The Irish Dance Dress Saga…Part 3-Finale

Here are the links if you’d like to read part 1 and part 2 of this saga.

Well, after much hemming and hawing and procrastinating and trial and error, the dress is finished! Here’s a picture of the final product. Miss H with her friend, Miss G.
This dress was a mental challenge for me. I was modifying a pattern for parts, and drafting my own pieces for other parts. I started with a muslin and was glad I did. Its much easier to make changes on the muslin than the fashion fabric. Miss H wanted a two piece dress and I was hard pressed some days to figure out how I was going to make it work. I needed to keep within the guidelines set down by the International Feis Commission for solo dresses. I also needed to please the client. This was the first time I’ve ever appliqued with anything other than felt and wasn’t sure my old machine would be able to make the satin stitching look nice. I’m pleased with myself for completing this fairly difficult project and I actually really like this dress.
Near the end of the process I was just ready to be finished with it and made a few silly mistakes…causing myself more work. If you’d like to know the most difficult method to put together a skirt, ask me. I knew what I wanted it to look like but had a heck of a time getting it to work. I was originally going to make several inverted pleats in the skirt to make it poof out in the right places. I ended up making regular pleats and stitching down the top 5 inches to get it to lay right. You can see the pleat detail here.And now I’ll admit my worst and probably most “duh” moment….I added the waistband to the skirt. It’s flat in front and elastic in the back. I was really just being lazy and didn’t want to add a zipper. I measured Miss H’s hips to make sure it would fit and finished it up. She said it was still a little too loose feeling, so I tightened up the elastic. DUH….then it wouldn’t fit over her hips….sigh. So, I figured we’d just put it on over her head. Hmmm, when a young woman has a nice hourglass figure, her bust is about as big as her hips. Soooo after a struggle, we got it on but it wasn’t really feasible long term. The solution? I added a 3″ zipper to the side of the skirt. AFTER it was completed. Like I said…if you want to know the most difficult method for finishing a skirt, ask me!
The skirt is lined with a lovely pink plaid. It has a dark pink metallic thread running through it for a little shimmer. The inside cuff of the sleeve is lined as well.
Here is a closer picture of the finished trinity.
This is the back with the finished cape….not pictured in the other posts.The cape features a hand pleated ruffle in the same brocade used on the bodice, cuffs, and trinity.
I added two rows of pink lace ruffles to the skirt and trimmed the cuff with the same lace.
Miss H is ecstatic to have her custom dress. She helped design it. The colors, most of the fabrics, and the overall design were her ideas. I insisted on the brocade to tie the colors together which she was a little skeptical about at first. When she saw the finished product it pulled together nicely and she loves the brocade now.
She’ll wear this one for the rest of the competitions this year and maybe we’ll do another next year. She took a 2nd and a 4th place in this dress’s debut competition.
Next summer will be her final Feis season and I’ll be sad to retire this lovely gem.

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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.

3 Responses to The Irish Dance Dress Saga…Part 3-Finale

  1. Oh my goodness!!! What a labor of love and you did such an awesome job! I always marvel at those who can sew and I bow to your ability…I hand stitch, but don't get me near a sewing machine (: I'll mess things up every time! So lovely…I know your dancer felt like a queen (:MicheleXOXO

  2. Miss Heidi says:

    Thanks for the kind comment, Michele!

  3. Hi there. I stumbled on your blog post after googling for irish dance dresses and the simplicity pattern. I'm using the same pattern to make a non-competition dress. I'm wondering if you'd be willing to email me so I can ask you a few questions. Thanks!emily underscore beech @ yahoo dot com

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