BEHIND THE SCENES: "atonement" inspired dress tutorial

After a really busy month I have finally put the tutorial together for my "Atonement" inspired dress. If you missed the post on what materials you will need you can find it here. I made four alterations to the pattern Vintage Vogue 2859: 

Slash and spread skirt: the pattern I am using is much narrower in the hem than the "Atonement" dress I am recreating, so to add some fullness, although not as much as the original as I find it to be a little too dramatic for my taste, I used the slash and spread technique. Draw three evenly spaced lines, not including seam allowances, vertically down the front and back skirt pieces starting at the lengthen/shorten line down to the hem.


Cut along the lines. Spread the sections out evenly with around 2" in between each section when you pin/weight the pieces down to the fabric. The larger your gaps the fuller the lower part of the skirt will be. 


Cut the fabric on the bias: dresses were often cut on the bias in the 1930's as it gave a very flattering, slinky silhouette. Invented by fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet, bias cut means to cut the fabric on the diagonal, 45 degrees to the warp and weft threads as opposed to cutting the fabric on the straight grain (parallel to the selvedge) or cross grain (perpendicular to the selvedge). Lay the pieces out as per the cutting diagram but rotate them diagonally 45 degrees to the selvedge. I didn't cut the insert or the straps on the bias as they need to be sturdy enough to hold all the larger pieces together without stretching.

Reverse insert: use the matte (wrong) side of the fabric for the diamond shaped insert on the centre front of the bodice to emulate the original dress.

Make sash: as shown in the diagram below use the remainder of the fabric (I bought five metres total) to create the sash by squaring off the sides with a snip and tear and cut the piece in half length wise. Sew the two long strips together at the ends to make an even longer rectangle and hem all around. Tie around the waist and then wrap around the hips and knot in the front. 

After making these pattern alterations just follow the pattern instructions for the construction of the dress!