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December 09, 2016
This tutorial is for a formal ball gown, which can be adapted to make a fun party dress by making the skirt shorter. The bodice is based on Vogue 8789 (view A), which is a great easy pattern for beginners, based on a classic 1957 design.
Start by cutting out 2 of each of your front, back, and armhole facing black stretch taffeta pieces. Use pinking shears to prevent fraying.
Stitch the 2 back pieces to each other at the center seam, and do the same for the 2 front pieces. as shown by the pins. You should now have 2 instead of 4 pieces.
Fold the top edge of each piece (the neck facing) down 1/4 inch and stitch.
Put the opened front and back pieces together and sew at the shoulders.
Fold the neck facing down inside the bodice and tack invisibly to the seams to create a finished neckline. Stitch the side seams together, leaving room on one side for the zipper, as shown by the pins).
Stitch the ends of the armhole facing closed to make a circle. Fold the edge down about 1/4 inch and stitch.
Pin and sew armhole facing to bodice, right sides together. Flip facing inside and tack invisibly to the seams to create a finished armhole.
The skirt consists of a large rectangle gathered at the top. I used 4 yards of black ruffle organza for a very large and full formal skirt, but 2-3 yards is sufficient for a more casual dress. If your fabric is sheer, use a lining such as black broadcloth. Put the broadcloth against the back of the organza and treat the two pieces as one. Gather together at the long edge. (I set my machine to the highest tension and gathered as I sewed).
At the short ends of the rectangle sew or serge the 2 layers together to make one.
Sew the gathered organzaskirt to the taffetabodice leaving the side open for a
15-inch zipper. Insert the zipper under one armhole and machine or hand-sew, closing the bodice and part of the skirt along the side seam.
Sew the rest of the side seam shut. Use a dress form (or yourself with the help of a friend) to cut off the excess fabric at the bottom to your desired length. Hem by folding up the edge of the skirt and stitching down.
For more color or to match a theme, a taffeta sash tied around the
waist and some flowers or a corsage make a pretty combo as well!
This project/post was made by fashionista and dear friend Vivien Lee. Check her out at freshfrippery.com!
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