Friday, February 24, 2012

Titanic Dress, Take #1

There are some fantastic materials in the stash for making a 1912 gown for the upcoming GBACG event, Last Dinner on the Titanic, including a large panel of antique lace. I'm using Laughing Moon Pattern #104, and because I wanted to be able to do a mockup before cutting into my fancy material, and needed a dress to wear to the Titanic 3D movie screening, I decided to make a wearable mockup.

From the Stash:
  • 4 yards of shot red/black poly taffeta
  • velvet ribbon
  • 2.5 yard long black net curtain panel $5.50
  • 2 embroidered poly organza sashes $2

One of the nice things about the pattern is that it provides instructions for both a historically correct method and a modern method. Since I thought I might have to get dressed in the garment by myself I opted for the modern method. The difference is a shorter underbodice, less interlining, no hem facing and a zipper closure in the center back. I adjusted the fit of the underbodice by machine basting the seams. In the final garment I ended up adjusting the slope of the shoulder, and making the bust curve lower and slightly shallower.

The overdress is a curtain panel with a scalloped edge. I barely had enough to cut the sleeves and had to piece the sides so I could reserve the scalloping for the center. I finished the neckline edge with velvet ribbon, enclosing all the raw edges in a method from Lynda Maynard's Couture Techniques.  The only thing about the pattern that I had trouble with were the kimono sleeves. No matter how I gathered and draped I still had a problem getting them to line up with the bottom of the underbodice and also to drape nicely. I finally draped the sleeves the way I wanted and tacked them down, cutting off the extra material.

The dress looked plain and unfinished without a sash.  A couple of 99 cent embroidered sashes went perfectly.  The angled seam in the back required some modification to the sash.  I tacked it around the waistband in the front and sides, then left it open in the back with some snaps holding the pieces together at the top of the back center seam.

Total Dress cost (new materials): $7.50
Accessorized with a rhinestone tiara, opera length white fabric gloves and these earrings from the Met.

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