A Proper Party Dress. Part 2: modifying the pattern & cutting

Once the fabric arrived and we had plenty of fun rolling the net and tulle onto long cardboard tubes, I had a serious look at the Chloe pattern.

The two main pieces, bodice front and back, are very simple and taper slightly in at the waist. My child doesn’t. She has a tummy that is perfectly normal, from looking around her ballet class, and her sensory issues mean that she can’t stand to wear things sitting at certain points on her body.

Getting out our trusty ‘Swedish tracing paper’ from Gloriarty we copied the pieces out & pinned – carefully – onto her body.

20130624-140055.jpg
Obviously it doesn’t have the same handle as fabric but there are a few obvious issues: length, tummy, armholes.

20130624-140158.jpg
Even taking off the seam allowances, it was going to be uncomfortable (and go unworn, no matter how pretty).

20130624-140303.jpg
You can see how much I have taken off the armholes front and back here – even with our dodgy floor as background! (I promise to get nice white matboard soon).

20130624-140435.jpg
And in comparison to the ‘standard’ pattern (which is beautifully drawn & clearly marked) – her shoulders are narrow and delicate while she broadens out in the middle. As for an adult pattern, I added length to the centre front but blended it back in to match the side seam length.

20130624-140741.jpg
Finally, I used the transparency of the pinable, sewable tracing paper to centre the design on a flower. This is an incredibly wasteful way to use fabric & the opposite of my usual “squeeze ’em in” technique, but for special occasions & large print, it’s worth doing. I did the same across the back and sash, so that when buttoned up the back flower would look unbroken too. This was mostly by eye & I pretended I was putting a zip in to get it right.

20130624-141037.jpg
Finally, I cut the same pieces from a smooth & soft lining (once we had confirmed it was smooth enough), and the huge pieces of net and tulle: each layer is made from two panels roughly 16 inches by 2 & 1/2 yards, joined at the sides and gathered into a tiny waist…

20130624-141313.jpg

Next part: assembling the dress or ‘how I learned to love tulle’.

One thought on “A Proper Party Dress. Part 2: modifying the pattern & cutting

  1. Wee Bear, is a doll! She’s so pretty, I love the way she’s looking at what’s going on her. This takes me back to my own party dress fittings when I was little. I got some good wear out of those party dresses. Talking of sensory issues my daughter has rarely worn anything other than super loose dresses, t-shirts and leggings. The dress is going to be gorgeous, can’t wait!

Leave a Reply