Kid Couture, Part 2

I’m getting ready to work on a number of semi formal and formal dresses for my Aunt Bonnie (more on that soon) and so lately I have been wasting countless hours looking at formal wear pictures online.  I love looking at the detail photos, thinking through the designs in my head, and trying to picture how I would recreate the something similar.  I saw a number of gowns with bunched up puffy skirts like these, “pick-up skirts”, and they just sort of wow’ed me.

This really isn’t altogether my aunt’s style and I doubt we’re going to do something quite like this for her.  Still, I really wanted to know how to do it!   I searched online for pick-up skirt directions, and found my answer on a message board somewhere. The directions said to cut two layers for the skirt.  The bottom layer should be the shape and length desired for the finished gown, and hemmed.  The top layer should be cut wider and as much as twice as long, so that there’s LOTS of extra fabric.  Then you lift up sections and pin them with small safety pins.  The poster described sort of a trial and error approach to pulling and draping the fabric until you find the look you want.  Then you hand stitch the pulls in place at the pinned spots.  And finally, if desired, you can apply embellishments to cover the stitching, like rhinestones or fabric rosettes.

I had to give it a try.  But I had no actual use or need for such a gown, and no desire to pay for countless yards of fabric to make myself a dress I didn’t need.  I did have close to a yard of satin leftover from one of my mother in laws dance gowns.  And so, Eva got another dress.  🙂

I used the same basic pattern as her pink dress.  For the top layer of the skirt, I made longer wider panels than the bottom layer.  Unfortunately, I discovered I didn’t have enough fabric to cut four of these large lengths.  So, I added the top layer in the front only, and pulled it around to the bottom back.  Aside from that, I pretty much followed the directions I’d found, and the end result is largely to my liking (though it’s far from the full length that would be typical in this style).  Most importantly, it met the Eva stamp of approval – she BEGGED to get to try it on!

I think she’s as pretty in blue as she is in pink!


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