I've been working on an eighth grade graduation dress for the daughter of a friend. They asked me back in February if I would be able to make one, and how much. I said 'of course!' (I mean, come on! I have all boys. I leapt at the chance to make a girly dress!), and said I do like the barter system. :) It's win-win -- her daughter gets a lovely, one-of-a-kind dress, I get some babysitting, or meals, or housework....I haven't decided yet.
Anyway, here's the dress. She brought me a magazine photo of a dress they liked, and we started with Vogue 2481. I flared the skirt and added straps. C is pretty much a perfect pattern size 8, so I did virtually no adjustments to the muslin I made. She has that perfect 14 year old figure, with the willowy waist. Ms. Belinda does not have the perfect 14 year old figure (and definitely no willowy waist), so I pinned the dress onto her as best I could.
The dress has an inner foundation, which I think is going to be great for C. The foundation keeps the dress secure and held in place, so she shouldn't feel the need to hike up on it all the time. Calvin and I had his gymnastics banquet the weekend before last, and a lot of the girls were wearing strapless dresses and constantly pulling on them. Not a good look! For the foundation, I used muslin, and cut each piece twice. Then I layered the pieces, stitched the channels for the boning (I used rigilene), and constructed the foundation.
I took care to match the pleats on the left side seam. The fabric was purchased at Joanns. They fell in love with it, and bought the whole bolt (only 2.5 yards), and thankfully it was enough. It's a polyester, but it feels really nice and is a very good imitation silk. I prewashed everything, and underlined the dress with white lining.
We lined the dress in pink, because isn't it fun to have a pretty lining? Besides, white is so sheer, you'd see all the seams through it. I prickstitch my linings (instead of slipstitching)down to the zipper to prevent them from rolling and getting caught in the slide.
To finish the bottom for the hem, I did a hong kong finish. 'Cause it's pretty. :) Graduation is tomorrow, I hope C loves it as much as I enjoyed making it.
(btw -- the boys wear suit jackets. I think Caleb might need a cool stylish suit jacket next year, no?)