Saturday, 26 December 2015

Oh dear, can it really be Boxing day already?!

I have been absent from this blog for some time now for a number of reasons. During November I put all of my projects on hold in order to complete a special dress for my Masters graduation and no sooner had I completed the dress and worn it for my special day than my sewing machine was requisitioned by Christmas Elves who have been occupying the workshop ever since! I have not, therefore, been idle but was unfortunately a little short of time for sharing.

I did, however, make a resolution to post all of my completed costumes before the end of the year, which leaves me only a few days to keep my promise to myself and to share all of my remaining photographs.

I thought I would start with the graduation dress. I didn't post these immediately because I was saving the dress as a surprise for my Mum. She knew I was making a dress but I didn't tell her anything about it.

I purchased the pattern from the Vintage Pattern Shop on ebay. It is a beautiful late 1950s wedding dress pattern, but made up in the shorter length it makes a stunning evening or occasion dress.

I was especially drawn to the way the back is cut and the beautiful double pleats. My dress had to be in a dark colour so I chose navy blue. I was very lucky to find a really lovely quilting cotton in my local fabric store with an overall pattern in a slightly lighter blue. It is excellent quality and has a lovely drape.

The dress took quite a while to complete as I decided to make a test version up first in some fabric that I had in my stash. Just as well I did though as there were a few alterations I had to make. The pattern was a size too small so I had to let out the bust and hips. Also, when I tried on the dress for the first time the bust didn't fit right no matter what bra I tried it with. That was until I thought to try it with my Victorian corset. Turns out the shape was absolutely perfect (and when you think about it the 1850s and 1950s silhouettes are quite similar and corsets were still fashionable in the 1950s). Wearing it with corset also meant that I was able to take in the waist to create a very Dior-esque New Look silhouette!

All in all, I was very pleased with the way the dress turned out. I wore it with two 1950s style net petticoats to hold out the skirts and it was a real joy to wear - comfortable because it fitted so well and undeniably glamorous. The perfect dress for a perfect day.

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