Flower Girl Dress, Part 1: Introduction

"This dress, or something similar" the e-mail said, linking to an ivory confection of satin, net and tulle for sale at a certain store, let's just call it Davy Jones' Nuptial Locker. Even if the price-tag for that little T4 flower-girl dress hadn't been well outside my philosophical boundaries for something to be worn once by a small child, the "or something similar" was all the invitation I needed to indulge my urge to sew pretty dresses.

My sewing philosophy has always been well, "slapdash" might be going too far, but I've never been a stickler for details. I learned primarily from experimentation, and money and time and patience have always been limiting factors. But with the wedding still 3 months away, here was my chance to try and do things "the right way" for a change. Of course, a few days with the relevant, at times contradictory, library books served to illustrate the diversity of opinion as to what exactly that would entail. But I was determined to improve upon my method and try to focus at least as much on the enjoyment of the process as the anticipation of the finished product that usually rushes me along past opportunities to spend a little more time improving on the finer points of fit and finish.

After many weekends of work, including a few set backs, the dress was finally finished, and just in time for the wedding.

The dress has a satin bodice with princess seams front and back. It closes with a lapped zipper in the back, which descends slightly into the skirt. The original has many small faux buttons in a line all the way down the zipper lap; mine does not. The skirt's top 2 layers are tulle, supported by a number of net layers and a rayon lining skirt. Underneath the lining skirt is a petticoat skirt with a net ruffle at the bottom. A separate sash with a velcro closure and a bow that attaches with loops and a snap is wrapped around the dress.

The other flower girl had the ($100) retail version. On the photo below, it's on the left, and my version ($25) is on the right. I don't think anyone who didn't know noticed the slight differences.

Read on to see my process from concept to finished product: Part 2, Getting Started.

- Victoria, 2012-04-21

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