Sunday, May 20, 2018

Spring Ballgown: A Strapless Top with a Peplum

Last October 2017 my daughter chose a strapless top with a peplum, tulle skirt and a cape to wear to her organization spring ball. The chosen colors were yellow or white.

I had McCall’s 6838 a strapless top and 7047’s peplum in my pattern stash. The strapless top was easy to sew, however, adding boning became a challenge for me because it was the first time that I worked with boning. For the cape I used a free pattern that was posted on Pinterest.

According to the measurement on the pattern envelope (M 6838) I needed a size 16 based on my daughter’s bust measurement. I had a size 14 and I wasn’t going to buy another pattern. I measured the tissue pattern and the measurements were larger than indicated on the size 14 pattern envelope, except that I had to increase the waist by 2 inches.

I watched videos on You Tube  and Craftsy (Custom Corset: bones, casing & busks) to understand how to do boning. 
After watching the videos, I made four muslin for one reason or the other. Muslin #4 was the winner, then:
 Problem#1: I used seven shades of yellow tulle to make a tulle skirt with an elastic waist band. There was a total of 14 layers of tulle.   After completing the skirt, I realize that the fabric for the strapless top was not a good match for the tulle skirt.

Problem #2: I had a difficult time finding the right shade of yellow for the strapless top, eventually I found 1.5 yards of the perfect color fabric in my stash; however, it was the medium weight cotton with no stretch (sort of upholstery type), wrong type of fabric. Oh well, I had five days to complete the top and I made it work.

 Regarding boning: Craftsy video instruction concerning how to add boning was great. I used that method to add boning to the side of the strapless top.

YouTube video; I watched several videos, all instruct you to add boning to the princess seam and side seam area, one of the videos instructed to add additional boning to the center front and across the back of strapless top at a 45-degree angle.  
That did not work for my daughter because the boning in the princess seam for some reason caused the shape of the top to become distorted and it was not a comfortable fit.

Following the advice that I saw on one of the tutorials on you tube, I bought a long line strapless bra that was fully boned. And I hand sewed the top of the strapless bra to the completed strapless top. It worked well. The strapless top remains in place and it did not move.

 Lessons learned: 1. tutorials are great, however not everything in the tutorial will work with your project. 2. I am going to remake the pattern once I find the same color in the right fabric. 3. I plan to follow the pattern instructions and will add boning following the Craftsy class.

Even though this project was planned months ago, I did not get started on the project until one week before the event. Oh well that was an improvement. Last year I completed my daughter’s outfit 10 minutes before she was ready to walk out the door.
I truly enjoy the fact that my daughter's request took me out of my comfort zone. I am on the hunt for the perfect fabric in the exact same shade of yellow to remake the top.


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