My blue-collared fancy dress – Part 2

Time to start on the skirt!  Unlike the bodice, I did not have a pattern for the skirt, only a vision.   The skirt is a wrap skirt, so my idea was to have 2 mirror-image pieces in the back (in order to fit in the zipper in the final step), and two pieces in the front: a right piece which would be pleated and attached first, then a left piece which would be attached second and overlap the piece from the right.

To make a pattern I cut some large pieces of extra muslin to pin on my mannequin and trim down to the correct size.  I am sure that there is a more efficient way to do this, but my self-taught method works pretty well.

Pattern muslin pinned to bodice
Pattern muslin pined to bodice

My main objective when creating the pattern pieces was to align the darts and pleats with the seams in the bodice in order to make the lines in the entire dress continuous.  The finished hem of the skirt is also higher in the front than the back, giving an asymmetrical look and allowing your shoes to be seen.  Although I cut my patterns at an angle to account for the higher front, I was not concerned with getting it perfect the first time as that is easily altered once the final skirt is assembled.

After I had all 4 pattern pieces complete, I used the muslin as a template to cut a freezer paper pattern piece.  I transferred all markings to the freezer paper.

Once my freezer paper patterns were ready, I could cut from the blue satin.  Each piece would also get polka dot lining, which I cut in a mirror image of the blue satin, pinned them together and essentially treated the blue silk and the lining as a single piece.  Attaching the skirt turned out to be fairly straightforward and I did not have to do a lot of rework to make it look right.  Attaching the zipper was a bit troublesome, but I ended up getting everything to go together.  I was pretty happy with my first fitting and almost-finished product.


Although I hemmed the skirt, the front of the skirt is very long as you can only see my toes peaking through and you can not see any of the lining on the back side.  I took the front edges in about 8″ for the final look.   I also sewed a quick sash out of the blue satin to complete the dress.  The finished product looked appropriately fancy next to Drew in a tux.

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