Making dresses can be fun and I like experimenting by trying out new styles. When I first looked at loretti 5534, I thought it might be a demanding pattern to work with, but there was also something exciting about it. I do not like to wear dresses that make me feel “undressed”. The shoulder area in this view definitely is in this last category. So, I decided to change that part and make the dress anyway.
Here I will first give an overview of the pattern parts, so anyone contemplating trying it, can see what they have to work with. (The pattern is purchased from sewingpatterns.com.) I will also define the pattern parts, hoping it might be a help to somebody.
I have numbered the pattern pieces, so they correlate to the numbers they have in the instruction. When “solving the puzzle” of which piece went where, the notches on the pattern was of great help. If you study your pieces (if you are working with this dress), you will notice that the notches along the sides of the dress pieces are placed at the same level horizontally where they go together.
The list of pattern parts in the instructions was adequate, but there is still nothing on the pattern parts themselves identifying them in English. I have written the text you will find there and put the English translation in back.
Main parts of the dress:
- Tsentralnaya-chast-spinki-Fravaya = Right center back part
- Tsentralnaya-chast-spinki-levaya = Left center back part
- Bokova ya -chast-spinki-pravaya = Right side back part
- Bokovaya-chast-spinki-levaya = Left side back part
- Bokovaya-chast-polochki-pravaya = Right side front part
- Tsentralnaya-chast-polochki-pravaya = Right center front part
- Tsentralnaya-chast-polochki-levaya = Left center front part
- Bokovaya-chast-polochki-levaya = Left side front part
The ruffle or flounce parts are not included in my list, since they can be identified by looking at the photo of the pattern. Neither have I mentioned part number 9, because I do not quite understand how it is to be used. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.There is no seperate pattern piece that can represent this part in the pattern (9)either.
I quickly discovered that”flounce” means ruffle. Since I am changing the top part of the pattern for my dress I have not used the “flounces” in the pattern, I made my own that I ajusted to my neckline.
When I started to work with my pattern I wrote the number on each part that correlates to the list in the instructions. Then I put them next to each other and put labeled them from a-g. This last part was just to help me remember where the parts go together.
This model has a lower cut on the one side then on the other side. (see bottom double lines on photo). Each pattern part has a similar part, that goes on the other side, this means, that all the body parts can be divided into pairs. For example I took the center front parts and copied the higher cut version over to the other front piece (middle line on left pattern-part on photo). I did the same with the side and back parts. When I was working with this, I wondered if I could just make doubles of the cut I wanted, and not use the other. The problem with this is that the cut on the bottom of the dress is slanted. You therefore need to have a separate pattern piece for each part.
After doing this, I wanted to add even a little more to the center front and back. I decided how high I wanted my cut to be and marked it on my center front and back pattern pieces (Final top line on patterns in photo).
After cutting the pattern pieces I put them back on the floor in the order they were to be sewn together. I am working with a chiffon material, so I feel like I need to keep my tongue straight as I am putting them together, becaude the fabric is so frail. By leaving the paper pattern on my cut fabric, I could easily identify them and see which pieces were to have a flounce attached to them. First I started by sewing the vertical seams of the dress. When sewing the flounce I first sewed the one length of it, then I added the other side seam, continuing up along the side of the dress. See photo above.
I would like to emphasize the importance of basting the stitches before putting them under the over lock machine, attaching them permanently. It is so easy to make a mistake and it is very frustrating to destroy the feeble fabric.
I do not know that my dress will turn out exactly like the drawing in the pattern. I do not quite understand everything in the instructions, my solution then, is to do it my way.
I will end here today, since “my dress” still is not finished. I promise to come back later with my finished product.
The dress is finally finished!
It is with a sigh of relief I finished this project. I have basted and basted, making temporary seams until I was satisfied with the adjustments. Then I finally sewed it all in place.
I knew what I wanted to do with the top part, so there I just had to work with until I was happy. The bottom flounce on the other hand was unclear to me.
I did not understand the part about the “gusset” so I decided to leave it out. But I could see by studying the dress illustration that the bottom of the dress had to be ruffled in some way. In fact, it did not look right just hanging straight down. After contemplating on this matter, I decided to make a ruffle effect, by adding long seams that could be ruffled along the sides of the flounce. It might not be exactly what the designers of the pattern intended, but it works. It gave the dress lift and fluff.