My Designer Look For Less Part 2 The Big Reveal

My designer look for less, the big reveal

I’m back as promised with the big reveal of my designer look for less…yay! (Spoiler alert…I love it!!)

So, over the last week I’ve been recreating an Elie Saab design as my entry for Designin’ December hosted by Linda of Nice Dress Thanks I Made It and in part one I wrote about the initial stages of planning and toiling the dress, working out the shape of the flounce and perfecting the fit. You can check out part one here.

Because I’d taken the time to make a toile the sewing part of my dress went really well. In fact, suffice to say I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and took my time. As mentioned in part 1 the crepe fabric from Clothspot was lovely to work on and has a good weight and drape to it, my sewing machine certainly liked it 🙂

My designer look for less, the big reveal
My designer look for less, the big reveal

I had already made up the sleeves and inserted the back zip as I mentioned in my first post and next up after sewing the front darts I inserted the large flounce into the curved front seam. I didn’t hem the flounce first so that I could potentially adjust the width if I needed to. The curved seam was completely pressed open with the flounce edge pressed down to the hemline and toward the right shoulder. I needed to do lots of clipping around the curves. The flounce isn’t inserted on the back of the dress…instead, I clipped the edge and left the little back section free for me to place and hand sew in position on the right shoulder.

Next up was side seams and shoulders making sure to keep the short back section of the flounce free of the right shoulder seam when I stitched it. To neaten the seams I just overlocked the raw edges. I could finally try the dress on and check fit and length. All I needed to do was take a smidgen in down the sides and a little of the lower edge of the flounce. 

To hem the flounce, first of all, I did a row of stitching about ⅜” in from the edge. Then I folded and press on this stitching line before I trimmed down to no more than ¼”.  Finally, I folded it in again and stitched along. See these two photos:

The sleeves went in really easily, helped by the fact that the crepe fabric eases beautifully. I finished the armhole seam with some bias lining. 

Talking of lining….I just lined the body and I left the lining free around the armholes which I finished with a rolled hem done on the overlocker (tutorial for a rolled hem in this post). 

Armhole binding detai.l

The neck facing has a Hong Kong binding around the edge and is attached to the lining which actually goes under the facing, all the way up to the neckline so there are three layers there. 

There’s also a facing along the hem on the curved section that goes under the flounce and I added more Hong Kong binding all around the front and back hemline before blind hemming it up. 

Hong Kong binding on curved hem facing. 
My designer look for less, the big reveal.
Thread chain the attaches lining to hem

Where the lining meets the hems at the side seams I did little lengths of thread chains to hold it all in place. You can check out how to make one in this post on Colette blog

Finally, the short section of flounce that goes over my right shoulder is handsewn in place and the end of it goes just into the armhole seam. One of my own labels adds a little finishing touch and it’s complete!

My designer look for less, the big reveal
My designer look for less, the big reveal
My designer look for less, the big reveal

I’m thrilled to bits with my new dress. I’ll be debut-ing it when I go out with hubby for a special Christmas date night and it’s going to be worn on Christmas day too. And who knows, I love it that much that I may even wear it to go grocery shopping… 😉

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read. Do drop me a comment and let me know what you think, I love to chat. And if you want to take part in Designin’ December, then you have plenty of time because it runs through to December 31st.

Catch you soon!

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  1. November 16, 2019 / 7:19 am

    It’s lovely!i like all the binding on the inside.

    • diane
      November 16, 2019 / 10:45 am

      Thanks, Catherine. I really loved doing those bindings 🙂

  2. November 16, 2019 / 8:20 am

    I wonder if there will ever be a time when I’m not stunned with the perfection of your sewing! It’s impeccable! And such a lovely colour!!

    • diane
      November 16, 2019 / 10:46 am

      Aww, thanks ever so much Alex!

  3. Kathy
    November 16, 2019 / 2:02 pm

    Lovely – your dressmaking is impeccable as always! I’m especially glad it makes YOU so happy.

    • diane
      November 16, 2019 / 2:13 pm

      Ahhh, thank you, Kathy! And your comment makes me happy too 🙂

  4. November 16, 2019 / 2:08 pm

    Your dress is so beautiful and I would say certainly more lovely than the inspiration one! Love the colour – the sewing as Alex says is as impeccable as always. The hong kong finish, the invisable zip and hand sewing is so precise it’s delicious to behold. Thank you for taking the time to share so much of your process and joy with us!

