Queen of Hearts Costume, Part IV: Hearts and Overskirt

q-of-hearts-hearted

Once the basic black and white dress was done, it was time for embellishment. To make the hearts down the front I cut out some heart-shaped templates from paper and pinned them to the dress to get an idea of the correct sizes. Then I tweaked them until I had the correct size and shape.

To conserve fabric I cut all of my hearts out of the bodice fabric, leaving the larger shawl for other uses. After opening up the seams in the bodice I managed to fit all of them in, with a generous seam allowance.

q-hearts-cut-hearts

I backed them with red cotton (right sides together) to finish the edges, cutting the heart-shaped hole in the back after sewing to ensure that the backing didn’t get pulled out of shape. I clipped the curves, turned the hearts right-side out, topstitched them to keep them flat, then appliquéd them down the front of the dress by hand.

q-hearts-hearts

q-of-hearts-applique

Once I’d cut the skirt off the prom dress and opened up the back seam, I was able to drape the skirt around the hips to see how it would hang. I decided to fold the front edges under by a wide margin in order to make the skirt puffier and to more clearly delineate the overskirt and underskirt. The built-in netting underskirt also helped with this.

Since I’d been able to get my hearts out of the bodice, I had the entire shawl to make the skirt waistband and embellishment. First, I cut off the short ends of the shawl to use for the waistband– I left the stitching intact to make the finished top edge of the waistband, and just attached the short ends together. I  pleated the entire cut-off skirt onto a waistband that left about an 8″ gap in the front, then made a separate section to go across the front. This allowed me to make the waistband adjustable in size without sacrificing symmetry. I used a skirt hook to close it on one side.

q-of-hearts-waistband

Once I had the structure of the skirt finished and could tell how it would hang on my body, it was time to add the hem. I ripped out the seams on the remainder of the shawl to detach the embellished side from the satin side, and cut the embellished side in half lengthwise to make a single long strip of trim. It wasn’t a perfect match, since the skirt hem was curved and the shawl wasn’t, but there was so much fullness in the skirt that I was able to just sew the straight trim around the inside of the curve and let it hang down flat. Then I turned the bottom edge of the trim under, so it sandwiched the original hem of the dress, and hand-stitched it in place.

Getting close to the finish line!

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2 thoughts on “Queen of Hearts Costume, Part IV: Hearts and Overskirt

  1. Pingback: Queen of Hearts Costume, Part VI: Finished! | It's All Frosting...

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