Klassy Pussy-bow dress

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This morning when I woke up, I decided today  I was going to play, and at the same time get rid of one more stash piece that had been fossillizing too long.

It was 7h30 when I started, pretending that I was in an alteration challenge, had been given a silk scarf and told to create a dress in 90 minutes, with no pattern.  Which would be more-or less the time I had until the daughter would rise and shine.

In the stash was a piece of rayon:  1.5m x 1.5m exactly.  I decided to jot down construction notes in case the daughter or anyone else ever wants to make a dress like this:

Step 1: I cut 2 20cm strips from selvage to selvage, to save for the bow around the neck.

Step 2: Fold the remainder of the fabric with selvages together and divide in 2, with the part that will be used for the back 3cm wider than the front to allow for the  back seam. Divide the back rectangle in 2.

Step 3: I used an upper back bodice piece from a pattern I sewed before as a starting point for cutting the back.  I tapered outward from the underarms to the waist. Then I tapered the sides of thte front piece to match, but did not trim anything off the neckline yet.

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Step 4: I serged all the long edges and basted the back seam closed to the top.  Then I draped it on the dressform.

Step 5: Pinning the bow in place, I marked the stitch lines with pins.

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Step 6: Then I went back to the cutting table, trimmed the back along the pins and marked the front stitchline with white pencil. There are 2 lines because my pinning was obviously not even, so I marked both sides’ resulting lines and decided to see how it comes together.

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Step 7: I sewed the side seams and lower part of the back seam (keeping the basting stitches on the upper back where the zip would be inserted) and basted 2 lines to gather the neckline.  At the back the gathering stitches ended up just serving as stay-stitches. Putting it on the dressform, I gathered the front until it looked right.  Then I sewed the 2 bow pieces over the gathered stitches, along the white lines.at the left shoulder where the bow was to be made I left 3 cm unstitched to provide ease for knotting the bow.

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It was now past 9h00 and the daughter came to see what I was up to.  She was awake and I had failed the challenge! If I was on the Sewing Bee, at this stage I might have made a desperate attempt to finish the bow, armholes and hem, and wheeled an embarrassed mannequin in for inspection.

Instead, I took a breakfast break, stopped being on the Sewing Bee and found myself back in  “Designin’ December”.

Searching around on Google and Pinterest for “pussy bow floral” I discovered this girl: Myleene Klass, wearing something similar.

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She has her own clothing label – called Littlefields – that is one of her own tops she is wearing.  I was fascinated.  You go girl, Myleene!  She can play piano, and act, and present TV shows, and design clothes, and she is a spokeswoman for charities…but from where I am sitting her biggest talent is being really, really pretty…

Anyway. I’ve unwittingly kind-of copied a Myleene Klass original!

I am so classy…

Aaaanyway. The daughter then tried the thing on to see if I needed to make adjustments. (Pic at beginning of post).  I did.  The last few hours have been spent re-doing the shoulders and finishing the armholes with bias strips that did not quite work.  My mojo has left me.

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I have now dropped out of the Sewing Bee altogether. We are off to the farm for a long weekend. The dress still has to get a zip, a hem and some hand finishing, but this is it so far.  Will update next week.

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Happy sewing, everyone!

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