Here is another of my creations. This one took me a long time to complete, because I special-ordered some of the fabric from India and hand-sewed most of the gown. I estimate there are nearly 150 hours of work in this one.
The gown actually consists of three pieces: a fully-lined gown and an underskirt, and a removable yoke. The underskirt and three front panels of the gown lining are made of specially-woven damask brocade, in green with goldish leaves and vines twining on it. The front of the gown is split on the left-hand side, to tuck up into one's belt and reveal the underskirt. This can also be left down to give the appearance of a sold front panel.
The gown itself is hunter green stretch velvet. I used stretch velvet because it wears better than acetate and has a nicer drape to the fabric, in my opinion. Acetate is too stiff for the look I wanted and crushes much too easily.
The gown is six-paneled and princess-seamed, with full lining. The lining is made of two fabrics, a stretch black jersey in the back for breathability and less stiffness, and damask brocade in the three front panels. This lining was sewn in completely by hand to ensure all stitches were invisible.
There are two sets of sleeves. The full-length undersleeves taper at the wrist and are made of the same damask brocade as the underskirt, fully lined in a gold satin. This was probably not strictly necessary, but it provides a finished, elegant look. (You may also turn these up to form cuffs, if desired. The brocade is stiff enough to hold shape.) The long, dagged oversleeves are made of hunter green stretch velvet and lined in the damask brocade. The cuff was then tacked up by hand and no stitches are visible.
The yoke is the capstone of the outfit. For this I chose a special gold embroidered chiffon. It is actually two yokes: one in green, and another - a sort of "envelope" - of the gold chiffon. The green yoke fits into the "envelope" to provide a contrast background with virtually no visible seams.
The collar is a rolled collar, which means it is not separate but is actually cut in one piece with the body of the yoke. The yoke is completely detachable, so the gown is wearable with or without it, for versatility. The yoke closes in front with a hidden snap.
I drafted my own patterns for the yoke, underskirt, gown, but did take some inspiration from McCall's 3797 for the rolled collar of the yoke. (This was then radically modified, so the finished product bears very little resemblance to the pattern itself.) I expect you could make it up suitably well with Simplicity 9897 or Butterick 3552 (with a modified neckline).
Please note, these are my creations and my pictures. Please do not copy them without my express, written permission. All patterns and executions thereof are of my design.
Check out more of Megan's costumes on her website.
This page was last updated 11/21/09