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Topic: My silver and yellow ruched formal dress WITH NECKTIES (very very pic heavy)  (Read 7055 times)
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« on: February 01, 2009 06:14:48 PM »

Ok so I decided that I was going to make my formal dress for yr 12 formal (last year.) I was as sick as a dog when we went to buy my dress for yr 10 formal and so we got the first one that fitted and looked good - one that was a) black and black doesn't suit me, and b) some other girl had the same dress.
So..being a girl with new found sewing genius *coughcough* I've been sewing since around...may 2007? I said that I was going to make my formal dress. Well..originally I was going to go in drag and make a waistcoat out of ties and wear that but I knew my school would a) freak out and b) it would have been super hot.
First I drew a sketch.

I originally wanted to have heaps of petticoats underneath but I decided it looked better without in the end. I'd collected a whole bunch of ties for my original plans of tie waistcoat, and they were all in blue colours so I used those for the bottom. Now...unfortunately..the only fabric I had was this really gorgeous buttery yellow cotton satin...which looked horrible with the blue..and so I would have to buy more. LUCKILY in the remnant bin there was heaps of grey satin..and it was a fairly heavy not super shiny and disgusting fabric, it looked tasteful..so I got it, tried to tint it bluish (which didn't really work but oh well) and used that. I originally wanted silk (cause I had  bit of blue silk that I could use) but they didn't have any silk in nice colours. Gah.
First I made a muslin out of a sheet (the dress was originally going to be about this colour):

HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM..the dress makes me look like I'm as flat as a 12 yr old..this wasn't going to work. I had to get a STRAPLESS BRA. So of course I had to put off making the dress until I could get that bra. The ruching of the waistband also really sucked so I had to work something else out. This was all trial and error, people..I didn't use a pattern.
FINALLY I got the dress done around a week or so before the formal. It was fully lined (badly..wow, I hate lining things) and I'd had to unpick the zipper like..a zillion times so the bottom of it looked pretty wonky..so I had to make a bow out of a spare tie and pin it on there. In the end, I was really pleased how it turned out.

sorry about the washedoutness...the colours are fairly accurate though.
I've got hair extensions in my hair and I'm wearing high heels (ouch) as well as makeup (more ouch)

the back
and me at the formal.
Phew..it was so hard. I did, however, get a lot of compliments, my dress was the only one like it (I should have done a more out there one, this one's a bit conventional but oh well..) AND the best thing was..the dress only cost like $30..the fabric was out of the remnant bin (lining and all the grey stuff) and I got the yellow fabric for $5 for like...two metres by two metres. Really great buy Smiley I made the rest into a skirt which I will post later. The ties were all around $2 each..Ok that bumps up the price but I had bought them over a long period of time.
It wasn't very easy fabric to sew..it kept doing crazy things like puckering and shredding. But that's around it then.

(I didn't use any patterns..but I'm not really good at sewing dresses that fit well so as well as all the tweaking and fitting that I had to do, I used these tutes.
Tie ruffles: http://www.flickr.com/photos/outsapop/2051985019/in/set-72157603253925298/ (note, if your ties are polyester..be VERY careful when ironing them! I burnt the grey one!)
Adjustable ruched skirt: http://community.livejournal.com/steamfashion/791377.html (mine might have looked better with an underskirt but it would have a) been too hot and b) been too much effort)
Ruched sweetheart neckline: http://www.burdastyle.com/howtos/show/1153 (I also used princess seams to fit the bust, which has to be my favourite fitting technique ever. Princess seams are SO much nicer than darts!)

I hope you enjoy
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2009 06:18:03 PM »

That is GORGEOUS!! Awesome job.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -Albert Einstein
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2009 06:25:53 PM »

Amazing, and pretty dress. You are very talented. I love your sketch by the way.

« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009 02:00:06 AM »

Can I ask how you made the shawl/jacket?  I love the way the ribs fan out in front, creating a upright collar/label.   Or did you buy it?

Your dress is amazing and I wish I had done something similar back in my highschool formal days.
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2009 04:49:41 AM »

Your dress is so pretty! What I'm more jealous of is your sketch! I'm taking a costume rendering class right now, and it's SO HARD. I've never done much by way of sketching out my ideas, and I can't seem to make anything look right. You make it look so easy!

« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2009 12:04:15 PM »

very cute! Looks like it was alot of work. Wow and your sketch is amazing!

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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2009 01:17:12 PM »

Super cute! Great job for a somewhat new sewer.  Ugh don't you hate when you have gorgeous fabric and a great idea but the fabric is just a dirty bitch so sew? Sometimes when I'm rouching (and I use a lot of it) depending on the design I cheat and use elastic. It usually comes out more even for me too.

Lets all go to Jack Taylor's to celebrate!
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2009 03:01:28 PM »

Thanks everyone for your comments Smiley
Can I ask how you made the shawl/jacket?  I love the way the ribs fan out in front, creating a upright collar/label.   Or did you buy it?

Your dress is amazing and I wish I had done something similar back in my highschool formal days.

It's bought..it's a wrap/shawl thing that I thought was pretty damn nifty..we got it only like..a few days before the formal. It's sort of..just a piece of fabric - sort of an organza-y, sparkly thing...and it's just pleated like a fan. Since it's semi stiff it's a bit sculptural. I wouldn't know how to go about making something like that.

Your dress is so pretty! What I'm more jealous of is your sketch! I'm taking a costume rendering class right now, and it's SO HARD. I've never done much by way of sketching out my ideas, and I can't seem to make anything look right. You make it look so easy!

Well..erm..I suppose I have an advantage in this because..my drawing is far superior to my sewing. As I said, I've only really been sewing properly since mid to late 2007 whereas I've been drawing for years. I am really much more confident in my artistic skills than I am in my sewing ones..and in a way I sort of approach clothing as if each piece is functional art.
Here's my art if you want to see... http://ludicrouslouisa.deviantart.com/
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2009 03:25:41 PM »

Awesome job on the dress.  What a great way to go to the dance- in a dress designed and made by you.  You should be very proud.
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2009 04:18:38 PM »

I love your sketch! I've been taking sewing classes for 2.5years, now going into my 3rd (and then 4th year), so while I'm pretty proficient with a machine and patterns, I still can't draw! I don't think I ever will! I've always been very jealous of people who can draw so well. My grandmother is a talented sewer and drawer, unfortunately I only inherited one of those genes!

As a Sydney-sider, I recognise the Opera House in the background of your photos! What an amazing venue to have your formal!

Well done with both your sewing and drawing!

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