Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on October 2, 2012
It is with much excitment that I am announcing the release of my newest pattern, Liesl’s Party Dress! Inspired by the charming costume Liesl wore for the “So Long, Farewell” party scene, this pattern features the same fitted bodice, full skirt, and puffing trim at the neck and sleeves. The pattern is available for purchase here, but I wanted to share lots more photos of this Sound of Music party dress!
Designed to fit the “last golden days of the thirties,”, this dress can be worn through much of the 1940s and 50s as well, by simply changing a detail or two! You can read my article on all the options here. It is also the easiest pattern I’ve made so far, though I would still recommend it for intermediate sewers (people who learned the basics of sewing and already made a dress or two.)
So now I’ll share about the pictures! I finished a couple of prototypes for this dress just in time to go on vacation in late August, so I was able to get it photographed in the lovely town of Victoria, B.C. It was marvelous! The whole city reminds me of Austria, from the horse drawn carriages right down to the ancient bells that toll every afternoon. I suppose it was designed to be more British than anything else, but Victoria is much more cheery and carefree than any English city I’ve visited.
I had the most heavenly time walking down historic streets and along the banks of the gorgeous blue water that lines the town. With the sunshine sparkling on the pristine water, the immaculate gardens, and majestic stone buildings, it felt like stepping into a different era!
These photographs were taken all over the Inner Harbor of Victoria, with most of them being shot on the Parliament Building exterior and the Empress Hotel grounds. After the initial shots were taken, my family and I took a ride in a horse-drawn carriage which proved to be yet another good option for pictures! I was most excited about this setting, as it reminds me so much of the Sound of Music premiere!
Did you know that for the premiere in 1965, the seven children wore their “party scene” costumes for the occasion? Not only that, but they were escorted up to the theater by a horse-drawn carriage! So you can understand why I loved the idea so much!
But back in Victoria, our carriage trip took us through the property of the Emily Carr house, whose white and yellow house made a lovely matching backdrop for even more dress pictures. I thought the home was the color of lemonade – yellow is such a cheery color!
After the carriage ride was finished, my mother and I had the most sumptuous time taking afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel! This hotel has been famous for its tea from the very beginning of its origins, and has hosted such outstanding guests as Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Shirley Temple, Bob Hope, and a multitude of other dignitaries and screen stars. And the afternoon tea itself was amazing! I can honestly say that it rivaled if not surpassed any tea experiences I had while traveling in England. And of course I was very glad to be wearing such a fun dress to tea!
So now I’ll talk about the details of this dress: The bodice is fitted and is shaped with darts in front and back. The sleeve would be off-the-shoulders, were it not for the wide band of sheer puffing at the neckline. A band of this same fabric makes a charming puffed sleeve, and the general effect is very “fluffy” with the gathered organza! You can, of course, make the neckline band from your fashion fabric instead of sheer material if you don’t want the neckline to be see-through, or you could use two layers of sheer fabric for an almost-opaque look. If you want authenticity as I did, you will want to embroider pearls on the bodice just like the original Liesl dress had! You can see that it stops at where an empire waist seam would fall, and I give instructions on this in the pattern.
The skirt is super-simple to construct, and has plenty of fullness for twirling and dancing. You can easily lengthen this pattern piece to floor-length to create an evening gown, rather than just a party dress! I will be giving a tutorial soon on how to lengthen it properly here on the blog. : )
I have to admit that of all the parts of the dress, I think I like the bow on the ribbon belt best of all! After you tie your wide satin ribbon in a firm bow in front, the remaining ribbon is looped underneath several times and stitched in place to create that lovely cascading effect that was originally seen on the film version of Liesl’s Party Dress. To be really authentic, you can finish it off by adding a cluster of fabric flowers!
As with all the Edelweiss Patterns, Liesl’s Party Dress comes in sizes 6-20 in one envelope and has detailed computer-drawn illustrations. Be sure to visit the official pattern page to read all the details about it, and be watching for more dresses made from this pattern in the near future. (I’ve already constructed a Christmas dress with a few variations!) You can see the yardage chart here.
~ And speaking of new patterns, I have been so delighted to sew and model four dresses for Sense & Sensibility’s upcoming 1958 Party Dress Pattern! It is very funny (and purely coincidental) that Jennie Chancey and I were both working on retro dress patterns at the same time which both have the word “party” in them. : ) Anyhow, she and I had discussed my helping out with modeling way back in February, and ever since that time I’ve been saving up fabric and high heels for the occasion. This weekend I had the most phenomenal time sewing and modeling four dresses made from her 1958 Party Dress pattern which will be coming soon! I think I can honestly say that these are some of my favorite gowns and pictures I’ve ever had, but you will have to wait to see them on her site!
If you want a sneak peek, you can head over to her Facebook page for one of the much more casual dresses taken in a retro kitchen. The two ballgowns I made from the pattern are soooo much more exquisite, and I can’t wait for you all to see them. ~
I’d love to hear your thoughts on both new patterns!