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Emily - Maryland, USA

Arwen-esque Green Velvet Gown

I created this dress for my then 10-year old sister for Halloween Trick-or-Treating and general use afterwards.  I asked her about the major features she wanted on it, made a rough sketch, then headed to the fabric store and found one pattern, Costume A of Simplicity Costumes # 9891, that basically fitted what we wanted.  It was a pretty close match, and we only had to sacrifice the quilted collar my sister wanted for the drape used in the Simplicity pattern.  She was adamant, however, in having petal-shaped, flowing sleeves, so the triangle sleeves of the pattern had to be substituted for a free-drawn lower sleeve and the upper sleeve from the other two costumes of the pattern. 

For a lack of zipper and a very run-out budget, we modified the back, where the zipper would usually go, to lace up with a drawn string.  We forgoed the eyes and hooks that we supposed to go at the back ends of the drape, too.  The silver bands around the arms at the elbows were an added touch, and they were embroidered with floss and plastic pearl beads.     

The actual construction of the dress and the fitting of the pattern was a difficult process, my sister being the tiny mite that she is.  Honestly, a size 6 was huge on her; we had to pull it in and alter it in a about a dozen places. 

I found a 18' by 3' curtain made of dark green stretch velvet for 17 dollars, which worked out great and left me with plenty extra, and bought about 3 square yards of that gray, silvery, light, flowing material for relatively cheap.  At a final complete loss of time upon the finish of the dress, a gray shoestring served for the back lace-up string and loops. 

For the big night, she wore the gown with her plain black leather horseback riding shoes, which looked "old-worldly" enough.   

My sister and I were really pleased with the end result, being that I'm still a beginner in sewing, and now my sister has talked me into outfitting her whole crew of friends for next year.  They all admired her dress, and she enjoyed showing them, I'm sure.  Until then, thanks and keep creating!

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This page was last updated 11/21/09