I had three very interesting and challenging dresses this year, all for the same family!
The first outfit was inspired by Louis Vuitton's last collection (F10), featuring full 1950's skirts and corseted bodices. Very simple and very chic.
The only hiccup was the Client wanted the leather skirt, and I've never really used leather - well, not in this application anyway.
I sourced it from NSW Leather in Collingwood. I bought six sheep skins, as it was a full pleated skirt, with a separate hem panel; very scary for aligning grain and weight on an unfamiliar "fabric".
Cutting out skirt panels from pieced hides.
The other major difficulty is that any pins holes are permanent; try making a pleated skirt without pinning! Well, I found it hard...
I also added a lining of course and layer of soft tulle to assist in creating the fullness of the skirt shape.
The corset was a simple construction made by draping onto the mannequin, designing the shapes, and then patterning and making. Shown below with toile skirt, and without straps.
I used plain old plastic boning and a silk/lycra satin lining in apricot, just for fun. And bound the bottom edge with orange cotton bias binding.
I used black cotton velvet for the straps, lined with black silk,
both from the Fabric Store, Brunswick.
In the end it was very cold day for Cox Plate, but my Client still looked smashing, and braved the elements. In the end it was decided that a cape was necessary, and she chose a Jaimi Kark design from the ready to wear section of Lissom Yarn.
It is shown below on a model for Jaimi's collection, the Interview, which was created in connexion with CraftACT in 2008. We stocked black versions of this capelet for Spring this year.
So the final outfit looked like this:
You can see the published photo from the Age newspaper here!