Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May Day! May Day! Prom Dress Needed!

Emergency!  A sartorial crisis has arisen.  I sewed a Junior Prom dress for my niece last year and this year, she bought a dress.  She brought it to me for alteration and I told her it would be easier to start over from scratch.  She is a dream to work with!  We quickly negotiated the design and I will use the purchased dress as guidance with sizing.  It would fit her if it had a 1.5 inch FBA. There will be no muslin (there is no time) so it will be basted together, fitted once, and then finished.  You can see the dress on the cutting table here and I will post a summary of the project with more pictures later.

The red shirt on the ironing board is a wadder - or maybe I will call it a wearable muslin for winter layering.

For now, I thought I'd show you my sewing room in Baltimore.  It took me FOREVER to learn how to use the space there.  OK, that is an exaggeration, but it took a full year to learn where the best light was, how the road noises affected my sleep and all that sort of thing.  It turns out I use the little bedroom as a sewing room and it is very comfortable now.

In the background is red knit fabric for a dress to go with my colorful Jacket #5.
 After some trial and error, I learned that my minimum requirements are:
  •  a large cutting table - this dresser is the perfect height with a hollow core door on top and legs from IKEA
  • a TV for my beloved Netflix
  • I can't stand to sew facing a wall. 

Back when hubby and I decided to maintain a crashpad close to my job, I had the illusion that I'd be at the sewing machine by 6pm every night and producing at super-human levels.   I did not mind buying an extra sewing machine, and I have all the basic notions.  But - I have been very reluctant to duplicate everything I really need.  For example, I don't have a serger at the apartment.  The hardest part is the stash.  This prom dress is a perfect example - I have the perfect powernet (mesh material used in foundation garments) for the cups in the bodice.  I have plenty of black nylon tricot for the lining.  It is all in Rockville!  If I had my supplies, I could have this dress finished by Friday.  It really is just a long, lined knit dress with a swimsuit type of bodice.  I am using spandex that looks a lot like satin, just like the purchased dress.  Fitting is not such an issue as long as there is sufficient coverage in the FBA department.  It is not that hard, you know?  Heck, the hem is a rolled-edge serged hem.

Anyhow, I will figure it out!! I do love a challenge.  And my niece is one of my favorite people in the world, so I am enjoying this little emergency.

Happy problem-solving!


  1. I was thinking just another day that sewing requires a huge overhead, compared to other crafting hobbies like knitting or crocheting. First off is the various types of machines (I have a regular sewing machine that does embroidery too, serger and a regular plain sewing machine. I want to get a coverstitch as well). And you have countless notions. I think that's why the popularity of sewing will never catch up to knitting. Sewing is a big committment and investment! It would be very hard to keep two sewing spaces like you do!

  2. Good luck with the prom dress. I am not a big fan of sewing to a deadline but I am sure that you are up to the task and the dress will be lovely. You are a very nice Aunt!

  3. Deadlines are bad, but they are also good. I am sure it will look great but it will probably involve late night stress. Deadlines always do that for me anyway :)

  4. I hope your rescue mission goes smoothly. If that was my project, I would know I had that powernet, but it would not be where I though it was, and would turn up 3 months later in the children's dress up box. You must be very organized!

  5. What a great aunt you are - good luck with the dress.

  6. Good luck, you can definitely do it even with limited supplies - just make sure you forget everything you learnt on the couture sewing course!

  7. Godspeed, Robin! I still think I'd say no to sewing prom dresses, but that's just me.


Thanks for visiting my blog and Happy Sewing, xo

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.