Sunday, September 26, 2010

10 yards shirting fabric + 3 yards rigilene boning.

10 yards shirting + 3 yards rigilene boning

i suppose i should clue you in on my sewing project el grande. a friend of mine in Richmond, VA has asked me to sew a dress for her vow renewal ceremony next year in Las Vegas. her wedding dress was a bit of a disaster & not at all what she wanted, so she's asked me to create her "dream dress" - a 1950s cocktail dress.

while i'm very excited about the challenge of creating something pretty & delicate for someone else, my goal is to manage this project always with an eye towards the more sobering aspects of it. for example, i'll be making the dress out of silk & so it's important to sit up straight & take notice of posts by other sewers like this one which describes the 6 hours it took to hem a silk wedding dress.

i've been researching & pattern hunting & have come up with the basic pieces of the dress. of course all of these pieces are subject to change, depending on fit issues or my own skill level.

1) halter bodice (on the left) with shelf bust. i'm going to underline the bodice with added bra cups & boning for support:

Butterick 6956

2) the shorter of these skirts with released pleats on the sides. i went back & forth over box pleated skirt from another pattern or these softer pleats, but in the end i decided on this one with the softer pleats.

Vogue Couturier front

3) here's the pattern for the petticoat to wear under the skirt for volume:

Simplicity 3813 2

when i was telling my mom about the dress, she told me that my granny sewed her a shelf bust dress & she would try to find the photos for me. imagine my delight when a photocopy of the photos arrived in the mail from mom this weekend. i can't stop smiling. my mom looks fabulous!

i know that photographing a photocopy doesn't produce the best quality image, but i think you can see the pearls she's wearing in the first photo & she's got gloves on in the second one.

my mom in a shelf bust dress sewn by my granny

mom in a dress sewn by my granny

the 10 yards of shirting fabric & 3 yards of boning are for the muslin version of this dress, but first i've got to grade the patterns to her measurements. it's a good thing i have a year to get this done.