Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Party Dresses!

Friends and fans, I haven't worked on any fiber art in a long time, due to my health problems and doctor-imposed hiatus. Since I've lost so much weight (not a good thing), I've attempted to make some of my own clothes that FIT. I am certainly not an accomplished seamstress, but I have a lot of fabric and goods in my stash, so I figured I'd do some research and give it a whirl.

I was particularly inspired by Mary Adam's book "The Party Dress Book: How to Sew the Best Dress in the Room" to make a stand out dress for a big gala at the beginning of November. So Mary, bless your heart, these details are for you. Thank you so, so much!

I made two dresses -- the first one below out of cotton strips gathered at the skirt. This prototype was to get the fitted bodice just perfect.

Front view

side view

back view

I haven't yet made the pettiskirt for it, but I love it! I can't wait to wear it in the summer. This next dress turned out well despite some challenges and I am very proud of it. All the women at the Ball complemented me and couldn't believe I made it -- it was by far the most feminine and elegant dress there. Pictures first, then notes for Mary after:

front view

bodice detail

skirt detail

me next to my creation

Mary -- my original plan was to make the soaked taffeta dress in the iridescent teal. However I had problems sewing it, so on to Plan B. I used hand-dyed Sil-Co fabric to a lustrous silver. Have you ever used this fabric? It is half silk, half cotton with one side shiny satin and the other soft cotton. I takes to dyeing very well and sews up like a dream. It is as expensive as silk unless you buy it by the bolt undyed like I do from Dharma Trading Company.

Anyway the bodice I embellished with some embroidered and beaded trim in shades of silver, black and turquoise; added black chiffon ruffles at the neckline, and covered a strip of silver Sil-Co with black tulle and trim for the halter.

For the dress I made a custom fit pencil skirt from the silver material, lined it in turquoise silk, and overlayed black crinkle organza. Two rows of ruffles are barely visible -- in black and turquoise.

Please ignore the messiness of my sewing room. And guess what? People didn't even notice my lack of hair from neurosurgery! They thought it was on purpose and very chic! Hahaha

I can't thank you enough Mary.


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