Sidhe's Examples

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Sidhe's Examples   Ohio, USA

Click on pictures for enlargements.

Arwen's Blood Red Dress

For this dress my mom and I used (surprise surprise) Simplicity  pattern # 9891. We did put a princess seam into the gown, just to get it to hang better. 

I'm awful at fabric names and I'm afraid I didn't record them down. The red lace is a stretch lace with a nubby texture, and the black was just a plain black poly crepe of some sort I grabbed off the mega discount aisle at JoAnn Fabrics. The gold is a gold lame, and the red lower sleeves I found out of the suiting department of JoAnn fabrics, and is a medium weight, semi-satin like fabric. Sorry so vague here, but the bottom line is my dress cost me $25 all told.  Goes to show you you CAN do costumes on a limited budget.   :) 

To start, we simply combined the fitted sleeves in the pattern to the basic princess seamed body, and constructed the dress as just a simple one-piece. The shoulders had a slight fullness at the top, but I wasn't worried about that, because the cap sleeve we later added hid it completely. The neckline we constructed very very low, so that we could later add the "underdress" neckline later, which was actually just a doubled, curved, finished piece of fabric only large enough to tuck down into the neckline.  As I said earlier, we had purchased a sublime blood red paisley stretch lace to do the ornamented part of the gown. For the upper sleeves, we layered the black of the body of the garment underneath the red lace. For the gold of the lower armbands, I was obsessed with not just putting a fabric OVER the upper sleeve, because it's obvious from pictures that the upper sleeve creates a seamless line,  including the gold area. I wanted it all to look like one fabric.  So our idea was to put a band of the gold lame under the lace fabric around the elbow. We ran into trouble when we discovered that the red lace didn't stretch enough over the gold to reveal the under-color enough. Sooooo....we used a very very stiff upholstery material in a band around both arms and stretched the red lace tighter in this area so the gold could show through. If this seems confusing to you, it did to me mom is an amazing seamstress and she took over completely at times like this :)

The lower sleeves we constructed as a lopsided circle, and the only seam in the sleeves runs from the elbow down to the lowest point.  For the overdress neckline "trim", we took some of the red lace, and curled a stiffer black felt into a tube, then layered the red fabric over it, and hand-stitched it to the neckline.  

Finally, we were ready for the last few steps. We took a grommet gun and some grommets and put 8 on each side in the back of the gown, lacing it with red ribbon.

We then cut a half circle shape from the gold and red fabrics, and layered them together to make the cap sleeves, making a small gather on the circular side to curve it over the shoulders.

We cut another layered piece of the gold and red for the neckline, and then we stood in front of the mirror with a picture of Arwen's gown beside us, and probably spent about a half hour with mom making slight adjustments to the position of the cap shoulders and the neckline while I said "no...lower" or "it's too poofy". FINALLY we tacked down the caps and the faux underdress neckline, mom hemmed the gown and made a few final touches, and we were done!!!

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This page was last updated 11/21/09