Friday, August 12, 2011

Vintage-Inspired Party Dress Progress

Remember the post last week about the vintage party dress I wanted to copy?

Yes, that one. Well I got started on it right away, and it's going... ehhh.... ok. The first day I finished the skirt completely and the outside of the bodice. I still need to figure out the lining and zipper.

This is how I made a marker for the seam allowance. You know I'm serious when I pay attention to seam allowances, right? Not that it mattered much-  The problem is that I believe the pattern I used was designed for juniors, and so the bodice was totally wrong for my shape. I ended up just taking in the seams more and more until I have no idea how to replicate the shape for the lining.

Have you ever seen such lopsided boobies?? I don't know how that happened. I take comfort in the fact that those unsightly lumps will [hopefully] be covered by the gathered overlay.
I wouldn't mind not having a lining at all because I want to add those overlays like in the picture, but it's necessary for the boning. On the other hand, the waist will be cinched in with that gathered overlay panel, so I might not even need the boning. But then I'd have to do something about finishing the top edge nicely. Oh geez why did I start this?!?

Then there's the issue of the fabric. Several readers suggested that the fabric in the inspiration dress was probably a cotton voile or batiste. I'm sure they're right, but in Dayton Ohio there is no real cotton voile or batiste to be found. I had two color choices- white or blue, and the low quality must have been a factor because it just did not look drapey and sheer enough at all for the overlay. I did have five yards of the most breathtaking coral silk in my arms, but halfway to the cutting counter I chickened out. I ended up with a satin base and chiffon overlay. I know, I know, you guys specifically warned me not to use chiffon. But I really had no other option. It's working ok for the main bodice, and I used a circle skirt instead of the gathered one on from the pattern, so that went pretty well. But the gathered overlay is going to be a nightmare. I tried to do the chest panel like in the picture, but this stuff would just not behave. It's too heavy to be gathered or pleated. It just hangs down in the middle, no matter how much I try to tack the pleats down  all the way across. So I think I will end up with a plain chest (how appropriate for me, right?) and then the strappy things and the waist part. I hope.

You'd think I'd have learned my lesson about starting projects I'm incapable of executing correctly, but no. There's more.
And it involves this:

Why yes, that is my hair tangled and stuck in the blade.
I don't know how this happened, but I found myself browsing youtube videos yesterday and landed on instructions for cutting your own hair.
Eeeeeeek! I know, scary. But they made it look so easy! I got that blade at Sally's for $4, which might be part of why I had a less than easy time with it. But I only wanted to trim my bangs, or fringe, or whatever the kids are calling it these days.

Ta-da! Not as bad as it could have been, ok? There are a few pieces in the center that are a bit too short, but   they seem to blend in with the rest decently enough. I was trying to do a retro-ish hairstyle here, inspired by this tutorial:

I know, I'd need fake eyelashes and ummm.. OH YEAH TO BE GORGEOUS in order to really pull this off, but I did my best. Also, I'm just now noticing how much more fringe she has than I do.. maybe I should pull more over from the other side? I'm afraid it would be in my eyes and I'd be brushing it back constantly hmmm....

That was actually my first attempt, so it's a little messy. But hey look- My Threadrare headband matches my dress! I also massacred a few other things that I felt I had to try for the first time, like liquid eyeliner and blush. One step at a time, people.


Lisa said...

For your chiffon, go buy a can of heavy spray starch and starch the crap out of it before you try to cut it or sew it. Don't know how you would rinse it out, though, since you have satin under it. You might not even have to rinse it--just give it a try.

KristiMcMurry said...

Girrrrrl you look gorgeous! Can't wait to see how the dress turns out.

Allison said...

Yes, I'm really looking forward to seeing the dress, too. Looks like quite a challenge. I think you did pretty well with your hair considering how ferocious that tool looks. Don't worry about the fake eyelashes. I think they usually look pretty awful and...awfully fake. I once saw a woman on a news show wearing those things. One of her fake eyelashes was coming off and nobody even told her about it during the break. Terrible! I'd rather have no eyelashes than wear those silly things.

KnockKnocking said...

You look adorable with that headband and matching dress!! So cute!