So here it is...the Chole Dress. You may remember this post where I was being oh so cheery about putting this one together, ya final product worth it? Maybe. Get ready for TMI.
I basically bought this pattern to have some guidance about how to make a dress so fluffy and fun...the answer to that is to use 6 layers (the pattern says 4 but ya guidelines) I used for the skirt top to bottom: 3 tulle, one netting, one chiffon, and one quilting cotton.
I had my doubts about how all this was going to go so I went ahead and made a "muslin" for another little girlie, Isabel, in violet. Ya I can see that the muslin is made of silk dupioni and some awesome damask but hey why not make it great?
So after some measuring of my girls I noticed that the pattern for the bodice seemed a bit too short...so I lengthened it a couple inches. I also reshaped the back of the bodice as it was not scooped enough for my taste and I lengthened the back edges so the dresses have more of a placket.
I also did not like the finishing of the inside of the garment...just serging all the skirt and bodice layers and having them exposed along the waist is not my idea of a professional finish...all that tulle and netting could be scratchy! So of course I had to make it more laborious and sew the skirt pieces to just the outer bodice and then fold the lining over the serged edges (essentially sandwiching the skirt between the lining and outer bodice) and hand-stitch it down.
I also made a tester bodice because in the pattern it has you stitch the bottom of the bodice together...ya after trying it on the littlest girl it was hard to get on as it doesn't have ANY give in the waist if you do it according to instructions. So in order to be able to put the dresses on the girls I did not sew the bodice together at the waist and instead actually made an opening in the skirt a couple inches long below the bodice, in the end not that noticeable but it makes it SO MUCH easier to get on.
Now for the skirts...looking at my two versions you can see a big difference due to some modifications. In both I used 2 colors of tulle to try and give the dress some depth, in the pink the bottom layer is actually orange and the violet dress has 2 purples in it, both have white netting as I could not find any other colors. The pattern also says to use nylon chiffon but I could not for the life of me find ANY nylon chiffon so I bought polyester and serged a hem.
In the violet dress I cut all the tulle and chiffon to the same length (I just could NOT follow the directions to cut the netting the same length...the thought of the white peeking out made me not so happy). Well I also made the mistake of gathering the layers separately (totally MY fault!) which made the chiffon (which is really, too long) not stick to the netting and just hang straight and look stupid. Also, I used TWO layers of tulle when the pattern only calls for one but was not really getting the SUPER POOFY effect that I wanted...noted and fixed with the THREE layers in the pink dress.
The pink dress also has netting cut at least 1" shorter than the tulle and the chiffon is 1.5" shorter than the tulle and the underskirt of quilting cotton is even shorter and I gathered all layers together...that's right 6 layers at once, I had to hand baste them with embroidery floss...ya it just got REAL! Well sewing all the layers of poof really got me scared that I was going to break a needle but whew, some careful sewing and all was well.
Now for attaching the sash, I used the pattern piece for the front and made the ties longer and cut a...I dunno whatcha call it triangled end? it goes to a point, not a square so whatever you call that, see the pictures. After topstitching, I hand-sewed the sash onto the bodice and sideseams as machine stitching seemed a bit impossible.
In the end it will take me a while before I ever make this dress again though I do like the results I will mainly use the information about what makes it poofy for future reference.
I made the pink one to be worn by my cousin's little girl on Easter...well she didn't like it so it remains unworn (ya..ouch), but the meh "muslin" violet dress is loved by Isabel! Fabrics are: Pink Dress: Valori Wells Rosettes in cherry, Kona Papaya for the sash, and Melon for the lining; Violet Dress: Silk dupioni, some white batiste and some Etsuko Furuya Gothic Grape.