Seraphina Dress for Christmas
Let me start by saying I have alway loved Violette Fields Threads(VFT) patterns! They are just so amazing. The instructions are so perfectly done. They are very detailed! I started sewing with VFT and I believe their patterns taught me to sew! I wanted to blog about this particular dress, because I changed it up a bit!
I will briefly discuss:
-modifications and pattern construction
-cutting the fabric
-styling your garment
AH! this was a tough one! I think this dress would work in so many different fabrics! I went back and forth, back and forth. I decided to use a light pink tencel twill from Blackbird Fabrics. It has a beautiful drape and is very soft! I cut out the pattern pieces and realized that I did not have enough fabric for the entire dress! I was cutting out the size 9/10 and I knew I couldn’t make the skirt long enough. It was going to be about 3 inches short all around. That would never do for my tall girl!
Modifications and pattern construction:
I thought about putting some lace at the hem...but for a floor length dress with my active 9 year old who doesn’t avoid puddles and things…I thought that was a recipe for disaster and would be a dirt magnet. So I thought to myself, well….what about an overlay of sheer fabric that could extend out a little longer? The pattern itself comes with a special occasion version so I decided I would look for some sheer embroidered tulle shown below:
Now this fabric was not a realistic price point for me at $50 a yard! However, there was a 50% coupon for one cut of fabric. I decided I needed 3 yards at $25 a yard which is still $75! But worth it for my little princess! I am a sucker for her!! This was going to be a Christmas dress for our trip to London--so I splurged.
If you will notice the fabric requirements are more than this for the special occasion version:
There is also tulle included, which I opted not to do. This dress was going to have to travel on a plane in a suitcase with 2 weeks worth of clothing. It could not take up an entire suitcase!!! I also couldn’t afford 6.5 yards of this fabric!
I decided to cut 2 skirt pieces about 10 inches wider than the original skirt pieces for her size and I cut the length that it required for special occasion fabric for the 9/10 size. As I said before, I did not include the tulle. I went ahead and cut out all of the pieces for the dress as if I were making the normal version. Then I cut out pieces in the embroidered tulle. (One front bodice, two mirrored back bodice pieces, two sleeves, and the skirt pieces). I basically underlined all of the pattern pieces except for the skirt. Meaning I sewed the tulle on top of the regular pattern piece (not the lining) and used a short stitch length (2.0). I used about a 1/4” seam allowance.
After this, I treated the pattern pieces as I would normally if I were making the regular version with a normal front bodice (no princess seam) and with the regular maxi skirt.
When I got to the skirt section, after sewing the backs to the front and making one long skirt piece, I sewed a gathering stitch at the top of the tulle. I then gathered it to the be the same width as the regular fabric skirt, which was also one long piece already assembled.
I placed the tulle wrong side on top of the regular fabric right side. So both right sides were facing up! I made sure my side seams matched and I basted them together at the waistline. I then treated this as the regular skirt in the pattern and acted as if it was one pattern piece.
Cutting the fabric:
When I cut out the tulle, I decided to leave length at the bottom of the design because I didn’t want the hem to interrupt the design. I cut the fabric on the cross grain, meaning my skirt pattern pieces were cut with the grain going horizontally. This was the way the pattern on the fabric was meant to be displayed, much like a border fabric.
Hemming was not too difficult. I used a large hem because I had left plenty of tulle at the hem. I folded it up about 2 inches and then again by 2 inches. I wanted it to be a thick hem with a little bit of weight. This would be a good time to use horsehair braid, but I did not have this. I also made sure that I did not serge in areas where you could see it from the right side. I used pinking shears for any seam allowances that could be seen. They blended in with the gathered tulle a bit better that way
The pattern fit my little Emma perfectly but I didn’t modify the pattern by going into a size 7 at the waist. She has a tiny waist!
I added a 1 inch ribbon tape around the dress to tie and cinch it in the back. I think this is lovely. I top-stitched the tape on the top and the bottom about 1/8 inch in and only across the front bodice so that it would freely pull the waist at the back.
I almost thought about adding an invisible zip too but left it with a regular zipper because I had a pink one! I do recommend with fabric like this that you make sure the zipper doesn’t get caught in the flurry that pokes out of the dress! Cut any pieces close to the zipper.
Just put it on with some pearls and a beret and you are done! Not much to say here! The dress speaks for itself!