Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Creative Combination

I wanted to make a 1920's dress. A lot of the pictures I have seen have elaborate beading, sometimes over the whole dress. I thought that would be fun to have, but not to do myself. So, I went shopping. On the clearance rack of my favorite thrift store, I happened to find a black skirt with lots of beading. I also found a sheer, pleated skirt. If I combined the two, I might be able to come up with something!

I removed the waistband and zipper from the pleated skirt. It would be the skirt part of the dress.

The beaded skirt would be the top of the dress. I took it apart at the side and back seams. At this point, I stopped taking in-progress pictures, but I cut armholes and a neck hole along the white lines in the picture on the right below. I then finished the arms and neck by pulling the skirt inside out through the opening in the back and sewing the outer beaded fabric to the lining.

I sewed up the opening in the back (and on the sides under the armholes) with what I like to call hidden or finished seams. First, I sew the fabric wrong sides together so that the raw edges are on the outside. Then I turn the garment inside out and sew another seam that encases the raw edges. This leaves me with a normal-looking seam on the outside and no raw fabric edges showing anywhere! I'm not sure if that is a very good explanation, but hopefully the pictures will help:

Normal-looking seam on the outside:                            Casing on the inside hiding the raw edges:

The beaded top ended up being a little shorter than the drop-waist style I was going for, so I decided to lengthen it by making shoulder straps from the waistband. I took beads off the remnants of fabric from the armholes and sewed them in lines at the seams of the shoulder straps. This echoed the lines of beads at the bottom of the skirt and made the transition from shoulder strap to beaded top more smooth. I also added a flower to one shoulder strap because flowers are fun.

Bead lines on the bottom:

Then all that was left was to sew the pleated skirt to the beaded top. I didn't want to mess up the natural drape of the beaded fabric, so I sewed the skirt on by hand just to the lining. Here is the finished dress:

I kinda like it! Combining is fun! I will be looking for more beaded things in the future. 

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