Good tunic pics and a soft skirt

Katelyn went to the 4P’s feis this weekend (3rd place…whoo-hoo, Katelyn!), so I got a hold of her dress finally so I could check my work. I did not get good pics of it back in January because it was a rush job…there are just some people I can’t say no to, and this family just turned me to jello. It did get delivered on time, but there were a couple of things that did not get done, and I had no time to check my work, so I was glad to get it back. Have to say that I was pleasantly surprised to find that, except for some thread trimming, I really only needed to finish off the very ends of the panels and add crystals (Molly did the crystals for me…thanks, babes!)

So, here it is:
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This lace neckline was constructed as I explained here (Corset-style Bodice), and then the leaves, which were sewn as patches, were attached after.  The neckline itself is a tad wider and lower because this dancer can’t stand stuff on her neck.
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Because of this dancer’s shape, I ended the separating zipper about 1 inch higher than I had planned.  This makes me re-think the zippers on all my 2 pieces whether tunics or jackets…instead of attaching the zipper to this flaring area, this little bit of extra room allows the tunic/jacket to lay better because it allows this area to open and close as needed.  No riding up when the dancer is moving.
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Below we have the underside of one of the “pins.”  Photobucket

And here we have a wonderful thing…
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This was a surprise for Katelyn from her mother. The 3 orange ladybugs represent Katelyn and her 2 sisters…more of a story there, but it is not mine to tell.

And here is the soft skirt. I really like the way this one works.  The yoke is a cotton lycra, and the skirt slips on, no zipper.  Just above the green lace, you can make out a seam…this is a horizontal tuck that can be let out twice as Katelyn grows.  Voila!  Skirt is lengthened!
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Layer 1 is a single lace layer.  Layer 2 is a folded layer (like a bubble skirt but with nothing inside), attached 1 inch below the lace.  The basting lines are for lining it all up.
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I pleated all the layers this time, instead of gathering, which served to remove most of the bulk that poofs these skirts in the wrong places.  There was so much fabric that I had to get fancy with the pleating!
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On the back of the skirt, I ran one row of a multiple zigzag stitch to flatten this layer a bit over Katelyn’s rear-end…she is a tiny thing, but she has a dancer’s booty and the skirt poofed a bit much there!
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And here’s the 3rd layer, again folded and pleated.  I sewed this seam differently so there would be a bit more poof at this level.
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Close up of the pleats.
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Someone had asked before how I put the lining in, and here you have it…half bag lining.  In Liz’s tunic dress, I used a full bag lining, satin-stitching it together with the front around the panels as I have done here.  In this one, I left the side seams exposed (and the zipper seam), so that this can be let out some if needed…I am a big proponent of making alterations easy (for the dressmaker), and cheap (for the parents)!
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You can faintly see above the outline of the stitching that attaches the appliques to the panels.  Although I would prefer not to see this, this is the way I have to do it since I make the appliques as patches to apply after the lining is attached and the panels satin-stitched.  I do the patches because there is no room for error with these tunics…when I embroider non-tunic pieces, I outline my pieces, embroider, then re-check the pattern placement before cutting out the pieces.  Well, if I mess up the embroidery on one of these panels, I have to start all over as the front and backs are cut as single pieces…no fudging after embroidery because the panels won’t hang right.  Just easier for me to eyeball placement when it is all put together.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. whatsupgovna
    Apr 28, 2008 @ 14:44:58

    I love this dress and I saw it at 4 P’s also. I didn’t get to see her dance but wish I did. Did you use a pleater attachment to make the pleats? I just got mine to work and used it for a ruffle, but I haven’t done any pleats yet.

  2. taoknitter
    Apr 28, 2008 @ 14:50:16

    No, no pleater this time. Slowly, by hand, in this rather stacked fashion. There is a name for this tubular pleat, just can’t think of it. And they only ended up being like that because there was so much fabric!

  3. mendylady
    Apr 28, 2008 @ 15:11:10

    Box pleats? rolled pleats? Me, I always pleat by hand, and usually prefer it over gathering! Less trouble for me. 🙂

    Lovely as usual… and I adore the ladybugs!

  4. taoknitter
    Apr 28, 2008 @ 15:31:41

    Been trying to look it up…but I guess it is a weird combination of rolled, stacked box pleats. There was just so much fabric that if I had gathered, it would have stood out like a tutu!!

  5. cfvermeulen
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 01:07:40

    So, With all that fabric in the soft skirt…how heavy is it?
    OOh and how is it carried in a dressbag? I *so* want to make myself a soft underskirt for my next dress. I won’t do a tunic, but I will attach the panels to a bodice. I am not brave enough to try it any other way 🙂 I will make the bodice lowered into a point and then just attach the panels all around.
    I love the colors on this one!

  6. taoknitter
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 02:20:38

    It is not heavy at all, believe it or not! None of the fabric is interfaced, so each retains its body. And it is carried in a regular garment bag, not a special ID dress bag. The tunic is on a regular hanger and the skirt is on a skirt hanger.

  7. cfvermeulen
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 03:41:13

    Thanks for the quick answer! I am just bouncing of my seat here everytime I look at the pictures. I want one, I want one! Soo, I am going to run off right now and pull out all my fabrics and think about it some more 🙂
    *so* excited! What a wonderful day this will be! 🙂

  8. paulars
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 07:03:24

    I just saw this dress up close and personal recently and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I hope you’ll have time soon to make more of these tunic dresses — love to watch the progression of the style. I still can’t believe any dancer would want anything other than a soft skirt. I’m looking forward to Liz feisin’ again — I haven’t seen her in the red dress since Oireachtas.

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