I am now starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with finishing this dress! HOWEVER, this post has taken me especially long to do because the photo upload on Blogger is slow and/or not working. Does anyone else have the same trouble???
It's now time to attach the underskirt to the inner bodysuit of the dress. To do this, I will first put the dress on the dress form and pin up the skirt to reveal the bodysuit. Then I will pin the underskirt to the bodysuit and determine if the hemline is correct by dropping the top of the dress. I want about around 2 inches past the dress hemline - this is in order to trim it when I even the hem out, and to leave it a little longer than the dress. I will then sew the underskirt onto the bodysuit using a zigzag elastic stitch. The fabric will pucker , but will stretch flat when worn or on the dress form. I was a little concerned about the seam showing through, but it looks quite flat, and once there are rhinestones on, it will not be noticeable at all.
The next step is to even out the chiffon layers hemline. I will use the chalk marker for this task. I bought this from Joann's online with a coupon and I really have not used it that much except for these long dresses. It comes in very handy with a huge circle skirt! After cutting, I'm left with about and inch overhang.
The next step came with some bumps. I was going to finish the chiffon with a fishline hem. It involves doing a rolled edge on the serger with actual fishline - this gives it a stiffer and fuller hem. After changing my mind a dozen times, I decided against using the fishline, in favor of just a rolled edge. With this many layers, I felt that the end result would be too 'poufy' if I used fishline.
I'm very satisfied with the result. After ironing the chiffon and hem, I ended up with a nice floaty hem, just like a rolled hem (which I am still completely incapable of doing on polyester chiffon !!!)
I needed to finish off the sleeves so I quickly did this using encased elastic overlocked on the edge and then zigzag stitched on top. To avoid the sleeve riding up when dancing, it is common to have an elastic loop around the index finger, so I inserted string elastic in a loop, tied the ends so they would not pull out after sewn. And voila, the dress is almost done. The last step is to create the floats, which will hang off the neck and go across the arms towards the back.
And then - THE RHINESTONES....