Thursday, September 8, 2011

lemon dress tutorial

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did you ever see a fabric and immediately you know how the item you’re going to make from it is going to look?

that’s what happened with this fabric. as soon as i saw the lemons, i envisioned a sunny yellow shift dress with lemon-shaped keyholes running down the front, backed with the lemon print.

that’s what i sketched out…
and that’s exactly how it turned out…

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in my head i say “lemon-aahhhd”. was that from a movie? i can’t remember.

either way, i thought i was so funny when i named this dress…

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i’m not doing a full tutorial for this dress. i’m just going to give the basics of how i took a simple shift dress and added the keyholes.

there’s tons of good tutes out there showing how to draft your own pattern from existing clothes. and that’s where i started—traced the bodice from an existing top that fit guinevere, and then extended the bottom with a very slight a-line to the length i needed.
i cut two of the front piece on the fold—a front and a lining, exactly the same—which
gave me this:

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(folded in half)
put the lining to the side, and work with just the front for this part.
i measured the length, minus about a one inch allowance at the hem and the neckline. i had almost exactly 32”, which gave me four keyholes of 8”. you can decide the size of your keyhole openings based on whatever is easiest to divide into your length :)

i marked my fabric down the length, on the fold, every 8”
then a made a template of a keyhole and traced that onto my fabric.

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to insure that my keyhole openings still stayed pretty much the same, i folded my front piece accordion-style and pinned it to prevent shifting, then cut all four at once

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then i opened it up and laid it on top of my print fabric

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and traced the keyholes with a disappearing fabric marker

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i pinned the print fabric to the center front of my lining piece, and stitched it down outside the lines i had traced—so none of my stitches would show through the keyhole openings. then i trimmed the print fabric fairly close to my stitched lines. i didn’t want to use any more of the print fabric then i had to, simply because i didn’t want the print to show through the yellow top fabric.
finally i trimmed all the edges of the keyhole openings with purchased white bias tape.

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on the corners i cut the bias tape off 1/2” longer and folded the extra under before stitching it down to give it a nice clean edge.

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i also made one keyhole opening in my two back pieces and trimmed that with the white bias tape

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used one of my cut out pieces as a pattern for the back keyhole)
i sewed the dress up like normal, treating the lining and front piece as one.
and i finished up the front by sewing big white buttons at each of the keyhole points—i stitched them through both the lining and the front to keep the two tacked together.

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the back keyhole i left open at the top, and made long ribbons of the print fabric which tie together in a big bow and hang down the back…

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the ruched headband…well, i did that on a whim. i took no pictures, so i have nothing to show you. but i will direct you to the tutorial katy did at no big dill, which i’m sure is way better than whatever i cobbled together ;)

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and there you have it: one tall, frosty glass of lemon-mod!

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