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Friday, September 10, 2010

Party Dress - Part 1 of Many

This November will be our 10th wedding anniversary and since we left the UK for Hong Kong shortly afterwards we are going back to the place we got married for a big reunion party. It's a bit of a pain organising it long distance but I now feel ready to move onto the best bit - sewing a party dress.

I thought I would share my dressmaking progress here, starting with my initial thoughts and experiments with the caveat that the finished dress may end up looking completely different.

The dress code is "cocktail" (the men seem to be having all kinds of problems deciphering this) and I wanted to make a fun dress. This is the inspiration I am working with (for the moment at least);

Lacroix dress from Patrones issue 268

Hot Patterns Bollywood dress

I made up a muslin of the Hot Patterns dress bodice, starting with a 12 and adjusting the back so that it wasn't so low. It looked very cute, but was a complete mess when I tried it on. Feeling a bit despondent I went back to the sewing room, took it apart and then realised that I had put it on backwards! Sewed it back up again and what do you know, so much better! I just need to take out some excess fabric in the front neckline (you can see it pinned out in the photo below - I've adjusted the pattern in several small areas rather than one large dart like this though). I know it seems rather extravagant to make a muslin from silk, but I have loads of this leftover from last years bridesmaid project.


In case I can't find any trim I really want to use with whatever fabric I end up getting, I decided to experiment a bit with self fabric. I'm loving all these but don't worry I will try and restrain myself from using them all on the same dress!

Basketweave with strips of fabric

Pleats

I've always loved this Burda coat pattern from 11/2007 so I tried out the origami effect.

This is a rough version just done with a strip rather than a tube so you would not normally have raw edges showing.

17 comments:

a little sewing on the side said...

Cocktail dress - now there is an exciting project. I can totally see that inspiration dress on you.
Lovely to see your experiments, too.

Sewfast said...

Great ideas for self fabric embellishment! Can't wait to see your finished design!

Sue said...

I love the basketweave embellishment. That would look really good put in the midriff section of the dress. I'm off to explore the HP site as I haven't seen that dress pattern!

Sew Passionista said...

Oh you inspire me to want to try something entirely different. Looking forward to seeing the end product.

Susan said...

This does sound like a great project! I think the basketweave will work great. Can't wait to see the final project, but I like seing your process as well.

Vicki said...

Ooh, this will be fun! The style will look lovely on you and the fabric manipulation will make it extra special.

lsaspacey said...

So, how come you are not making the Patrones version? Could you borrow the mag from someone?

Angela said...

Oh fun!! It's going to be fabulous! I love how you experimented... I need to do that more often!

Audrey said...

This is going be lovely when you get it done, Neat trim ideas.

BrusselsSprout_Katharine said...

Congratulations on (almost) 10 years together!
You will look lovely in that dress, it's cut perfectly for your hourglass figure.
Oh I love that jacket too. Keep going, let's see it!

Gail said...

Only in HK would you use duponi silk for a muslin! The dress looks fabulous and I love the trim ideas.

Kristin said...

Ooooo, the bits you are playing with look really cool, can't wait to see what you come up with.

I started on that Patrones Lacroix dress but abandoned the project when the going got tough. Really, I just want the b/w comma print; without it, I wasn't sure the dress would have that wow factor.

Anonymous said...

I love your experiments with texture. Are you using a special foot to create the pleats? They are soooo perfect. I have seen the basket weave on ready to wear garments a lot lately here in the US. By the way I love your blog!

Nancy K said...

Wow factor going on her. Just a comment on your darted v neck, this is totally an acceptable way to control the v which often has issues like this. You can just take small slices out of the neckline to total the two tucks and they will lay flat. Also an old Threads article had a picture of a Charles Kleiback dress that had a million pins easing a deep v like this to a stay tape. I'd take out what you need but I'd also ease this neckline in the final to a stay tape to keep the bias controlled.

amber said...

Looking good so far! I particularly love the origami trim - so cool!

Gail said...

I've left a present for you on my blog.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

I used that origami trim on a blouse a couple years ago and it is such a cool effect.