The Novelty Dress

Finished!  I haven’t made anything in a LONG time so finding time to sew and make a lovely new dress has been AMAZING!

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The design didn’t change too much except that I added a big fluffy tulle ruffle to the bottom of the skirt instead of just simple trim.

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I ADORE this dress!  The fabric was amazing and it just feels so eclectic, probably because it was!  It was nice to really be creative: I have tulle that matches – USE!, I had extra red fabric that matches – USE!  I have some ribbon lying around – USE!  So much fun.

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I also love this dress because it can go a lot of different directions: Steampunk, Classic, Vintage…I’m really excited to see what coordinates will come out of this JSK.  Today’s coordinate, for example; I loved it!


It was a little chillier than I anticipated, but no fear!  It worked out just splendidly with a sweater and legwarmers!  The breakdown…
Novelty Dress: Handmade
Chiffon Blouse: Forever21
Sweater: Gift, Offbrand ??
Socks: Gift, Offbrand ??
Legwarmers: Claire’s
Shoes: Payless
Headband: Charming Charlie’s

Can’t wait for my next project!  I have some lovely fabric and a new shiny patterning book.  mwaha.


For blog posts and tutorials about the Novelty Dress, see below:
The Beginning of Novelty
The Novelty of Bags and Bones
Pennies About Pleating
The Infamous Lapped Zipper

The Infamous Lapped Zipper

There are many ways one can set a zipper into a garment, but my personal favorite is the lapped zipper.  It provides a clean, fancy finish that hides the zipper completely!


Before beginning to set your zipper, make sure you a good amount of seam allowance on the seam where the zipper is going (I suggest at least 1.5″).  Where the zipper will be ending i.e. skirt portion of a dress, past the waist seam), make sure it is seamed together securely with a back-stitch from where the zipper will be stopping.

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Pennies About Pleating

Here are a few tips on pleating!

The first step whenever pleating is MAAATH!  The point of pleating is to fold excess fullness to the waist measurement in an organized manner.  Unlike gathering, pleating takes a lot more attention and preperation, but the result is a noticeably detail.

To begin, determine A) the total amount of fullness; B) the waist measurement; C) the difference between the two.  i.e.:
Waist=26.5; Fullness=45; Excess=18.5

From this, you can determine how many pleats you want and how much fullness will go into each pleat.  It is simplest to have all the pleats be relatively the same, but you can of course be adventurous and have you pleats increase in size as they go around the body to push more of the fullness to the back.  It is always helpful to draw pictures:


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The Novelty of Bags and Bones

Novelty dress update!  This post will cover a little bit on boning your garments and bagged edge finishing…

There are several types of boning available, but the basics are Rigilene, Steel Boning and Spiral Boning.  Rigilene is the most commonly available at fabric stores such as Jo Ann’s and is a hard plastic with a curve.  Steel Boning is straight pieces of thin steel, usually white and coated to dull the edges and has little give to it.  This type of boning is used a lot in theater in bodices from periods with a lot of structure such as Tudor and Elizabethan.  Spiral Boning is the funnest and most expensive type of boning.  It is made of steel wire that is wrapped and binded in a spiral pattern to provide maximum stability and flexibility.  This type of boning is used for corsets, tutu bodices, etc. garments that need to be highly structured but curve with the body.

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Featherlite Rigilene Boning w/ Casing                                                                                                           Spiral Boning

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The Beginning of Novelty

 Starting a new project for real!  Like, I have fabric and a zipper and a design and everything!


My lovely fiance got me not only 3 dozen beautiful roses for Valentine’s Day but also this beautiful fabric:


So, when planning out a dress to make, before patterning I draw out spects of what the pieces will look like and any measurements that I need to figure out so I have a starting place:

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