Step 9: Trim, trim and more trim!

Step 46 - 47: Finish front and side drape according to pattern instructions.

Steps 28 - 53: Skip as I won't be trimming according to the pattern. Instead, I will hem the gown in a more traditional fashion.

Step 65: Buttons & button-holes. (I'm going out of order again.) The pattern calls for 15 1/4" ball buttons but, at my client's request, I have changed this to nine 1 1/8" self-covering buttons. Covering the buttons is kind of a pain, and I always end up with sore fingers because of the little teeth inside the buttons, but I admit they look awesome and are almost certainly worth the pain.

The buttonholes require some delicate work because I have to re-do the placement from the original pattern but it's not a problem. I tried a new trick today, to get the buttonholes lined up straight, and it worked really well. (I got it from reading a sewing manual printed in the 1960s!)

First I measured and determined where the buttons would go. Then, I placed pins on each buttonhole location.

Then I sewed a basting stitch in a contrasting color (I chose red) EXACTLY 1.5 inches from the edge of the fabric. Now, when I make the buttonholes I can back them up to the basting stitch without worrying about having uneven ends (which was a problem the last time I made a gown from this pattern).

Then I removed the basting stitch, and the buttonholes are even.

Then I installed the buttons.

Ordinarily I would install a hook & eye as required by the pattern, but the neckline falls quite nicely without it.

With the buttonholes done, all the difficult bits are finished! All that is left is a few pieces of trim and a hemline. Woot!
I love your instructable, it shows a great deal of care and has such a lovely outcome.<br><br>I'd drop this little hint if you do make another like this. Instead of a flat felled seam (and the resulting stitches on the outside of the garment, a (Victorian) technique is the french seam (at least, that's what I've heard it called, I might be mixing terms, I only do this for fun). This seam can't be done on quite everything, but it's made by sewing the wrong(right)sides together, so that the edges are facing OUTSIDE the garment, trimming the edges, and then flipping the garment inside out and sewing the seam again, basically encasing the raw edges within the second seam. It takes a little work but can be a quite nice finish when you don't want to have seams on the outside of a garment.
Love it! Very nicely done!
What kind of fabric DID you buy? It looks like a satin.
Yes it was a shiny satin. The important thing (to the gal who ordered it) was that it be very shiny, which is harder to find these days than I had expected.
Also how did you aquire this commision? Was it from etsy's alchemy? Just curious. You did a fabulous job, BTW!!
Actually I have a website (timetravelcostumes.com) and the gal who wanted this gown emailed me through there. I'm making another gown for her this summer, as a matter of fact!
I use<a href="http://www.sewneau.com/how.to/french.seam.html" rel="nofollow"> French seams</a> or <a href="http://sew-blessed.blogspot.com/2008/05/tuesdays-tip-mock-french-seam.html" rel="nofollow">mock French seams</a> for finishing when I don't want it to show on the outside. It does add a little bulk to the inside, but for a no show finish and more fluid fabric it's the best. &nbsp;French is for straight lines and mock French is for curves. &nbsp;It can be more work with the iron than a flat fell too, but stick with it.<br /> <br /> You're right about finishing making the difference. Since I learned how to do seam finishes, the only things I won't let off the table without it are craft projects that are too small and fleece items since they don't ravel at all. &nbsp;Though I still like to put a zig-zag in for the look. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> Commercial patterns many times assume that the home sewer wants to use as many shortcuts as possible, especially when it comes to &quot;costumes&quot;.<br /> <br /> Thanks for the tip on the tulle for poufy sleeves. &nbsp;I never make them for myself since I am large busted, but if I get a request it's good to know.<br /> <br /> This was great for me as well, since I have this pattern in my stash, but haven't found a reason to undertake it yet. &nbsp;Now I have a basic overview of some of the work involved in it. &nbsp;I know that the workload will increase quite a bit if I add all the trims in as well, but seeing someone actually make it is pretty cool. &nbsp;<br /> <br /> Thanks!

About This Instructable


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Bio: I love to sew and read. My husband and I also do a lot of DIY home improvements.
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