1st August 2010: Bodice Before I could sew all the bodice pieces together, I needed piping to insert into the princess seams. I used bias strips cut from the silk twill; this was my first time making and using piping. The centre back and centre front pieces were joined at the shoulder seams using French seams, then the piping was sewn right along the edge. After that, the side pieces could be added too.
As well as the princess seams, the bottom edge is also piped. The front fastens with hook and eye tape, since the buttons are only decorative on the real dress, and they seem quite fragile, so not best suited to being a real closure. The buttons are the screen accurate ones Huscho Buttons sell, although I was able to get them through Textile Garden in the UK.
The organza/tulle neckline is finished with a rolled hem. I’ll similarly be tidying up the armscye edges once the sleeves are set in. I dyed button loop trim for around the neckline (I did this when I was doing dye tests on my silk twill) and threaded white elastic cord through it. The same buttonhole trim continues a little way down the front, and everything above the end of the hook and eye closures fastens with tiny clear snaps.
I did experiment with cutting out my own lace from leatherette and felt, but with the amount I’d need to make and all those fiddly little holes to snip out, there was no way I could manage it. Since the lace will be gathered anyway, even if I did make an exact match, it would just end up obscured. So I starting hunting for similar lace trims, or ones I could adapt. I ended up finding one I liked which is vaguely similar. I had to cut out the holes to thread the ribbon through the flowers, but otherwise left it as it was. The lace is sewn around the neckline, and will also be added to the armscye seam allowance.
This is as much as I can do before making and setting in the sleeves. Once they’re in, I’ll be able to finish the lining. In the photo, unfinished edges are just tucked under. (Looking at the photos, I think the organza neckline needs to be a bit lower, so I’ll adjust it when I find the patience to redo it!)
I’ll also mention the necklace since it’s pictured here. I initially had a lot of problems getting hold of one. Hot Topic sells a replica, but it originally seemed that I’d only be able to get it through their US website, and be charged a small fortune for postage. Some appeared on eBay, but still weren’t very affordable. No one in the UK sells a replica except Swarovski, and their necklace cost a small fortune and wasn’t even as accurate!
I could just not wear one, since she doesn’t initially have it and it’s not in the promo pics, but I discovered that Hot Topic actually has a European website with limited merchandise, which luckily included the necklace. I just had to remove a couple of inches of the chain to shorten it to the right length.