Instructables

How To Make A Neo-Victorian Ball Gown (Advanced Sewing)

Featured

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!
Manicmom554 years ago
Also how did you aquire this commision? Was it from etsy's alchemy? Just curious. You did a fabulous job, BTW!!
tyalangan (author)  Manicmom554 years ago
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!