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[personal profile] starlightmasque

This dress was made for Pam, a lovely lady back east.  She sent me the fabric she wanted her gown to be made from-- and I think it turned out so terrific!  It was an embroidered poly taffeta, and it was very pleasant to work with. The best part was she sent 13 yards, which was juuuuuust  enough! Any less and this gown would have looked very different.  I used up nearly every inch of fabric available!

To see how I made the underskirt, click here for the LiveJournal write-up, or here for the dress diary.  This main gown write-up is going to be fairly sparse, life got really complicated in the middle of making this, so I really didn't take any time to photo anything-- it was all Sew! Sew! Go! Go!  And even then it took me way too long to complete-- my appologies, Pam! Hopefully the blue toile pockets and the pretty pearl chandelier earrings I sent along with the gown will make up for my tardiness!

To begin the main gown, I had to draft a new bodice pattern, which is always a stressful chore. I worry about fit every moment! It is a boned bodice, so there is no need for any stays with the gown. It's a theatrical style build, so she can easily dress herself.



I start with paper, and then when I think that is okay, I move on to a mock up fabric, and when I think that is okay I trace it out to paper again for the formal pattern.


Then, it's finally time to cut out the fancy fabric.


all the layers cut out and ready for assembly.


The under-stomacher, fully boned with 1/4 inch steel bones, eyelets for lacing and snap tape to hold the pretty stomacher in place. (Nah, the snaps aren't backward, I sewed along the right side and then flipped them inward to keep them from catching in the seam allowance, in an effort to keep the whiteness of the tape from peeking out from behind the pretty over-stomacher.)


The bodice fronts fully assembled, checking the drape of the skirt fronts before attaching them to the bodice.


The back fully assembled.


Marking off where the ruched furbelows will be placed.


Sewing down the furbelows.


Making the pretty puff pleats to create the opposite side of the "wreaths."


After adding the strips of gold netting.


Snippety snip snip-- never ending snipping of thread tails. There were thousands of them by the time I was done!


Skirts attatched, front sewn to back at the sides and shoudlers.


The side pleats didn't give me a lick of trouble. They ususaly do, so I wondered why it was so easy this time... and I came to realise that the side seam  was cut on the straight grain, not the bias. This also made another nice thing happen to the front edge of the skirt--- no warping! When the skirts are cut the other way-- bias at the side and straight at the front, the side pleats give me headaches and the front edge warps. MUST REMEMBER FOR NEXT TIME! Those front edges lay nice and flat, and it's lovely.


Sleeves attached, and more ruffly furbelows attached along all the front edges. It's really REALLY busy looking. I love it!



The stomacher-- I totally ran out of the thin gold lace, and had to sub another in its place... still looks damn fine, if I do say so myself! I didn't take any photos of the sleeves or the stomacher being made-- real life was moving too fast to sync with blog life!



...and, finally, ready for pretty website photos, which you can see here at the dress diary, or here on LiveJournal.  (Oh, and I forgot to mention adding the bows and pearl tassels all over the place. This gown had one million procedures, and I only documented about 10. Ah well.)


Date: 2014-05-10 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's really gorgeous, I'm sure she's so pleased. Thanks for posting the construction pics, I always like to know how things are put together.

Date: 2014-05-11 01:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Me, too-- that's why I do it! I love scrolling through LJ and seeing what everyone is doing, so inpiring!

Date: 2014-05-13 09:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And me too! That is why I always enjoy reading your posts! Thanks for posting all these pictures!

Date: 2014-05-10 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wow- this is a masterpiece! I love the alternate trim on the wreaths and I really love the pear tassels!

Date: 2014-05-11 01:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! I was trying to mimick an extant gown that I have always loved with a capital L. Even though it is a bit different from the original, I love it all the same!

Date: 2014-05-10 11:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Breathtakingly gorgeous!

But stay a minute---are those hex nuts you're using as pattern weights? Genius!

Date: 2014-05-11 01:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much!

Ha ha-- yes, hex nuts! They really are the perfect pattern weights. I just went to Home Deopt and bought a gob of the biggest ones I could find. That was (ten?) years ago and they are still perfect.

Date: 2014-05-11 05:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It is so beautiful. I am sure you were not paid enough. ;)

Date: 2014-05-11 03:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you! And, I was certainly NOT!! :)

Date: 2014-05-12 04:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm super behind on my f-list so I know I'm really late on commenting on this but I just want to say that this gown is SO GORGEOUS!!! You are so ridiculously talented, it's a bit mind blowing!

Date: 2014-05-12 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much!

Date: 2014-05-12 02:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
So Beautiful!

Date: 2014-05-12 06:04 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-05-12 05:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Gorgeous! You do such beautiful work!

Date: 2014-05-12 06:04 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-05-12 08:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Gorgeous! I absolutely love it :) Mine is not happening :( I wish I had a fairy godmother at the ready.

Date: 2015-02-08 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just noticed I'm almost a year late saying THANK YOU!! I'm terrible!

(and I'm so glad that time has told you did get your beautiful gown done!)

Date: 2015-02-08 07:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was looking for the finished dress post. So great. I'm trying to make a replica of the cream dress Diane Kruger wears in Farewell My Queen and honestly its been hard for me to find start to finish actual pictures. Thank you for posting. Once again lovely and informative.

Date: 2015-02-08 04:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ooo that's a pretty one! I hope it turns out gorgeous for you!

Keep in mind that I built my dress all kinds of wrong. It's a theatrical-type build, not a historically authentic one. It's a ton of work! Make sure you give yourself months and months of time to complete it!

Will you be blogging your progress? I'd love to follow!

Date: 2015-02-09 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes! I was torn between a theater type build vs historically accurate. I was thinking more of abhistorically accurate version and I do know it will take me months and months. I will be blogging since it will be my first time doing this and I'll need advice! :D I'll keep you posted.

Date: 2015-02-09 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Looking forward to it! I'm certainly no expert, but I'm happy to help! Best of luck!

Date: 2015-02-09 05:46 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-04-21 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Do you bone the stomacher?? Or just use a really thick or layered muslin.

Date: 2015-04-21 07:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hi! For this particular stomacher, it is boned within an inch of its life with 1/4 inch steel boning... but, this gown is meant to be worn without stays, the entire bodice is boned instead. The real gowns and stomachers were not boned, they were simply pinned in place over stays, which did all the work.

Date: 2015-04-22 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

I see! Thank you! Im buying boning and everything i need before hand currently and i didnt want to have tk double back. It doesnt have to be historically accurate but this helps.

Date: 2015-04-22 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You're welcome! I hope I get to see what you are working on someday! I'm sure it's gorgeous!

Date: 2015-04-22 08:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Haha im slow for the moment. I will link everyone when I get a good portion blocked out. Thanks for answering all the questions!

Date: 2015-04-22 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My pleasure! May all your stitches be smooth and right the first time!

Holy gorgeous

Date: 2015-06-27 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] elizabeth graham (from
I'm so awed and envious over this dress! It's so fabulous to see and thank you for sharing your construction photos. I have really loved looking through your blog and studying the wonderful creations. Thanks for sharing!

Re: Holy gorgeous

Date: 2015-06-27 10:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thank you so much, Elizabeth! You've made my day!

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