Got a message from E’s school a few weeks back. This morning, all of 5th grade has a 20s themed dance party. They’ve been playing stock exchange for social studies and I suspect the crash is going to happen today, sometime after the party… Anyway, all parents were given a long head’s up so they could help their kids with their costumes. E asked me to make hers. Thankfully, 20s is easy. I had an idea of what I had to make but we did some research anyway. She saw a gorgeous beaded shimmery dress that she loved. I had to gently reduce her ambitions. I figured a simple tank dress in some sort of sequined fabric would do the trick.
I had a gift certificate for Stylish Fabrics from my first season of Project Run & Play. I hadn’t found anything I wanted back then but I found the perfect fabric for the dress. Black sequins on stretch jersey knit in U shape pattern. The pictures on the website lead me to believe that the U shape was lengthwise. When I got the fabric, it turned out the U was horizontal. I played with the fabric and it did have some stretch in the length so I decided to cut the fabric on the crossgrain. That meant the dress would be stretchy along the length though. I was worried it would get pulled down by its own weight. I decided to cross that bridge later.
I took the girls to the city during their Spring break. (We went on the day it snowed.) Pacific Trimming had most of what I wanted: fringe, stretch sequins, stretch trim, and foldover elastic. We went to some other place for the feathers and beaded embellishment for the headpiece. I can never remember the name of the store. I just remember it’s on the same street as Pacific Trimming (38th?) but close to 6th Avenue. That’s all I got.
Then, I searched for a pattern and settled on Jalie 3246. I figured I could just chop some length off. I wanted to widen the straps if I recall correctly, but I didn’t. This isn’t something she’s going to wear on a regular basis after all. Working with the sequined fabric was a lot easier than I thought it would be. It helped that I wasn’t dealing with all over sequins. I traced the pattern onto the fabric before cutting with scissors. I cut the pieces so that the U shapes would be vertical and upside down. I thought that had a bit of an Art Deco vibe, no? There’s a fairly wide section on each selvedge that has no sequins. I arranged my pattern pieces so that the straps wouldn’t have sequins and I cut my binding pieces from that section as well.
Sewing went well. I broke 2-3 needles (I wore glasses to protect my eyes but no sequins flew off). I used a plain old straight stitch on my machine. With the stretch running vertically, I wanted my seams to help stabilize. At first, I thought the weight was dragging the dress down. When I tried it on E, to see where to cut it, the neckline felt low. I was all ready to add some lace or something but everything snugged up properly when I added the binding. Oh, the sequins were scratchy on the inside so I used the foldover eleastic to bind the seam allowances. I put fringe on the bottom and cute trim at the top of the armholes. It’s black elastic with a sheer ruffle and square sequins attached with beaded thread.
For the headpiece, I did no sewing. I just measured the sequin elastic, cut and used a hot glue gun to stick it all together. I glued the feathers on top of the seam to hide it and then the beaded embellishment on top. Done!
We did a quickie shoot yesterday afternoon and E showed me the dances they learned…