I have decided that I will never be happy with photographs of this dress, so am posting now rather than waiting to see if any better ones drift in. This dissatisfaction may have something to do with the competition from Grandparental paparazzi, but who wants to have their mother fussing with the position of their skirt on the way to their formal?
My daughter and I were both pleased with the dress, and we had a lovely evening.
You are probably bored with construction details, but to recap, this dress is heavily adapted from several patterns, to approximate a design sketch from my daughter.
It has a considerable understructure including a closely fitted corselet and very puffy tulle/organdy underskirt with 10m of bridal tulle gathered in 5 layers to the petticoat skirt. The outer dress is made from silk-satin, matte side out, with a lattice smocked bodice finished with a silk organza ruffle and a 7 gore bell skirt with a very slight sweep at the back. The outer bodice is attached to the understructure by whip stitch at the upper bodice (below the ruffle, at the lower folds of each smocked fold), and also by stab stitches vertically with the stitches hidden in the inner folds of the smocking.
None of these photographs demonstrate the fullness of the skirt quite as I would have liked.
The dress is beaded at the hem, and there are two rows of horsehair braid retrofitted to the inner hem to assist the skirt to hold its shape.
The skirt of the dress moves beautifully with walking and dancing, but you will have to take my word for it ;)
I had a little trouble with the fastening of the dress. The lattice smocking fought with the invisible zip at the piping junction, so I added a loop and bead as reinforcement here to remove the strain from the zip and to keep the teeth hidden at this point.
The second layer of silk organza ruffle was retrofitted because my daughter felt a bit bare with the original single layer of ruffle at the front.
In addition to the understructure, I added boning to the side seams of the outer dress to support the strong curve from the fitted bodice to the full skirt.
I made my daughter a small bag to use with the dress.
It is lined with some recycled sari silk that was a scarf of mine that she loved when she was about 4 years old, and kept borrowing for dress ups.
Unfortunately this silk demonstrated its age and fragility by being torn through by the magnetic clasp during the evening, which teaches me not to use old fabric for practical purposes, no matter how sentimental I am feeling when I make something.
This was a very enjoyable project, but I am glad I have nearly 2 years until I need to make a formal dress for my younger daughter.
There is something slightly confronting about having a daughter who has finished school. Whilst looking at all the beautiful graduates I was reminded of how many wrinkles I haveearned, and how much chocolate cake I have eaten ;) since leaving school myself , so it was very pleasant to read all the lovely comments you left on my last post. Thank you!