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I am so happy to be done with this gown! I think it turned out so pretty, I'm sure my friend Lucia will love it! But, again, I have to reiterate the fact that the roses DO NOT BLARE OUT NEON LIKE THAT. I have no idea why I couldn't photograph them as they actually look. They don't contrast all that much at all, to the eye they match nicely... so, if in your head you are going "what the hell was she thinking??" well, I promise they look smooth together! I couldn't capture it! I really tried!

Anyway, where did I leave off? I finished the sleeves, and moved on to making all the skirt furtbelows.

I marked out the loops with measuring tapes, I couldn't use my drapers tape because the silk didn't like it.  I just kind of winged the placement, which is not like me, I usually obsess about placement. Ah well, wanted to finish sometime this year!

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I made the ruches with my gathering foot, which I was very very lucky with-- if I had cut the strips the opposite way, I would have been screwed-- the gathering foot only liked it in one direction! At first I tried with the ruffling foot, and that looked terrible. Thankfully the gathering foot did a nice quick job for me.

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Checking the ruching-- yes, I liked it!

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Marking off for the pinch pleats...

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Making the pinch pleated puffs...

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Laying them all out...

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Pinned down and sewing the ruches...

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Pinned down and sewing the puff trim...

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Adding the flowers...

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Making the other side match...

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Connected at the shoulders and adding the remaining puff trim to the nape of the neck...

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Adding the flowers around the back of the neckline...

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Voila!

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...AND... Here is the point where I ask you to bow your heads for a moment of silence for my sanity.  Those damn side pleats gave me conniptions.  I mean, seriously. They look so innocent and simple there in the photo, making you wonder what my problem was, but... but... I can't even. We have to move on. LET'S MOVE ON!

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Once the pleats were done, I was able to set the sleeves, hand sew some snaps, and call it done. Woo hooo!  There are no photos-- after the pleat debacle I was SO DONE I just didn't even take any pictures!

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What I learned from this build:

*Never ever use dupioni again. Like, EVER.  It's quite pretty, but the loosey goosey bias absolutely killed me on the side pleats. Otherwise it was easy to work with, but the bias man-- check the bias before buying fabric for a big gown like this! A normal bias will not be a problem. This bullshit taffy stretch stretch and stretch some more bias was awful. It was like the magical never ending stretch!  No matter what I did, it warped out of shape again right away.  I was not prepared for that and it made me crazy.  I should have done something smart and seamstressy, but it was too late. I was already hosed.

*I really need to learn how to take pictures. I can't control these iridescent fabrics at all! This dress is so much prettier in person, I can't even stand it. Those flowers are killing me!

*Make sure my hems are extra long-- four inches disappeared off the bottom of this dress and I have no idea where they went!

*Buy more than 10 yards of fabric.  I really did not think I would have enough to finish this dress! I just barely scraped by, and it was very nerve-wracking!

*Despite it kicking my ass, I really love it.  Now I can send this and the taupe dress off to Italy and hope they fit Lucia well enough that she won't be needing any major alterations!

*Fingers crossed that the package makes it through the Italian Postal System without disappearing!  Thier reputation is so bad I am actually worried!

 
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