Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on November 2, 2012
Last week I showed you a couple of “casual” dresses made from the new 1950s Party Dress Pattern by Sense & Sensibility Patterns. This week I want to show you how you can easily make a formal gown from this same pattern by simply lengthening the skirt to the floor!
I’ve always thought there’s something so dreamy about those 1950s evening gowns with massive pouffs of tulle overskirt ~ they just seem to glide along like a soft pastel cloud of netting. So when I found out that I was going to be concocting a floor length gown for the 1950s dress pattern model photos, I was quite beside myself! There were no exact color specifications for this gown, but it had been suggested that I might use Tiffany Blue since no other dress had yet been made in blue for the model photos.
So off I went to the fabric store, and returned a few hours later with bags full of goodies!
I ended up spending more time on this gown than I did on the casual versions from last week, since I hand applied the lace pieces to the bodice front and shoulders. In addition, 6 yards of gathered tulle is not an easy thing to work with! Every time I sew a gown that includes a floor-length, gathered tulle skirt, I always promise myself that I will never work with tulle again. : ) Of course I always change my mind rather quickly when the next project comes along, but if you have ever sewn a gigantic tulle overskirt into a bodice (sandwiched between the bodice and underskirt), you know exactly what I’m talking about!
I must make it brief today since I have some birthday celebrations this evening, so I’ll just finish up with giving the fabric “stats”:
Bodice: Silk Dupioni
Skirt: Stretch Satin with an Overlay of Sparkle Tulle (One of the biggest hints I’ve found when trying to match two formal fabrics is that if you absolutely can’t match a certain shade of silk or satin, don’t worry! Just overlay a similar color with chiffon, organza, or tulle to come up with a workable option.)
Lace Appliques: Ivory & Silver Chantilly Lace
And I almost forgot to mention that underneath I wore a vintage 1950s hoopskirt which was found at an estate sale several years ago! This satin hoopskirt had been worn under a wedding dress in the 1950s, and was presumably never used again. I thought it gave just the right amount of “pouff” to the skirt, although I was really pleased with the way the gown looked even without any hoopskirt underneath.
And in case you didn’t read my rave review from last week about how much I loved working with this pattern, let me reiterate that this 1950s Party Dress Pattern is simply the best! The bodice was a dream to sew (requiring no fit alterations at all), and the whole design is so versatile that I think it’s an absolute staple for any vintage sewer.
Right now I have a mound of fun sewing projects to finish up this weekend, as I’m gearing up for Thanksgiving and Christmas outfits. I was pretty proud of myself for finishing my first Christmas dress in August this year, and I am greatly looking forward to sharing it here. : )
Until next time, happy sewing!