Unique, handmade clothing. Rantings, ravings and other lunacy. Tutorials. Shameless self promoting. Hot women. And anything else I want to go on about.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The aNGrY Dress Part 1 - The Petticoat

I've been asked to be the Maid of Honor (Matron?) at my girlfriend's wedding on January 30th. She was hesitant to ask, because that meant I'd have to wear a dress... and she didn't know if I'd be willing to do that or not... hahah. She did give me several concessions that made it worth my while to accept - it could be any dress I want, it had to be black (whoot) and I could make it myself if I wanted. Which of course, I wanted.

I'd mocked up the dress itself in muslin, but before I could do any further work on the dress design, I had to get the petticoat done. It turned out to be an easy enough task, except for having to wrangle around 10 yards of tulle and lace. I have waaay more appreciation for Jinx the tutu queen (MTCoffinz.etsy.com) now that I've wrestled with the tulle ;)

I wanted the tulle to be hidden under the lace. I'm not a big fan of tulle, so I thought the lace might make a nicer front face. I basically made three patterns - a 12.5 X 9 inch rectangle for the top (yoke) tier, a looooonger 20 X 23 inch rectangle for the middle tier, and a smaller 20 X 12 rectangle for the third tier.

I cut two of the first yoke tier pattern on the fold along the 9 inch side, and sewed them together to form a circle, again with the seam on the 9 inch side. I serged the top edge, then folded it under about an inch and a half. I sewed it around the edge to form the elastic pocket, and threaded the elastic through.

For the tulle underlayer, I cut 3 of the second tier pattern on the fold on the 23 inch side, and sewed them together. Then cut 6 of the third tier pattern on the fold on the 12 inch side, and sewed them together. I gathered the top of the third tier and sewed it to the second tier. I then pinned it loosely to the yoke so I could test the length...

For the lace top layer, I used the same patterns in the same manner as above, except that I cut a continuous piece from the lace for the full length of each tier, as I did not want a lot of seams showing on the lace. I'd cut out one piece of the pattern, then move the pattern over and keep cutting, until I'd move the pattern 6 times for the second tier, and 12 times for the bottom tier. This took about 10 yards of lace. I used the scalloped selvage on the lace as the bottom hem for the third tier. Might as well use what's already provided :D

I gathered and sewed the lace layer the same way as the tulle, then I gathered both the lace layer and the tulle layer at their top, then sewed both to the yoke bottom. This was a LOT of work to keep straight, as you can see:

So here is the *finished* petticoat. I say *finished* because it turned out to be about 1.5 inches too long for me, so I have to adjust the yoke tier for that. Also, I haven't finished the seam between the yoke tier and the lace/tulle. It's all sewed up, but not serged and topstitched yet, as I think I might want to add another underlayer of black broadcloth to make the petticoat opaque. I haven't decided yet.

It's still pretty damn angry...

The dress is next :D


  1. Wow- it's pretty! Probably not what you want to hear! I can see why you wanted the broadcloth at the top - it looks like it is helping to anchor the fluffy stuff. Brave of you to wrangle tulle.

  2. I LOVE it so far... I'm eagerly awaiting the dress!!

  3. I'd wear that as a skirt itself. You are SO making me a dress for a sekret project LOL

  4. I love it! I can't wait to see everything together when its finished :D

  5. It looks great! I can't wait to see the rest!

  6. Whoa! What a ton of work! It looks great, though.

  7. That looks amazing!!

    Once the dress is done, I'm sure I'm gonna be drooling all over it, and start pestering you about making them for the shop or something!

  8. Already looking good. Can't wait to see the finished dress.

  9. OMG...that looks wicked cool so far! I can't wait to see it all pulled together. };D

  10. Excellent work... can't wait to see the dress. And you in it, haha.