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I don’t sew as much as I used to despite having fabric for a million projects. I know I’m not alone in that. But what does drive me to do it is a deadline and an inspiration.

I saw a couture monarch gown a few years ago and fell in love. I devised a plan to make a version to fit me and just waited for the deadline to come. Any sort of deadline will do. So a “wing ding” party theme was enough of a deadline to drive me.

I started the project by finding a butterfly wing photo with a high enough dpi to print well. Found one after several days of googling. I edited it in Photoshop to have two separate orange tones as my inspiration dress. Also cleaned up the dusty appearance so the print was “clean”.

Uploaded my image to spoonflower.com and guesstimated the number of panels I would need. (My fabric panel pieces can be seen here: http://www.spoonflower.com/fabric/4314858 ) There are several ways to layout images in their system, so I opted for a wing and one half to be left to right on the yard of fabric. I figured the half wings would be used as “filler” under the main wings. I ended up using two half wings, but I think I should have used a few more. I thought I ordered seven total wing yard panels, but I only had six once the project cutting started in earnest.

Like my inspiration piece, I affixed rhinestones near the white dots. I used the kind with melt fixative on the back. Worked pretty slick, but with about 1200 rhinestones, even “only” ten seconds a piece took quite a while.

Each of the wings is lined in inexpensive black lining material. I sewed right sides together on each wing, trimmed and clipped the seam allowances and then ironed each. The sewing was the easiest part of this whole project! Each wing was overlayed approximately 8 inches over another. One extra wing and two extra half wings were applied in an offset manner to the existing five wings in the skirt body.

All wings were then simply applied to wide band elastic using the Ol’ “stretch elastic fully and stitch to get a gather when said elastic is relaxed” method.

I ran out of time to make the bodice, but remaining half wing panels are still available to do that *sometime*. Anyone have a deadline handy??