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Arwen's Requium Dress - In one day!
I used Simplicity 9103, because it comes in both a sleeveless and sleeved version, and because it is designed for stretch fabrics. I went fabric shopping very quickly, and available fabrics were limited, but I wanted to stay with the silver and grey. I used panne velvet for the overdress, and the underdress was made from a semi-transparent black and silver sarong panel I found... The trims were a black and silver ribbon as the narrow trim of the overdress, which was folded as it was attached, originally being wider than it now appears. The wider one was created from a strip of stretch fabric, a heavily embroidered silver on black motif, in a stretchy material. I also added a thin silver on black ribbon trim to both the edges of the wide trim and the also to the other ribbon on the sleeves. The sleeves themselves were made from a silver fabric with a solid black backing. Not lame, thicker- but I can't remember the name...
I first cut the pattern out in a stretchy white t-shirt polyester, and omitted the back seam. Then I tried it on and adjusted the seam lines untill it fit correctly. I drew the armholes of the overdress directly onto the fabric, and then also drew the neckline. I made my neckline slightly higher than the actual dress, as I am less well-endowed that Liv... I then cut out the dress from the velvet, leaving the back slightly longer for a 'train'. The side seams were stitched first, and then I attached the trim to the neckline, stitching the inside edge RS tog and turning the trim outwards, and the outside edge I folded the velvet up beneath the ribbon as I sewed. I finished the armholes and hung it for a few hours before hemming.
The underdress is actually only hip length, due to a fabric shortage... I cut the sleeves out of the sarong border, and the bodice in four pieces from the rest of the panel. It was directly taken from the pattern, but I altered the neckline to sit in a similar way to the Arwen dress. I attached the stretch fabric strip, though in retrospect a bias strip would have been better for the tight shoulder curve. I added thin ribbon to both edges to hide the folds.
The lower sleeves were cut from the silver fabric in a petal shape, and I didn't overlap them like the actual dress, because I had to go to a dinner, and I wanted to be able to find my hands! As it was I kept sitting on my sleeves all night, and when I wasn't doing that, people kept putting their chair legs on them! I stitched the sleeves together and then covered the join with more of the ribbon I used on the overdress neck, and added a strip of the thinner ribbon I had used on the underdress neckline.
The only thing I would have done if I had extra time is add elastic around the underdress neckline to hold it flatter, and perhaps tack the two dresses together at the shoulder to stop the straps moving.
The shot with the cape was for Halloween - it was a half circle of panne velvet with a hole cut for the neck, which turned out to be too big, so I had to pin it tighter, but not a stitch!
This page was last updated 11/21/09