Emily’s 9-panel

(Edited 10/11 to include more info on the panels as asked for.)

Great fitting meeting on Sunday. Another extremely nice family. Their reactions to the dress were so wonderful…just spurs me on to make it all work perfectly.

Young miss had lost a bit of weight, so there were some fitting issues to be addressed. But otherwise, all is well. The colors on this dancer are unbelievable. Her last name is Irish, but she and mom, though blonde, have this beautiful naturally tanned skin…gorgeous. (Makes me feel like an albino mole rat…) And these colors on her are so wonderful. These are not my colors at all, but I absolutely love this dress. Even my girls all love this. Ahhh!

Here is the front skirt again. The bodice neckline and armscyes are just serged here.
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And here I have finished them off with a double-folded bias tape that I made myself…I was so proud of myself!!!! Had my nifty gadget and it was so easy! (I am such a geek about these gadgets!)
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Here is the back of the dress on the floor…no real reason that it is on the floor and not on the dummy… just my state of mind…Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Here you can see the full separating zipper…separated!!!
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And the lovely, wild skirt lining!
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This dress was supposed to be a 10 panel dress – 5 front & 5 back. I truly could not find a way to add that 10th panel so that it would fit into this skirt seamlessly, so I canned it. The back panels were all embroidered separately just like the 5 front panels, but these back panels had less stiffener so I could sew them down onto the back skirt. This is different than Molly’s dress below-
Here you see one back panel lifted. These had the full amount of stiffener in them and were only attached at the waist. This allowed for a lot of movement which I do love. But Molly (my daughter) is a different build than Emily. I have not seen Emilly in true dancing action, but she is a much slighter build than my Molly. I did not feel that adding extra weight via flying free panels was a benefit to Emily, so I sewed the panels to the back skirt which reduced the overall weight (less stiffener) and drag (no flying panels).

Someone asked if this was a flat panel skirt, meaning no pleats in the front skirt. No. The underskirt is a 3 panel skirt. Here is the underside of the very center panel on the CFP.
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The 3 panels on the CFP are sewn down about 1/3 of the way simply because they were not still enough for me when I was trying to get everything even!!!! Freaking OCD sometimes….

Here is the underside of the panel on the outside of the CFP. This panel lies a little more than half off of the CFP as you can see here.
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This is a side view of the same panel. The 2 CFP side panels were obviously only sewn down on one side.
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This is the side most panel on the front skirt. I did not have it overlap the outside edge of the FSP (front side panel) because I did not want to add width to the bottom of the skirt.
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Here you can see a bit of the FSP peeking out from behind the panel on the edge of the FSP.
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I have also been asked about deciding on the spacing for the panels. Quite frankly, I eyeball it and then use my ruler to make it as even as possible. These panels all met at the top and then I made decisions about final skirt width. After that, the other panels fit inside evenly, front and back, and were then sewn down.
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This is one of the back panels sewn onto the outside of one of the back pleats which brings me to…
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…the questions about which back panel configuration to use on these skirts – standard or inverted.

Answer: Whatever floats your boat!

I have made a couple of dresses with the inverted back pleats. My opinion? I do not think they balance most skirts well. If you have a flat dancer upon whom you can fit an absolutely flat panel dress, then yes, an inverted back panel pleat makes sense. I have not had one of those. I do feel that the skirts with the inverted back panels that I have made do not look proportioned because the front skirt has a fuller volume than the back. When I get Flat Stanley for a dancer, I will make a flat dress.

That being said, this dress is made differently than my daughter’s or the Webmaster’s panel dresses ( go here). Molly’s and Webmaster’s dresses were made to hang in a narrower silhouette than most. Emily’s skirt was not cut to hang the same way. Just another example of the versatility of the Feisdress pattern.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diane
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 22:42:00

    OMG Ann, This dress is gorgeous!! I wish I could see the look on lucky young lady’s face when she gets it! I’m now very excited to begin my dress. I’m going to attempt a faux four panel onto a three panel skirt. I don’t expect it to come out as perfectly as yours – but I can hope 🙂 Congrats on another beautiful dress.
    Diane

  2. Kristine
    Nov 19, 2007 @ 17:50:04

    I have read and re-read this page in prep for a new dress. This is like the Bible for me!! I have flagged this particular page in my favorites now. I think I can do this. I’m giving myself a good bit of time for Nationals. Kristine

  3. lcat443
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 23:34:53

    Ann,
    This is such a beautiful design, and your work is just. . . flawless. It’s so graceful! Lcat

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