Sunday, May 19, 2013

Horse Dress

How to celebrate the end of written exams? Why, by drafting a sloper and making a horse dress, of course!

I really like photographic animal print clothing, but unless you have access to some amazing printers, or are willing to pay to have fabric printed, it's quite expensive to create.

The solution? Cheat and find cloth that has already been printed. I had a cushion with a graphic print of a horse on both sides, so that was my starting point.
The sloper was drafted using this tutorial:
 The problem with using the cushion cover was that it was actually smaller than my sloper, though only by a small amount.
The solution was to fold only trace the parts of the sloper that fitted on the horse cushion. Any pieces that didn't fit became separate panels. Hopefully the picture explains that better than I do. The black material is some kind of fake suede.I had some left over after making a kirtle for a friend (the suede stuff was used for the sleeves).

 Here's the bodice pinned to the dress form, just after the darts were sewn. Ignore the Batman material-that's a totally different project.

My camera batteries were completely drained, so I didn't take pictures of the back bodice or the skirt. They were made from an old skirt I had that looked at bit like this:

I cut the top part of the skirt off, removed the waistband, and gathered it to fit the bodice, then sewed it on. The bottom tiers were cut up and sewn together to make the back bodice.
  I finished the neck and arm holes with bias tape, made from the same fake suede material that I used for the side and shoulder panels. I like the overall result, but due to my bad planning, the binding is uneven in places. The bad planning was not knowing where the place the zip: I should have placed it in the side seam to begin with, rather than trying to put it in the back.

Here's the finished dress.

Crummy photos, I know. Should have some better ones later. 
I think on the whole this was a success. I still have one more piece of horse print material, so I can make a second dress (to sell on etsy). Improvements for next time include ironing the bias tape properly, adding a lining to the bodice (much neater that was), trimming down seam allowances more, being more careful when adding the side zip, and double turning the hem rather than using bias tape.

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