Now we are getting to the pieces we will actually see. I mean this will be glimpsed through the outer layer. And when I spin you will be able to see the petticoat layers at the bottom. This layer was supposed to be three layers. The final petticoat layer that will drape the others nicely on top of the other petticoats. The opalescent mirror Lamé, will be the middle layer. The final layer on this will be multicolored chiffon sections. I bought quite a few different purples and blues of chiffon. Unfortunately due to the weight that layer is, it had to be cut off. Which is alright. I’ll save it for something else. So I won’t be going into details of the top layer of the underskirt.
Starting with the base layer, the final mini petticoat, I drafted a regular skirt pattern on pattern paper, two different patterns to be more specific. One for the front and one for the back. To help with the weight of the entire gown at this point I only cut two of the front and three of the back. I made this layer end at the last of the ruffles from the previous layer.
This layer then has a ruffle layer attached to it at the bottom. Also hemmed with fishing line. A little hint, the ruffle layer needs to be of the same material as the skirt portion as this will be shown through all the skirts. I need to redo this layer later as a result.
The over layer for this is made with the opalescent mirror Lamé. This fabric only comes so wide. I believe it is about 40 inches wide. Which isn’t very big when it comes to making ball gowns. When you need a really big skirt with less seams. To help this I believe I cut out 3 panels for the front and five for the back. I don’t want a seam down the center back or the center front. I also had to make a new overskirt pattern for this layer as the pattern I had ended at the ruffle layer and this piece needs to go to the floor and then some. I want the train in the back like she does for some of the scenes in the movie.
Once again the back piece is longer than the front. This will also be hemmed with fishing line. But for this layer I did not tightly wrap the line around a small dowel to give it a tighter curl. Just leave it on the spool it comes with.
Below is an image of my rolled hem. Not great, but there is a learning curve. And it behaves differently with different fabrics.
The final layer, the blue one, is another pattern. An inch longer than the previous one. And this layer was all sewn together before I hand applied the gemstones. I purchased what seemed to be correct sizes for the gown, ss12 and ss16. I should have gone ss8 and ss10. They were huge. I had about 3000 gems applied to the skirt. It was a long process, about 8 hours total. The waistband wasn’t finished and neither was the hem. As I don’t hem things until after I get the waistband on the skirts. That way I know exactly where I need to hem the skirt.
To apply the gems, I purchased syringes for E6000 glue. You can reuse them a couple times before they are unusable. They came with an assortment of needle head sizes. You will also need some butcher paper (for packing meat, not the kind you find in schools) or wax paper. Something the glue won’t stick too. Now that won’t mean that the glue won’t stick to the paper if you let it dry completely there. This just stops the glue from sticking with the paper before you move it for the final drying process. You need to lift the top section from the paper when you get started on the bottom. And once you finish the whole sheet you will have to lift it from the paper completely.
But let us back track a bit. I took my wax paper, taped three long segments together to form one giant rectangle. I then traced out my skirt pattern onto this piece and drew lines out from the top going straight down. About an inch apart at the top and getting wider at the bottom. Then I drew horizontal ovals following the waistband line all the way to the bottom. A friend mentioned to me that if I put a stone on each square like I planned then all the stones would line up right next to each other, which I didn’t want. I then proceeded to put a stone in each square sporadically so as to make sure that it wasn’t all even. It’s supposed to be an organized chaos.
Now I will go back and put smaller stones on once I move. And then we will see how well it does. I am hoping to not remove the waistband, but I am sure I will have to.
When all your stones are placed attach a waistband. After the waistband is finished you can now hem your skirt.
I’m sorry if this tends to jump around a bit. A lot. It was one of the easier pieces to make of this project as there are no excess ruffles. The most time consuming thing was placing the stones and the hardest part was hemming it all. I don’t like hemming chiffon.
It is easier if you hem with fishing line and then remove the fishing line at the end. Just because chiffon is hard to keep hold of due to the shiftiness of it. Although I do recommend the narrow hem foot. That foot saved this entire project from ruin as the chiffon and organza was so fragile the overlocked threads pulled out if you tugged just a tad bit too hard.
If you have any questions don’t be afraid to ask. I do plan to redo this in the future, when I have more skill and lighter supplies, but for right now I am content. Thank you for taking the time to read this and have a good day.