February 12, 2013

Carolyn's Black Satin Formal

Check out this post to see the original sketch, design plans, and supply list...

Well, we pulled it together!  And it was even better than I imagined!  +Carolyn Atherley and I worked together on it and I think she learned a lot!  I look forward to our future projects. :-)

Patterns used: Simplicity 2398 and Simplicity 4070

Back and Side views without the sash.

I'm going to do a whole post on the Premiere and I'm sure you'll see a lot of this dress, but I wanted to put some pictures from the night up here that probably wouldn't make the cut for the other post. :-)

Check out that hairpiece and gloves and earrings and hair and girl!  Carolyn, you're just all-around stunning. :-)

How long did it take us? I can't remember. We got together probably 4 different times for 3-5 hours.  All of the handwork needed on the lace and at the end I did while listening to audiobooks, (Little Dorrit!) but all of the machine work Carolyn was there to do or observe.

There were a couple seams to unpick and we didn't check the temperature on the iron, so we burned a whole right through what quickly became the lining portion of the bodice. All in all though, there weren't any speed bumps.

The pearly buttons on the back are merely decorations.  There are snaps to close the back.

Note to self: Next time you decide to teach someone to sew, don't start with a formal gown.  Things like curves, satin, lace, french seams, zippers, overlays, and modifying patterns are hard things to explain when people don't know what a presser-foot, dog feet, and grain are.  Carolyn did spectacularly, but honestly, cutting out patterns is hard when you're a beginning!  Be nice to your poor pupils!!

The back, and the beautiful insides. :-)  There is such satisfaction in a project that looks just as clean and put together on the inside as it does on the outside.   It is like clean sheets or chai tea.  Seriously.

The french seams and the zipper-top.  This was the first zipper in a long time that I did on the machine. Let's just say that I'm addicted to hand-picked zippers and this was totes sub-par.  

Look at that hem!  I used a tutorial I found on pinterest.  I can't find the link. :-( It calls for tailor's waistband material.  It is pretty nifty.  I've used it on quite a few projects with marvelous success.

And now, some pictures of the dress in action at the premiere.

The "black n' whites."  Check out Carolyn's cute matching shoes poking out!


On the red carpet.  If you're wondering what the thing in the background is, it's a portal.  It is from the movie. :-)

What can I say?  We're from Rockford. :-)
(Rockford is pretty high up on the Forbes list of worst places to live.  High crime, high taxes, low jobs, lousy public school, lousy economy... you get the picture.  Except the premiere was held up in Wisconsin, at Morell Cinematic Studios, and the gun owners live up there, so it's just a joke really. :-)

Well, what do you think?  


  1. Wow !!! I didn't realize you two made the dress ! Well done !

  2. What do I think ?! Well, it's awesome...Simply great, nice shape, great details and lace...I mean, laaaaace ! I admire you so much for working with lace (and Carolyn of course !) because I'm scared of it ! The 2 of you did a great job, I'm pinning this right away !
    Have a great day !

    1. Merci beaucoup Marie! I'm still a little shy of lace myself, but I just bought some tablecloths and practiced with different things. :-)

  3. I'd been following you in Google reader on another account and I'm finally getting to comment about this beautiful dress! It is so gorgeous. The lace at the top is my favorite part. It's so pretty! I'm really loving all the formal dresses; they're all gorgeous!