Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Latest Project

Hey guys! Long time no see!

A few months back , a lovely lady of my acquaintance, Varla Velour, had her 30th birthday bash!

Me on the Train to Varla's!
In order to to be suitably dressed for such an event, I decided to make my own dress.

I had some bright red cotton sateen laying about for a school project (another post and pictures to come) and I figured that while sateen is not MY ideal dress fabric, the color was perfect and there was no reason for all that fabric to go to waste!

The idea was of course, vintage. I had no real tangible inspiration to go off of other than an idealized vision of the 40s. It started out as a high necked sleeveless dress with a drop waist and gathered two layer skirt that would hit above the knee.

As the deadline got closer and the muslins became simpler, I ended up with a boat neck, sleeveless, drop waist dress with a single layer circle skirt. The sateen was thick enough that it didn't need the gathers and layers to get the affect I was going for and that was fine with me.

I made this dress with the use of my own slopers that I'd made previously.

I started with a torso sloper and extended the hip line down a couple more inches to give it a lower waist drop. Once I made a minimal muslin, I found that I couldn't go too low without needing to reposition the darts, so I changed the measure of the drop accordingly. 

After I had the torso figured out, I drew the neckline on the muslin (since it was originally high) to better suit the new shape.

To create my circle skirt pattern, I used a trick that my Patternmaking teacher taught me.

1) Take the waist measurement (or in this case, hip measurement) and divide it by six.
2) Draw two perpendicular lines on your pattern paper so that it creates a right angle.
3) Extend those lines to the desired skirt length.
4) Form the angle's apex, measure down one of the lines whatever measurement you got in Step 1.
5) Put your pencil through the hole in your measuring tape end (the little metal thing).
6) Hold the measurement down at the apex, and with your pencil in your tape, swing a line from one leg to the other. This creates the waist shape of your skirt.
7) Do the same at the hem of your skirt patten.

That's it! It might sound a little strange, but it takes about 5 minutes. Just know that when you cut out your fabric, one of the ends of the pattern should be cut on the fold. It doesn't matter which pattern side as both are identical. If you decide to cut it out flat, you will need to cut 4 pieces and create a 4 paneled circle skirt.

Once I had my skirt pattern all set up, I simply sewed it to the torso and had my dress!

For finishings I created a 2 inch facing for the neckline and binded the armholes. I also did a turn and stitch hemline.

This dress was made in a 9 hour straight session. The night before my event.

                (Please bare in mind that this dress has not been ironed/steamed since I first wore it.)

It is nowhere near perfect.

There are puckers, loose threads, a poor hem job, among other problems that I, as the creator, am disappointed in.

At the same time, however, the fact that this was done in a one-shot, impresses me. I went through two and a half muslins as well as my final fabric in that time. And no one at the party noticed any of the things that drove me mad.

I hope that in the near future, I can go back and perfect my dress. For now, I am happy with this project.

Center Back Invisible Zipper
Torso Drop and Circle Skirt

Bust Darts

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