunzel's dress. As with the last Disney Princess pattern I've made, I found this one to be quite low cut, overly long and large in the shoulders and upper chest. At least they are consistent. I did a bit of a cheater fix. Rather than re-draft the neckline and do a narrow shoulder alteration, I just pinched out an inch from the shoulder seams. This raised the neckline and tightened up the shoulders nicely. If only fitting patterns for me was so easy...
Here is the neckline closer up. In retrospect, I think I should have lowered the placement of the eyelets a little. There is a gap between the bottom of the eyelets and the waist, but the top eyelet is hidden under the lace trim. You can also see the glitter finish on the satin in this picture. I let Myra choose the fabric and trim for the dress. The purple and pink satin (both from Joann's "Special Occasion" line) have a glitter finish. I wasn't sure how this would survive in the wash, so I didn't prewash the satin. At least it will still be there for Halloween. I steered Myra toward the heavier weights of satin rather than the "costume" satin. I hate sewing that thin slippery stuff, and the special occasion fabrics have more heft.
The dress is fully lined. I used stash fabrics here, so it's a bit of a mish mash. The bodice is lilac satin left over from this dress, and the skirt is a rayon lining that I had hanging around. There is a 7 yard long strip of tulle stitched to the lining to give the skirt body, since three layers of gathered skirt weren't enough. The neckline is faced, which I went back and forth about. It probably wasn't necessary, since the trim is topstitched to the neckline, which provided stability and prevents the lining from rolling out.
Here is the back view. I debated about how to close this. The pattern calls for a lapped zipper, which I think is reasonable, although I find it a bit more difficult to install with the overskirt in the way. I considered velcro, but velcro in the wash with organza and tulle is a recipe for disaster.
In the end, I went with my standby, the invisible zip. Naturally, I had a pink one in stash. It went in perfectly on the first attempt, and I love that I can attach the lining to the zipper by machine, so it looks good on the inside and encloses all the zipper seam allowances nicely.
Construction-wise I thought this pattern was fairly good. The instructions were logical and complete, and went in an order that made reasonable sense, with the exception of just a few things.
After constructing the bodice shell (for which the instructions were great), you construct the overskirt, narrow hem the front edges, do a 1 inch hem on the lower edge, then apply the trim. Once all that is done, you gather the overskirt onto the bodice and baste it in place. For the construction seams, Simplicity (in the "General Instructions" part of the pattern instructions) suggests that you either double stitch and trim closely or serge finish the seams. I'm not sure how well the double stitch and trim would work with this ravelly organza. Typically for sheer fabrics, I would do a french seam. For this, I serged with a narrow 3 thread stitch. For the front edges, rather than a narrow hem, I elected to serge finish, then apply the trim to cover the serged sedge.
Here is how it looks on the underside. I actually think this is a nicer finish than a hem, which would have added bulk and weight. This way, the overskirt is very light and floaty. I did not finish the lower edge at this time, as I wanted to check the final length of all the layers on Myra prior to hemming. Once I had finished the dress and was ready to hem, I serged off the hem allowance (I ended up taking off only 1/2 inch, so I'm glad I waited!), then applied the trim in the same way as the front edges, mitering the corners at the front.
Isn't that lovely trim? I think is is Myra's favorite part of the dress.
For the underskirt hem, Simplicity allowed 2 inches, which they wanted you to double fold and hand sew. I've never had good luck invisibly sewing satin - it shows every teeny stitch. Instead, after measuring my hem on Myra, I lightly pressed it. Then I used the pressed edge to sew a line of fusible thread at the hemline. I serged off all but a 1/2 inch hem allowance, then fused the fusible thread to give a sharp crease. I then fused the hem down with steam-a-seam lite, rather than sewing it.
And here is the finished hem. It looks nice and crisp and the Steam-a-seam is quite sturdy. If she does manage to pull it out, repair is quite easy.
|Logan wanted to get into the action with his Woody vest. I'll tell you about that once I make his shirt!|
My only other piece of advice to those who are making this dress is this - Baste, baste, baste! I am typically not a baster. I like to just sew and let the seams fall where they may, but all these layers of slippery fabrics will bite you if you do not baste. Other than that, I really think that despite the many yards of annoying to sew fabrics, this is not a difficult pattern, but it does turn out a phenomenal princess dress. I suspect I'll be using it again, although perhaps with less fullness for dress up. It's perfect for a Halloween costume, but perhaps a bit too tulle-normous for everyday dress-up. (Credit to Ginnie for coining the word "tulle-normous" - Love it!)
Sparkles and twirls! What else could a little princess ask for?