When I made the inner dress, I used a polyester fabric that I found at JoAnnes in
the ďprom dressĒ section of the store. It was the PERFECT color for what I needed,
but I wish I would have kept looking for another option. The color looks great,
but the fabric is so stiff that it never hangs right, and itís quite difficult to
put the dress on and take it off because it has no give when Iím trying to get it
over my shoulders. My next version of the dress will be made with a softer and more
This is the pattern that I used for the inner dress, and the adjustments I made
to the pattern:
Redesign the sleeves to be wide at the wrists.
Make the dress floor length.
Take some of the fullness out of the skirt.
Notice where I jotted down my size on the bag. Itís always a good idea to write
down notes about sizes or fitting issues while youíre working with a pattern. I
often write down notes such as, ďadd an inch to the torso lengthĒ or things like
that. It will help you remember to make the changes or use the correct size the
next time you get that pattern out. Otherwise, it all tends to slip your mind after
This is the muslin that I used to redesign the sleeves. I started with the pattern
that came with the dress, and then made it bell out toward the wrists. Since my
fabric is so stiff, I also added more width at the sleeve cap so that Iíd be able
to move my arms when Iím wearing it. If I had used a fabric with more stretch, I
wouldnít have added that extra material at the top. Notice that the muslin sleeves
are shorter than the pattern sleeves. Visas likes to show off her gloves!
Once the dress was sewn, it was time to start on the sleeve decorations. I painted
the veil pattern first, since that had the best reference image. Then, I used that
pattern as the basis for the sleeve design. I started out by sketching the design
with a fabric pencil so that I could make everything match up well and make sure
that the design looked balanced. I chose a 1.5 inch width for the pattern, but once
it was finished I thought it looks juuuuust a little bit too big. Iím considering
dropping it down to 1.25 inches for the next version of my dress and veil.
I used Lumiere by Jacquard paint in metallic gold, which is a flexible fabric paint
that you heat set with an iron. There are a lot of different brands of fabric paint,
so anyone should be able to find something appropriate in their area. I advise testing
the paint on a scrap of fabric before using it on a new dress. Itís better to get
a liquid paint that can be painted on with a brush, rather than anything that comes
in a squeeze bottle. Those heavily thickened paints tend to sit on top of the fabric
and itís difficult to control the width of the globby lines as youíre squeezing out
the paint, so they donít look professional. Liquid paints, on the other hand, will
soak into the fabricís fibers and become a permanent integrated design.
While youíre painting, be careful not to smear the paint. Watch where you rest your
hand, and if any paint gets on the tabletop, make sure that you donít set the fabric
on top of that spot until after youíve cleaned it. Thereís nothing more frustrating
than getting a smudge of gold paint where it doesnít belong!