At long last, here we are, ready to put the final touches on our dress.
First, we'll put a pin where we want the top of our pleat panel opening:
Take a deep breath, and cut the opening bigger:
Then trim the pleated panel to fit the opening. It needs to be two-seam allowances wider on the top and sides, and, since we're doing a double fold hem in the front, two hem-widths longer at the bottom.
Here it is hemmed and pressed back into pleats. The lovely thing about cotton is, with enough steam, it'll generally do whatever you want it to.
Now I've pinned the panel into place, right sides together with one side of the opening.
What you see here is that I've left the front edge of the hem facing raw right there at the pleat-panel seam. That's because I'm okay with using the seam we're about to sew to finish that off.
I sewed from the hem to the upper edge, because if this seam shifts at all, I'd rather it shifted up into the top of the panel opening than down, which would make it uneven at the hem.
Pin the top seam together, babying that corner into place. Clipping into the corner helps. Still, this is a really fiddly spot. I bet I end up with at least a little pucker.
And I did, but not too badly. Since I'm going to be putting the tab over that, I'm leaving it be.
And I did put the tab over it, and sewed it down all the way around, on top of the previous stitching, but inexplicably, did not take a picture of it.
Finished it off with a couple of vertical buttonholes and mother-of-pearl shank buttons:
dolled up my model, and voila! (This may have something to do with why I forgot to take that last picture.)
At long last! Our baby!
I have to say, we did a fantastic job. You folks are outstanding.
Now for the contest winner. All your comments were so extremely helpful, but the one that I think helped define the style of our dress the most was this:
"I loved the idea of a vintage swingback coat for this fabric. A dress would be pretty with the deep ecru lace as an underskirt and trim.'' from Heather. Her little comment helped spark the style idea that gave our dress its final look. Send me your address, Heather, and 2 1/2 yards of green featherwale corduroy will be on its way to you!
Thank you all so much for all the wonderful participation. We should do it again sometime. In fact, I think I have some pretty pink fleece that needs to be designed into a coat...