Monday, May 7, 2012
The Little Rock Dress
Yes, the Little Rock Dress is finished! It's actually been finished a while but a) I hadn't had the chance to wear it and b) the weather's been so horrible for the last week that it's been too dull for photography. The vintage fair at Old Spitalfields market gave me the opportunity to give the dress its debut, and it got several compliments (at least from those who glimpsed it under my overcoat - it was so cold).
I decided to embellish the bodice with a swirl design in sequins, as a nod to the all-over sequinned swirls of the inspiration worn by Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
I also lined the skirt portion, using the pattern for the outer skirt in reverse. I couldn't find any tutorial on how to deal with the split, so I ended up stitching the seam allowances of the skirt to the lining, which seems to do the trick and looks nice and neat.
The whole outfit is based on the original. Sadly I was unable to find a feathered showgirl headdress, but my 50s feather half-hat makes a respectable substitute. The various rhinestone bling I got from ebay and charity shops, and I gave a further nod to the sequins of the original with my sequin ruby slippers.
Fabric: Wool crepe, £15 per metre (about 2.5 metres).
Pattern: Bodice from McCall 6601 (1946) with self-drafted skirt.
Techniques: Pattern drafting; Lining the skirt portion; Hemming with hem tape; Embellishing with sequins; Shirring and topstitching (don't know if they really count as 'techniques' to me any more, since practically every project of mine involves one or both!).
Verdict: Overall I'm pleased with how this came out, especially since it was my first attempt at actual pattern drafting. The fit in the bodice is a little weird, despite making a muslin - the back is too blousy (I think I was concentrating so much on getting a close fit in the front that I forgot to properly fit the back!). I suppose one day I can take the dress apart and fix that, but it's not a priority.
Dress, made by me! 1950s feather half-hat, From The Attic on etsy; Rhinestone necklace and bracelets (just glimpsed - I had intended to wear them over the sleeves, but they aren't loose enough), ebay; Clip-on earrings, car boot sale (possibly - I can't remember); Brooch, charity shop; Shoes available from my shop.
PS: Yes I am wearing foundation garments!