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Dimitra - Germany

Making Of My Elven Gown

First I thought of doing Arwenís blood red dress, but after checking the internet I found out many others had recreated it. I wanted something more individual. I already had 1,60m of black velvet and 1,30m of orange viscose without a plan for what to use it for. (Buying fabric is an obsession, isnít it? )  So,  I decided to sew an elven dress based on the same pattern and style as the blood red one in other colours.

I used Burda patterns for both the over and underdress. The overdress is Burda No. 7/99 model 105 and the underdress is Burda No. 7/03 model 107.

The underdress has an invisible zipper. I did not have a lot of the orange fabric so I used it only for the visible parts of the under dress and added black lining for the rest.


I based the upper half of the sleeves on the pattern for  the underdress. The lower sleeves are elliptical half circles.  They are two layers of fabric, the lower is a rust red shimmering polyester (it was a curtain) and the upper a golden semitransparent fabric (polyester). Both layers have rolled hems. The band between the upper and the lower sleeve is made of two layers. Over a black velvet band I sewed a strip of yellow crochet trim.


The overdress is made of stretch black velvet. I added a triangle  of black velvet  to both sides, going from the waist to the floor  to get the necessary wide at the hem. After looking at the result it seems that it would have been better to add a godet in the back instead, however I didnít change it.

It has no zippers as the neckline is wide enough for me and the fabric is elastic.

I needed to modify the necklines of the two dresses to fit together. I did it  with the help of a friend. First we made a special pattern for the band at the neckline of the overdress. I sewed the band of a shimmering yellow fabric. It fits very well.

Next step we also made a pattern for the neckline of the underdress. I didnít add a band at the neckline of the underdress. I know that isnít authentic but I like the fabric of the underdress so much that I thought it would be nice so see it at the neckline too. I just trimmed and hemmed it.

The band of the overdress sometimes was moving from the underdress so my skin was visible. First I thought of attaching a little snap to keep it in place.  However, that would have pulled too much. So I sewed the two dresses at the shoulder seam together.

Now itís a bit difficult to get in because the overdress hasnít got a zipper and I need someone to close the zipper of the underdress. It would have been much easier of the overdress also had a zipper. If you intend sewing a dress like mine I recommend to add an invisible zipper in the overdress as well. You might not need to sew the two dresses together but in this case, it make things much easier.


For carrying some personal belongings I sewed a little purse. I made it of the same two layers of fabric as the lower sleeves. It is a full circle with a cord for the closing.


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This page was last updated 11/21/09