Monday, November 29, 2010

Spring dresses.. continued.

This is the second of the major jobs I had for Spring racing.

My client bought in a picture of a dress by Christopher Kane; a beaded satin cocktail dress with apricot pleated skirts and tulle. Its ladylike, yet pretty edgey as well, of course.

Samantha Harris in Christopher Kane; image from "Style Me Romy"

Our intention was to get the beading done in Bali, as my client was visiting for a holiday.

I chose duchess satin for the tunic-inspired part of the dress, as I needed shine and weight, as well as structural integrity, to handle the weight of the beading and cutouts.
I got a remnant from Rathdown Fabrics; 2m of pure silk duchess satin for $35.... it was my first purchase there and I am now converted! Such amazing prices, and if you visit often you will find what you need. Its just a bit of a lucky dip.. but I like challenging retail experiences ;)

I had to dye the satin once to get the right colour; a pale kingfisher blue, but not too pale; tricky.

Then I replicated the overall shape with a princess line pattern and cut out the hip panels. I chose silk georgette for the hip panels, over-layed with a pre-pleated tulle to give the layers and reduce my work; i love perma-pleats sometimes!

The next hurdle was that the beading came back... less than useful, shall we say. There were about 11 partial flowers over 2m of tulle, which, had it been complete, I had intended to cut out in the princess pattern and stitch together with the satin panels.

In the end, I cut out all the flowers and spent an afternoon arranging them to look like a "design feature"; as they say in Fashion Design 101, if you make a mistake, make it look intentional!

I added double- layered tulle sleeves with a flower in the centre of each, thankfully there were enough to stretch to that part of the dress. A ruffled tulle and satin collar was also added and, the whole thing was lined in flesh - coloured silk habutae; the best kind of lining, as far as I'm concerned!

The skirt inserts of georgette and tulle were sewn together and gathered, then I pinned them into the cut outs around the hip and arranged them carefully so as not to drag the satin tunic in any direction, or ruin the drape of the georgette.

I used an invisible zip down the centre back and hemmed everything right at the end, then slipstitched the lining to the satin parts of the hem.

So that was our tribute to Mr Kane; we hope he doesn't mind.

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