Waterdress, details and assembling (part 3)

Hi everyone! How are your summer holidays?

I’ve been doing alright, but the fact that I’m now writing my master’s thesis is taking up little too much energy and effort… I love writing it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just that I’m most of the days too exhausted to write any posts (similar effects had my BA thesis…). And I have been preparing my home for the arrival of two little guinea pigs! I’ve never had rodents before, and as I’m so excited, I might be writing a word or two about them once they have made themselves home!

But today I’ll finish the miniseries that focuses on my sister’s graduation dress. I’m also excited to share the last bits of its construction and show you what the end result is like. I still love this dress so much that just the plan of writing this post makes me smile like crazy!

(And to my little sister, if you’re reading this, I really do love the dress as much as you do. :))

And a word of warning before you start reading: this post will be really long.


Part two of this dress was published a couple of weeks ago and it discussed the making of the skirt. Long before that (back in April) I posted part one where I talked about the bodice. Logically, part three will include the information on how I sewed these two together, but also the interesting photos of the last details that went into the project. If you’re too impatient, scroll to the end to see what the dress looks like finished!

To continue the making of the dress, here’s how I made the modesty panel. You might remember me mentioning it somewhere along the previous posts, but to keep you in track, this panel was going to be attached to the back of the bodice. I adore the way lacing looks when there’s really long gap between the two sides, but I don’t like that much skin showing through… To prevent it, I made a rectangular panel from two pieces of fabric: one from the polyester and the other from the same lining I used with the bodice. I left the short side on the left open so I could turn the piece right side out after sewing.

The polyester satin had a layer of interfacing on it.


Having turned the piece right side out, I stitched around its edges. The short side was going to be attached to the bodice next.


Hope your still with me, as the attaching of the bodice to the skirt in the next picture may be a little sudden, for there has been no images of it yet, but it was actually real simple. My sister put the skirt on first, and the bodice after that, and then I pinned the two together. After that I sewed them together with hemming stitches that were invisible to the front of the bodice.

You can also see the grommets that had been finally attached to the bodice. They are metal grommets and they’re 2 centimeters apart.

Where was I? Oh right, the attaching of the modesty panel! It was placed into the opening that I had left between the bodice and the lining and then hand sewn in a way that closed the opening at the same time.


A look from the right side. The little marks near the grommets on the right are pins 😀


Now that the skirt and bodice were attached, I could finish the hems! The hem on the overlay was folded twice inward and stitched with machine one centimeter away from the edge.


Because I wanted the base of the skirt to be as long as the hemmed overlay, I then put the dress on Lola the mannequin and folded the extra fabric inward on the base of the skirt. The hem was sewn by hand. I tried to make the stitches as invisible as possible (I find that leaving them a bit loose helps a lot).


The details on the dress included two layers of lace at the hem and decorations on the center front of the bodice. The two laces I was going to sew to the hem looked like this:


The bottom one was sewn on first. It was sewn with a straight machine stitching to the underside of the overlay. I stitched it once from the top edge of the lace and once from the very edge of the overlay. I wanted to leave a scalloped edge visible from underneath.


The other lace was sewn on the topside of the overlay, just a little further up, so that a couple centimeters of the overlay fabric could be seen. I think it looks just like waves! On top of that it’s without a doubt the most beautiful hem I’ve made so far. (Having watched Moana earlier today I think the hem looks just like foamy wave crests.)


The shoulder straps (halter neck) I made next are there for only aesthetics. I created a pattern by placing a piece of fabric on my sister and drawing on it. Then I traced it twice on two-folded polyester satin. The bottom edge was left open.


I cut them out and tried to pin them as flat as possible.


I sewed a straight machine stitching as close to the edges as I could.


Me and my sister had different opinions about whether straps should be wider at the level of the bodice or not… Because this was my gift to her, I accommodated to her wishes and made the straps not-so-wide. I sewed the straps to the lining by hand.


No single stitch could once again be seen from the right side!


I had been thinking about sewing seed beads, lace appliqués and a bright red bow to the front of the bodice.


Perhaps something like this…


However, my sister didn’t quite like my suggestions… She had her own vision about the dress that I of course wanted to follow! So the appliqués and fake pearls had move over and make room for something less striking.

A piece of lilac lace was stitched on first.


Followed by the red bow and three metallic anchor pendants.


I love hiding extra meanings into my works, which is why there are two doves near the hem (Larry Stylinson’s symbols are doves and anchors among other things 😉 ).

The doves were the last things to attach and so the lovely Waterdress was done!


Here is the dress worn by my sister on her graduation day:



And the back:


She is beautiful, isn’t she?

You might also remember from part one that one of the front seams began to unravel some time after finishing the dress, but I still haven’t found out how to fix it, which is why the pictures of it will have to wait till another time.

As much as liked writing this series, I’m glad it’s over at last and I can move on to blog about other things for change. Nevertheless, I have other long posts to write… (Who can I blame that big projects are satisfying to make but laborious to blog about?)

Thank you for reading and leave a comment below if you liked the dress!


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