Friday, December 30, 2011

1940s Halter Cocktail Dress: Skirt and Final Construction

Remember way back when, I started posting about a dress I was making? Yeah, me either.

In fact, I finished the dress weeks ago, and wore it to a party, and already made some adjustments to it. But with the holiday rush, I didn't show you the wrap-up!

To recall--this is a 1940s halter dress, made of silk charmeuse, from Butterick pattern #5209.

The biggest change I made to the pattern was to assemble the skirt differently. The original pattern calls for a gathered skirt, which I didn't have great confidence in. Oh, it would be easy enough, of course--but there's also the potential for belly-pooch-poofing--which, I tell you, can strike with a gathered skirt with or without a real belly pooch.

So I pleated the skirt instead. Big, simple, dare I say nearly architectural box pleats.

I worked the pleat placement on the dress form, and pinned the individual pleats and pinned the skirt to the bodice. I then stitched down each pleat by hand, and then sewed the skirt in place between the bodice layers.

All this pleating, fussing, and working over the same spots time and again was made much easier by the little step I took first thing--zig-zag stitching the edges in a sort of faux-serging finish technique. No fraying. And no need for hemming the interior of the bodice lining, either.

In its not quite finished glory, pinned and unpressed:

Of course I failed to get a picture of it complete, with me actually in it. Instead, Sophie Biscuit in a Christmas tree.


Toponsjames said...

I always have a special love for the halt. And I'm also wrote a blog about V-halt cocktail dress. If you're interested in, you can have a look.

Connie Keller said...

The dress came out beautifully. I'm sure you looked gorgeous in it.