Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Graduation Dress (of doom)

Well, this dress quite near did me in, I must say!  Though I might deserve it for not making a mock-up.  Lesson learned. 

I know, I know, why am I making such a sheer summer dress in the winter?  Well, for my high school graduation next June, I'm required to wear a white dress and I thought, well, why not make one that I'd want to use again?  So I started with the image in mind of the white dress in the Fashion, Impressionism and Modernity exhibit that my neighbor curated that went through Chicago a few weeks ago.  I tweaked it so that the shirring on both the bodice and sleeves were vertical.

Just the facts:
Cotton organdy, mother of pearl buttons, antique lace
Basic bodice pattern, slashed and spread

 (At some point I will add a hook and eye to the waist… Honestly, I can't be induced to now!)

Yay!  Done with this dress forever!
I just took my usual pattern, slashed and spread it up and down , gathered it and stitched down the gathers into little tucks.  The shirred bodice at my work is constructed in a similar way.
Unfortunately, I neglected to slash and spread it horizontally to make up for the fabric taken up by the tucks... Waaaay too small!  I had to cut one shirr apart and add another shirred panel to make up for it, and it's still a bit tight around the shoulders.  It suffices to say that unless I let it out or lose some serious weight, this won't be work very frequently.


Story of a Seamstress (sorry, couldn't find the original source!)

Despite all of that, though, I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I think the style is underrepresented as a high fashion look in the hobby.  And of course, I'll be making an underbodice in good time... Right now that's just my chemise!

Sorry for the crap selfie, haha
And in other news, a winter appropriate article of clothing - a sontag that a fmaily friend knitted for me from a period pattern! 
It's very warm and cuddly and beautifully made to boot!


  1. Oh beautiful! I LOVE THIS DRESS!!!!! WOWIE! lol oh and... I thought you were saving the language for your pinterest ;) I wish I could be there at your graduation! I just know it's going to be AWESOME!!!! You will look fabulous in that gown! WOW! lol


    1. If they say it in My Fair Lady, I consider it fair game c;
      Graduation is always a challenge at our school, with each class being almost 1,000 students each. It's a loooong ceremony in the hot sun, that's for sure! I don't know how well I'll hold up with that tight corset on.

    2. LOL don't tie the corset so tight then! :D And... thanks for keeping it tame :) lol That's so nice of you!


    3. OOPS! lol forgot to add... I think a corset cover is the next item on your list, right? :P I can see every detail of your corset! HAHA

    4. Of course I will, darling, but a senior with college applications cannot do everything on her sewing list in one fell swoop, of course c;

  2. Simply gorgeous! I love all that shirring-it really does look just like the originals. :) I'm sure that took a lot of work! Looking at your finished project has inspired me to head back downstairs to finish up my regency boots and fix my cousin's pj pants. not nearly as romantic :P
    I love that little sontag! It reminds me of those super cute sweater trends that are in now.
    Oh, and please don't curse on this blog F! I try really hard not to follow blogs that have language, and I'd really hate to give your blog up! I enjoy reading it so much!!! :) (and Ruth, she swears on her tumblr, I follow her on pinterest and I haven't seen any cursing yet)

    1. I do try not to curse on pinterest c; And thank you for asking, I'll make sure to temper my language.
      You're making boots?!? Like from scratch? That sounds so amazing!

    2. Yeeeesss.....:) I've already finished one, and it turned out pretty well I think ;) Especially for it being my first attempt at shoe making :P ha! But yes, draping it on my own feets :D
      And thank you!! ;)

    3. Whoah, that's super intense. Butterfly kisses ad wishes of luck! I can't wait to hear your explanation of how it's done so I can sedulously repeat it.