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Making a Silvery Blue Dress, Part One

29 Jan

Here is a new project! I started this when I was at a point where I didn’t have anything in progress and I didn’t feel comfortable starting on a big project because I hadn’t done enough research. So I chose a simple dress in a style i’m familiar with to keep me busy while I read up on elaborate dresses from the 1500s.

After watching “Galavant” I felt really inspired and decided to make a dress based off of Madalena’s Wedding Dress. Most of the costuming on that show drive me crazy (not in a good way), but I thought this dress was gorgeous, even if it isn’t anything near historically accurate!

I decided to use a blue brocade and a silvery blue ~mystery~ fabric that is silky on one side and matte on the other (definitely not satin or charmeuse). I talked about these materials in a Fabric Friday post ages ago, about how they were so pretty I couldn’t bear to use them. But now i’ve had them for almost two years and think it’s time they have a life beyond sitting in a box. I can always get more!

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I had planned on beading the bodice and creating a very full skirt but after deciding on the brocade and silver material I knew I wouldn’t be able to do either of those things. The brocade is delicate and I think it would catch on the beading, and the second fabric is too soft to form such a full design.

This sketch was done before I had picked fabric, so it isn’t quite accurate!

DSC_2015 I started by draping – this was a very easy pattern to drape!

This mock up features sexy delivery men. Of course.

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DSC_2017I removed it from the dress form and turned it into a paper pattern, which looks like this! Usually I would draft the front of the bodice as one piece, because princess seams didn’t exist in the 1400s. But in this case I wasn’t focusing on accuracy at all.

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I cut my pattern out from lining fabrics first. I decided to use scraps of batik – i’ve had these for ages and they are too small to use for draping and most mock ups, so it was nice to finally have a use for them! I think they look quite nice together too, funky lining makes everything better.

Once the pattern was cut out I sewed it together and tried it on – it was actually a pretty nice fit!

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 Then I cut  my bodice pattern out from brocade.

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 Which also got assembled.

DSC_2039 When all the seams were pressed I went through and stitched a 1/2″ away from the edge, around each edge. This prevents the brocade from fraying and creates a guideline of where to turn the edge over, without leaving any marks on the interior of your fabric.

(after the pen incident I have converted to using this method as much as possible)

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 I went through and turned over all the edges and secured them in place with a tiny running stitch. This is before it was ironed, the brocade is very delicate and prone to puckering so it didn’t look great at this point.

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 I repeated this process on the cotton lining. The only difference is that the center back edges were turned over by machine, and done in such a way that it creates a pocket. In this pocket I put a piece of plastic boning.

Without the boning whatever closure I add will be prone to bunching up, this solves that problem!

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 Speaking of closures, for this particular piece I wanted to try creating loops to lace through instead of eyelets. I made these by cutting one and a half inch wide strips of bias cut fabric – in this case I used the same fabric that will get used for the skirt.

I turned the edges inward, then folded them in half again. This is the same way you make bias tape, except I stitched the folded edges together.

I made twenty four two inch long pieces for the loops, and one piece that is three yards long to serve as the lacing.

DSC_2025 I pinned the bits of fabric (soon to be loops) onto ribbon.

DSC_2045 Then stitched over them a bunch of times. The end result were two pieces of ribbon with loops attached. Perfect!

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 Then I sewed these onto the back of the bodice lining and ta-da, a functional closure!

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Since the skirt fabric was now incorporated into the back of the bodice, I decided to bring some to the front by decorating the neckline with a folded bias cut strip of the material. I’m not sure why it is puckering a bit, I made it properly and ironed it loads. Luckily it looks find when worn, so i’m not going to get too upset about it!

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So that is it for this post. Because the next step was attaching the sleeves, and this post would be very long if I included that part too! Hopefully that will go up next week, along with another post. I’m going to try to get back onto my twice a week schedule because I miss it.

Thanks for reading!

 

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13 responses to “Making a Silvery Blue Dress, Part One

  1. reallyintothewords

    January 29, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    I really enjoy posts like this one – I badly want to make dresses but find all the steps kind of overwhelming. You make it seem much more managable!

     
  2. Karen K.

    January 29, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Beautiful so far!! I adore the fabrics!! The loops look incredible and I love the way the addition of the skirt fabric on the front looks! This is going to be a marvelous dress!! I can’t wait to see the rest!🙂

     
  3. Megan L.

    January 30, 2015 at 10:33 am

    Do you still do any cosplay? You haven’t mentioned it in a long time, and those were my favorite entries!

     
    • Angela Clayton

      January 30, 2015 at 1:06 pm

      Not currently. A bunch of things went into it but I basically felt very creatively limited by trying to stay accurate to the character designs. I was a lot more interested in investing time and money into original designs – I have a lot more fun with those, and they are more valuable in a portfolio.

      Right now I don’t have any cosplay plans aside from a Toothless PJ set which I don’t think really counts! I might take on cosplay commissions in the future, but I don’t see myself making any for personal use. Sorry!

       
  4. Miss Bloomers

    January 30, 2015 at 11:46 am

    I love how you handled the loop closure. I would never have thought of something like that. Looks beautiful so far!

     
  5. jennyjackowski

    January 30, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I was wondering where you got your dress form and what you think of it? I’m in the market for one. Also, so far, this dress looks great! I love the fabric.

     
    • Angela Clayton

      January 30, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      I got it from buystoreshelving, it is a display form! I like it, it has served me well over the last two years, especially for the price ($100 or so including shipping). It is hard, pinnable foam, so it has works well for draping. On the downside the shape of it isn’t really the shape of a natural body, since it is made for displaying clothes not making them. So it has a weirdly shaped chest and no bum whatsoever.

      I got a Uniquely You dress form for christmas, and that seems a lot more promising (they are soft foam, you adjust the cover to fit you and it alters the shape of the form to match) but I haven’t actually used it yet so I can’t vouch for it!

      Thank you!

       
      • jennyjackowski

        January 30, 2015 at 5:33 pm

        Thanks for the info. I’m definitely looking for a pinnable one, so this was helpful.

         
  6. Britney

    January 30, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    I literally love everything you make. I just love seeing the whole process and seeing the end result! You are so amazing!

     
  7. lulumorina

    February 9, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Noticing the way you pinned your ribbon loops…seemed rather intimidating with all those needles, hope you didn’t prick yourself!

     
  8. Lucia Beňadiková

    July 4, 2015 at 3:17 am

    Hi, I have some questions. I didin´t find the answer in your articles, maybe I wasn´t reading properly, so I would be really happy if you answered them.
    Firts thing, well, I can´t undestand how you stitch the raw edges. I see you don´t use overlock or zick-zack, but, you just turn it over and stitch? Or turn it over twice? But then I think it would be too thick and press when ironing.
    I´m really confused and I hope you understand what I´m asking😀

    Thank you very much!

     
  9. arsalan

    October 22, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    my sister really like every thing you made.

     
  10. lucyvwilson

    October 27, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Have you ever considered taking a period of history that you really like, looking at the similarities between all the dresses in that time period and then putting them into a modern dress that you could just wear while shopping or something?

     

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