Friday, June 27, 2014

Sunflower Wedding: Twirl Skirts

 In addition to the cake and flower girl dress, I wanted to make dresses for my younger daughters to wear. I ended up short on time, as usual, so I made them skirts instead.
The skirts and dress
  As with the flower girl dress, I made these out of satin and chiffon from the Casa Collection at Joann's. They only had these colors online, so the blue is quite a bit darker than the blue the bridesmaids were wearing, but it was still cute. The colors are Sunshine and Bluebird (it appears that the bluebird is no longer available in satin), and they are very different in person from the pictures on the website.

  I wanted there to be a sash on these like on the flower girl dress, so I decided to try something new and make the sash be elasticized in the front and run through the waistband.

  The bow is fake again, so they wouldn't be able to untie it.

  It worked on Becker's version (the yellow) but on Gaiw's skirt the front gaped a lot when worn.

  I'm not sure why it was different, but Gaiw's skirt was a little tighter on her, so that may account for it. There's another thing I didn't love about the blue skirt.... the chiffon layer. This time I placed the whole satin piece on top of the chiffon to cut it with a rotary cutter, so I knew I had a perfect circle. However, after I finished sewing it all together, the chiffon stretched more in some areas than others and it looks rather odd. I'm debating trimming it down and re-hemming.

  Ah well, she still looked adorable in that and her crown and her too-small shirt. (I didn't realize it was too small until we were at the church)

  For Becker's skirt, I gently pulled the chiffon past the satin and trimmed it before hemming, so it's much more even.

  We were in a room with a bunch of people besides me, so she was bawling from terror in most of the photos I took of her. Poor girl. Either I or her papa held her for almost the entire wedding.

  She didn't get a full sunflower crown, as there was no way that would stay on her head, but I did tie a sunflower on to a piece of elastic for a headband. =)

  Isn't she cute though?

  I decided to put two pieces of elastic in the back waistband, since all I had was 1" wide and the waistbands were 2.5" wide. I kind of like the effect.

  I sewed the entire waistband and skirt layers separately, then attached them with a French seam.
Inside of the skirt
  I'm thinking that next time I work with chiffon, especially narrow rolled hems, I'm going to try the gelatine method of making the fabric firmer. I didn't have enough on hand this go-around.

   The waistbands took a lot of brain-wrangling to figure out their construction... I was planning on sharing a tutorial, but I think it needs tweaking so it doesn't gape first.

  The final thing I sewed for the wedding I didn't sew alone. My sister-in-love wanted a lace addition to her dress, with short sleeves rather than just a strapless dress, so she found some pretty 4" wide lace on Etsy and brought it over to my house. Since she came with the lace, I decided to try draping for the first time. I cut strips of fabric to 4" so I wouldn't waste any lace, and carefully pinned them on her over a tight tee. It came out a little weird at the underarm area, so I think that would have worked better with just undergarments, but that would have been awkward for both of us. Once I had the draped pattern, we hand-sewed strips of lace together for all of the pieces- front, two back sides, and both sleeves. Then I French-seamed those together while she covered a button with a tiny bit of white fabric and lace and hand-sewed the back slit hems, and we hand-sewed a thread loop. This is how it looks with the dress:

  She was going to take it home and hand-sew it to the lining of the dress, but I think she got really busy and didn't have time to finish the hand-sewing, so it's just tucked in. It definitely isn't perfect, but it worked and made the dress a little more like she wanted. =)
Edit: Apparently it is sewn in! Just at the waist rather than the top of the dress like I expected. And it turns out it didn't really work either.... it had to have two more layers of lace sewn at the underarm to make it work. D'oh!

  Draping is pretty un-involved compared to drafting! This really made me realize how useful a dress form would be for me... as long as it matched me well.

 Just a few more photos:
This is another beautiful sis-in-love, who was one of the bridesmaids.

  And that's it! I may post a few photos of the decorations my sis-in-love and other relatives made in a few days here.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. What a lot of work on those skirts with the slippery fabric and double layers. The girls look adorable in the outfits you made and the lace was the perfect addition to the bridal gown. You are so creative, Charity!

    1. Thank you! The satin wasn't too bad to sew with, but I'm planning on trying some stabilization methods next time I work with chiffon, because it really wasn't enjoyable. The girls didn't seem to mind wearing the skirts, which made me very happy. =) I was a little bit nervous that they would be uncomfortable or too hot.