for the time being i will keep my old posts here at blogger, but i have imported all content to wordpress. please don't abandon me! to stay updated, head on over to my new space and follow me there. thanks!

—lisa g.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"garden party explosion" dress finished!

here is the finished "garden party explosion" dress! i'm super happy with this one. the fit is comfortable and flattering. i love how slimming it is. since the midriff hits just above my natural waistline it skims over all the bits that need skimming over.

i have a few more pics of the finished product but first let me show you my insides. okay, not my insides, the dress's insides. you know what i mean...

once the bodice and midriff were constructed i added a lining to the midriff first to make sure this area was stabilized and second to conceal some of the interior seams. to do this, i sewed the midriff pieces together at the side seams then pinned it to the seam allowance at the top of the midriff and sewed right over my first stitching. this is left free at the bottom edge and will be slip stitched in place later.

before stitching i pressed the CB and bottom edge in at 5/8" 
next i pinned, gathered and attached the skirt to the midriff. then i did the same with the lining right over (on the inside) the outer fabric. isn't attaching the skirt to the bodice such a great moment? i love finally getting to see if my original vision will in any way resemble the almost finished product!

after this, i inserted an invisible zipper...

then hemmed the dress.

isn't this a lovely rolled hem? sooo glad i have a rolled hem presser foot!
almost there! now it's time to get out your hand stitching needle and thread. first i slip stitched the midriff to the skirt. it's best to pin this before stitching to make sure it lays straight.

once that was done, i pinned then catch stitched the armhole facings to the underlining. i used a catch stitch because it allows for a little bit of movement and it will keep any fraying of the facing edge in check. you can do the same to the neckline facing, but i simply tacked it in place at the shoulder and again halfway down the neckline. this facing doesn't really have the tendency to flip up like the armhole facings do.

armhole facing catch-stitched

neckline facing tacked down
i am endlessly fascinated by garment construction, so here is the final dress... from the inside!

oh, you want to see the outside again?

zoom in! i have nothing to hide in this one!
i did attach belt loops to the midriff before inserting the midriff lining, so now i'm on the hunt for the perfect skinny belt! or maybe make my own fabric-covered belt? hmmm... in the meantime i'll wear it anyway since the belt loops are totally lost in this print. now i just need an invite to a garden party!

and here's a peek at my shoes, as requested ;-)

see my review at


  1. I just commented on your PR review but noticed you on Pinterest too! Welcome to the online sewing community.

    Love your dress, reminds me that I have that pattern in my stash. One request, though, could I get a better view of your shoes? I heart wedges!

  2. thanks so much!!! i really appreciate your interest in my work, it's been fun the short time i've been blogging and i hope to continue for a long time to come. i updated with a pic of my shoes... $20 clearance at the GAP 3-4 yrs ago! major score! they're one of my favorites!

  3. very cute dress! sewing is another thing i would like to get better at doing. hopefully once we get a more spacious home, i'll have a place to put a sewing machine. then i will churn out several unwearable pieces and force them upon my children before breaking down and just taking a class.

  4. ha ha! laura, i have no doubt you would be an amazing sewist! my first projects were halloween costumes, so there was little chance for embarrassment there. well illustrated sewing books are very handy for figuring out techniques. now this may sound stupid, but pillow shams are a good place to start. they use very little fabric, you can practice sewing straight, making ruffles, adding zippers... all sorts of stuff you don't have to wear!


i appreciate all the feedback, but will no longer be responding to comments left here. i have moved all my content to wordpress (see link at the top of the page!) and will now be posting there. all my posts can be found in my wordpress archive. thanks for reading and please visit my new page!