The Irish Dance Dress Saga, Part 1

Well, I’m up to my elbows in sewing! On the sewing table…an Irish dance competition dress for Miss H. She’s worn this school dress thus far and is ready to get a solo dress now.

Miss H chose turquoise and light pink for this endeavor. I had a hard time reconciling the two colors for a stage dress, but with the addition of a lovely brocade incorporating both colors its coming together beautifully.

The sheer number of layers is astounding to me. No wonder these dresses cost anywhere from $800 to $2000+. The amount of fabric, embellishments, and TIME involved is staggering. I’m estimating this dress will take me 60 to 80 hours to complete. I’ve already invested 5 hours washing, ironing, and cutting out the fabric…not to mention the 10 or so hours I spent making a muslin.

The pattern I’m starting with is Simplicity 2832. I’ve modified the bodice by adding a piece to the center panel making it a rounded neckline. This follows the guideline for solo dresses. I’ll be cutting the fashion fabric in one piece on each side of the center bodice panel…unlike the pattern instructions which make it two pieces. The rest of the bodice remains unchanged. The skirt is basically the same also, except the front inset panel will become an outer panel. I’ll be using a sleeve pattern modified from the Project Runway Simplicity 2728 pattern. I had taken the 3/4 length sleeve from this pattern and extended it to the wrist for the Tohru costume. The width at the wrist is perfect for the solo dress.

This is most of the pieces cut out. (I still need to draft a headpiece, lace ruffles, bloomers, and cuffs for the sleeves.)

The layers for all the pieces include…fashion fabric, 2 layers of interfacing, bottomweight, a sheer, and a lining. Here you can see the pieces just for the back of the bodice…

The front panel also uses a layer of felt and an applique.I’ll be basting the turquoise fashion fabric to the felt and bottomweight before appliqueing the trinity.

I decided it would be fun to line the underside of the skirt with a girly pink plaid. Occasionally, a glimpse of the skirt lining is visible when the girls are dancing.

Whew…better get back to sewing!
UPDATE:  See Part 2 here.


About Lady McCormick

Wife, mother, time traveling Cache Curator. Does life get any better?
This entry was posted in 2010, Costumes, Irish Dance, Sewing. Bookmark the permalink.

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