    • diane
      November 16, 2019 / 2:15 pm

      Thank you so much, Kathleen, you’ve made my day. I’m sew happy to hear that you enjoy reading my ramblings.

  5. PatB
    November 16, 2019 / 4:20 pm

    Wow, I am a combination of in awe and inspired. Beautiful dress, unique and suits you so well. I really appreciate your pics and explanation of your process. Enjoy 😊

    • diane
      November 16, 2019 / 4:56 pm

      Thanks ever so much Pat!

  6. Christine
    November 16, 2019 / 5:18 pm

    Fabulous. You have made a truly beautiful dress both inside and out and I suspect may be even better made than the inspiration! For us sewers the inside is just as important as the outside and doesn’t it make you feel wonderful when wearing it?! As always your pics and details of the process are appreciated.

    • diane
      November 16, 2019 / 7:36 pm

      Absolutely, it does feel good to wear knowing that the inside is special. Thanks for the kind comment as always, Chris xx.

  7. November 17, 2019 / 1:45 am

    Hi Diane – – That’s gorgeous and it’s so cool that you have the perfect boots to go with it. Love the details inside and out….fabulous special touches!

    • diane
      November 17, 2019 / 9:47 am

      Thanks, Linda! I loved the slower process of getting the insides nice. And as for my boots matching…must be kismet 😁

  8. November 17, 2019 / 2:29 pm

    Fabulous gorgeous dress Diane!! Perfect fit and love that generous flounce. Love the way you finished the interior too. 🙂

    • diane
      November 17, 2019 / 4:19 pm

      Thanks for that lovely comment, Lisa! Sooo glad you like it.

  9. November 17, 2019 / 8:20 pm

    Oh my goodness, this is absolutely gorgeous!! The fit is brilliant, and I don’t envy you hemming the flounce!

    • diane
      November 17, 2019 / 8:23 pm

      Aww, thanks, Lynne! I’m so happy you like it. And actually the fabric was pretty obliging with regards to sewing the flounce hem 🙂

  10. November 18, 2019 / 10:23 am

    Beautiful colour, beautiful style and I can’t believe you’ve got matching boots!

    • diane
      November 18, 2019 / 8:16 pm

      Thanks, Sue!… I know! My boots go so well with it, don’t they?

  11. Barbara Hewitt
    November 24, 2019 / 2:48 am

    Diane, I have loved reading your blogs and following your creating and sewing projects. They look beautiful on you and your workmanship is perfection. I have a comment about the photo lighting. We can see the lines from your underwear. May I suggest wearing something like “Spanx” that doesn’t leave lines and makes a very smooth outer appearance. Or it may be just the lighting needs changing. You are beautiful and you are creating a beautiful wardrobe.

    • diane
      November 24, 2019 / 9:32 am

      Thanks Barbara. I was aware of a vague bit of knicker show through on that back view but hit publish anyway because hey, that zip is perfection 😉.

  12. December 5, 2019 / 7:25 pm

    Dear Diane,

    It’s been a while since I visited. And as always, you didn’t disappoint; I love it! Thank you for sharing all the aspects of your work. Viewing it is a definite pleasure. And the colour of your dress got me to searching my stash. I didn’t find anything close, but well, I pinned it for future reference. As well, I am drooling over the hue and height of your boots; they are perfection! Thank you for sharing; I feel blessed.

    • diane
      December 5, 2019 / 8:23 pm

      Oh, lovely to hear from you, Andrea! Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet comment x

  13. Joan
    February 28, 2021 / 10:40 pm

    Hi Diane, I saw this post, part 1 below your new 2.28.21 post and read about this wonderful dress project! Just a fabulous dress: elegant AND fun, and looks super comfortable, too.

    I really appreciate seeing all of the design and construction steps! I will look up the Vilene product here in the U.S.: we have similar iron on bias options, but I haven’t seen Vilene. I was quite interested in your lining technique and the facings, as well.

    Beautiful technique and a memorable dress that looks SPECIAL on you!

    • diane
      March 2, 2021 / 10:09 am

      Awww, thank you, Joan! I love this dress and have worn it for a few nights out but had we not had a pandemic going on it would have definitely been worn for more these last few months. I’m glad you enjoyed seeing the different techniques I’ve used throughout.

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