Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Dress is Finished!

I have been spending most of my time working on this dress for my daughter. She is playing Beatrice in Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing". I was asked to make a dress and here it is!
It was a lot of work, for the pattern was made for a Barbie, with a tiny tiny waist and very low cut bodice. I did some alterations and custom fitting. I also did a professional lining that covers all the seam allowances. Patterns today don't do that anymore.

Here is the back of the dress. I think it is pretty too!

The director makes all the girls wear white blouses underneath the dresses, as womens' fashions from the time dictates that the undergarments do show above the neckline. Unfortunately, the budget did not call for undergarments to be made, so the girls wear whatever white blouses they can find! It does not look as authentic, but at least there are no bawdy costumes on the girls!

I enjoyed making the dress, and I learned a few things:

1. Velour (the purple) is a wonderfully cheap fabric that drapes beautifully, but it cannot hold it's own shape. (I used a heavy felt-like fabric for lining the bodice and fusible webbing for the pleats.)

2. When the pattern seems out of proportion to the female shape, it helps tremendously to make a mock-up first. (I made the bodice out of an old sheet four different ways before I was able to fit it to my daughter's figure!)

3. Give yourself plenty of time for a challenging project! (I worked on this over three weeks. I read parts of the pattern four or five times OUTLOUD and then thought about it a day or two before either understanding it or figuring out how I could do it better!)

4. It is worthwhile to challenge the aging brain!

I am looking forwards to spending time making quilt blocks again!


Mrs. JP said...

Wow, you are so brave to tackle that project. See, you've got me at the start. Four mock ups? You are a patient and talented seamstress and the dress is stunning.
Relax, make a nine patch. LOL.
Happy mother's day.

Lynn said...

Wow! It looks fabulous! I really like the laced up back with the gold cording. Your patience paid off, big time.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Gosh, what a lot of work! But it's gorgeous. I bet your could find work on Broadway making costumes.

Deb said...

Great does indeed look like a lot of work! Good for you for re-working the pattern to be modest.

LisaS said...

beautiful. pretty color.

Alexandrine said...

It's wonderful.
Your sister should be a super Beatrice!!

Julie in WA said...

love the dress