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Tips from the Costume Dress Designer

Liesl's danceing dress from the Sound of Music

Lieslís Dancing Dress ~ A Vintage Sound of Music Costume

This article is presented by Katrina, the owner of Edelweiss Patterns and designer of the dress pattern. Alongside this pattern, Katrina offers a great little ebook with tips for solutions to making your garments modest with some simple altering instructions. Happy sewing!

Behind the Dress

The bodice

Ever since I my earliest memories, I was enchanted by Lieslís delicate chiffon dancing dress. With the gownís billowy sleeves, twirly skirt, and tiny bows on the bodice, it defines feminine clothing at its finest. Besides such charming characteristics, this garment is one of few lovely formal designs that is actually modest, eliminating the need for modifying the pattern, a chore many of us have accepted as routine when sewing nowadays.

Edelweiss Patterns offers the pattern for Lieslís dancing dress in sizes 6-20, with detailed instructions for fitting and constructing the dress. Suggested materials are chiffon and a lightweight lining, and I do suggest that you use as light of fabrics as possible. Iíve found that working with chiffon is not hard, it just requires using more pins than usual and taking care to not stretch the fabric when sewing. If you do stretch it, youíll end up with a seam that is ruffly just like how youíre supposed to finish the skirt edge.

Construction tips

I used a polyester chiffon which doesnít snag as easily as some silk chiffons Iíve worked with, and lined the dress with a lightweight China silk. When constructing the sheer yoke, it is important to clip the inner curves along the neckline. This makes it much easier to press the seam open and ensures that the neckline will lay flat.

When applying the ribbons to the bodice, Iíve found it easiest to sew by machine on either side of the ribbon as close to the edge as possible. You can also stitch them down by hand, but it would take much longer!

For the skirt hem, I used the lettuce hem edge that gives you an almost curly finish. If you chose to use chiffon georgette instead of chiffon, you will need to follow the pattern instructions for what method to use to give it a more ruffly look.

All in all, the Liesl dress project was almost as much fun to sew as it has been to wear! I wore it a Sound of Music sing-along event where I was the only authentically dressed person in the theatre! Be sure to visit for more photos and ideas.

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