Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Special Occasion Wear with Sewing in No Man's Land

We are so thrilled to have the lovely Kelly from Sewing in No Mans Land as our guest judge for Special Occasion/ Party Wear this week.  She is one of the nicest blogger arounds and takes photographs (like the one above) that we could stare at all day...they are simply breathtaking.

So please help us welcome Kelly...

Hi friends! Kelly from Sewing In No Mans Land here! Hasn't this season been a fierce one? I am not kidding I am soooo glad I was in the first season because each season takes it to a whole new level! I am thrilled to be here during Special Occasion/ Party Week! I actually was up until 2 am the other night sewing this dress (we have all been very sick around here so it was the only time I could get to it ha! Plus it's only fair I feel like I am back in the competition right?) Now if you know me you know I love all things retro. I decided to go with a cute short tunic dress paired with my completely versatile ruffle skirt as an under skirt (a tutorial for which can be found HERE).

I hope you love how it turned out as much as I do!

My friend Hillary has a pretty cool collection of vintage hats and I have been dying to do a shoot with this one in particular. I thought it went perfect with the All That Jazz dress.

I absolutely adore little girls skirt that are on the short side... which goes against all my modesty beliefs ha!

You could add a sash and make it more fitted but I purposely left it wide and loose.

I grabbed the pearls from the dress up box we got Evie for Christmas at Costco and my "toy" camera from the thrift store and we headed to down to Williamsburg!

Evie got lots of attention from the tourists who happened to walk past. And she wasn't afraid to show her real personality:

Yup, thats when I knew we were done ha! If you would like to make a dress for your cutie and get her all Jazzed up here is what you need to do:

Material List:

1.5 yards material

three buttons

small bit of elastic

1/3 yard light fusible interfacing

Pattern found HERE

Alright, now this tutorial is unfortunately a bit wordy. I love the dress in black but unfortunately I forgot how poorly it photographs in tutorial regards. So be sure to read the instructions not just look at the poor photography ha!

Once you have all of your pattern pieces cut out lets begin! Grab your main dress piece. You are going to stitch a gather stitch on both shoulder sections and the center "chest" area.

Gather up the stitches on the shoulder until they match up with your front shoulder pieces;

Once you have gathered them take your front shoulder pieces and with right sides together attach them to your main dress section. I then opened them up and topstitched them (I think it looks nice but is not necessary)

Now set this piece aside and grab your "tunic" or facing pieces. On the wrong side of two of the pieces attach your fusible interfacing following the manufacturers instructions. Once you have done this put them right sides together and stitch up the center about 3/4 of the way.

(I used some white fabric instead of interfacing in hopes it would show up better)

Repeat this process with your second pair of "tunic"/ facing material. Once you are done attach the back facing pieces to the front by laying them right sides together and stitching at the seam. Repeat this for your second facing piece

Once you are doing were are going to take the two facing pieces and lay them right sides together. Stitch all the way from one side to the other on the inside line. Take care to clip corners so when you flip it right side out it will lay nicely. Before we attach the facing we need to take care of our back! Take your two back pieces and lay them right sides together. Stitch up the center 3/4 of the way.

Now you are going to hem the last little bit inserting your elastic on one side for your button holders:

Now open up your back. Iron if you like (I do). Lay your front and back pieces right sides together and stitch up both sides, connecting the two. Now we can sew in our facing pieces! Again right sides together you are going to stitch from one side to the other. so that when you are done you have this:

I kind of wanted my center to be more keyhole so I rounded the corners a bit. Now for the sleeves! These are actually lined sleeves. Take your main sleeve and gather across the arch and across the bottom:

Once you are done fold it in half right sides together and stitch up the side. Now take your lining piece and do the same (not gather just stitching up the side)

Once you are done we are going to attach the sleeve main to the lining ONLY at the base of the sleeve. Line them up right sides together. Sew across the bottom then turn it so the lining tucks inside the main and the arches match up. Now attach your sleeves to your dress! All you have left if to hem it to your desired length and put on your buttons. Taddah! Not to tough right?

I can't wait to try it in a fun print! Come on over to Sewing In No Mans Land for more fun tutorials and free patterns! Thanks so much for having me and good luck guys!



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  1. Dear Kelly,
    Congratulations for the fabulous work.
    The pattern link doesn't work.
    Could you send me please?
    Thank you very much!

    1. Thank you for your time and effort to have put these things together on this weblog.

  2. I love short dresses on little girls too. One of my favorite things. Darling as usual. Here is what I have such new found respect for: tutorials! So much work! Thanks for sharing this.

  3. BEEUTIFUL!! The tutorial was very easy to read and follow along with! Thanks! Love the pictures as well, your Evie makes me laugh at loud!

  4. The pattern link is not working and I am dying to make this! Any chance of it being repaired?