Saturday, 3 September 2011

Dance costume McCall's frankenpattern OOP 5367 and 5039

The costumes for my daughter's annual dance concert are much more interesting than usual this year. She is dancing in both a theatrical and a contemporary piece as a particular character. Her teacher gave the dancers a mood board for their character, and had them provide RTW clothes, or design their own costume for someone to make, based on their interpretation of their character, with some restrictions. The main restriction was colour. The piece is supposed to envoke a sepia photograph, and of course the clothing had to be suitable to wear whilst dancing.
I'm sorry I couldn't get a photo of the mood board - it was very romantic, with flowing dresses, faded flowers and lots of lace-like crochet!



This is the outfit she came up with, made by me, as my daughter is rather overloaded with school and dance work at the moment. The fabric is a quilting weight cotton.

You cannot see the hand knitted, tea-dyed lace gauntlet, but it is very important to the style :)


Fortunately I had already made this gauntlet, writing the pattern for a local bridal shop at their request, but as they did not follow up after the commission, I tea-dyed the earliest prototype for the costume and am glad to get some use from it (I couldn't actually see the point of cotton lace gauntlets when I was making them). That will teach me to offer to write a pattern without asking for an up front fee!

The dress is the bodice from McCalls 5039 and the 8 gore, full skirt from a very old pattern, bought in 1992, McCalls 5367. As both patterns had the natural waist marked, I laid the modern McCalls skirt pattern over the dress skirt pieces and cut the dress pieces from the same high waist point.
The modern McCalls pattern bodice is gathered to fit the high waist of the skirt, so I did not even have to size down the old pattern to fit the size 8 bodice.
You might notice that I have laid this out with the little patterns below and to the side in slavish imitation of Carolyn (except to the wrong side, being a bit like that)
The reason for this copying is that I looked up my photo albums for a photograph of last time I used this McCalls dress pattern, and am using Carolyn's idea of displaying my earlier sewing, as I enjoy these peeks into her past sewing life.

I made the MCCalls 5397 dress when I was 21, and was very unhappy with it, because it looked like a sack. This was because I had no idea about FBA, or any other fitting for that matter, and bought and made the pattern to my actual bust measurement, which is what it tells you to do on the envelope. It was a great shock to me to learn that pattern instructions are full of lies.
The sack like nature made it a very useful dress to wear post baby number 1. You can see it looking sack-like here, along with my bad 90's fringe.


The model seen earlier in the post is wearing here a fitted nappy and bloomers made by me, and a bow thing on her head from my MIL. It reminds me of the lace gauntlet ;)


Imaan said...

Beautiful dress for your DD! Love the colour. And love the baby photo...:)

shams said...

Your daughter's dance outfit is beautiful. And how CUTE are you and your babeeee?!?!

Handmade said...

Perfect dance costume - great "olden days" photo too!!

Mary Nanna said...

How gorgeous to have photos like that, of an early sewing time, to see how far you've come in terms of your ability and how much your daughter has grown up.

I love the lace gauntlets (is that the word you used) - for some reason they seem very gothic to me. She could do some great mood dancing with that.

Ruthie said...

What a beautifully elgeant dress, she looks lovely in it!

Carolyn said...

Ooh, sepia photographs, faded flowers, tea dyed knitted gauntlets, I can see how that would really get the creative juices flowing! Not only do I love the dress you made for your daughter, I just adore those knitted fingerless gloves too!
And it is lovely to look back on older creations. You two are so stylishly apparelled together!
(And to think I am being "slavishly copied" hehe, well I am just glad you have been inspired to post here some of your own wonderful past creations, so we can rightfully admire them! Thank you for your kind words!)

Lily said...

hehehe "ill fitting nappy and bloomers". Brilliant. Gorgeous dance outfit and gauntlet. I bet my mum is glad I never did dancing as a child... she would have hated making all the costumes! (Our interest in sewing is definitely not hereditary!)

Janine said...

The dress for your daughter is absolutely gorgeous - do you think she will wear it after the competition - I hope so.

Mary said...

Look at the two of you in the last photo-you both are so beautiful! I love the dance outfit and am intrigued by the sepia overtones.

Bernice said...

She looks like quite the dancer in this photo. Those little lace gauntlets are really pretty. They'd like right at home whole hosting a high-tea garden party. It's nice to see how far you've progressed with your sewing.

MushyWear said...

The dress looks lovely. I completely understand using two patterns to achieve the result you want. Great job!

Joy said...

The dress is lovely and looks like something she could wear in normal life, too. My middle daughter starts a dance class this week and I found myself relieved when she unearthed a dance leotard I didn't know we had. I was debating whether to sew her one or make her wear her gymnastics leotard and just pretend.

It is great to see a photo from times gone by!