Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Dream 1950s Dress

For a few years now I have been in love with this dress from the V&A Museum. It was made in 1957 by Pierre Balmain, in France. I had some amazing organza put aside for this project that Jessie had given me a few years ago. 

Like most projects it was shelved by projects of more urgent need. Thankfully, some friends of ours decided to make their wedding a vintage high tea theme. My version of this dress took me two weeks to make, including the toile stage. 

 My main inspiration was to copy the bodice. As I was using organza this was difficult, but very rewarding. I chose not to box pleat the skirt and instead gathered it using 5 fabric drops (I love the excess, very luxuriant).

I made a fully corseted bodice with a zip up back. The pleating was done first by hand and then I appliqued on the cut out flower designs. Each flower also had to be basted on to lining before appliqueing. The photos do not really show it but the dress is actually cut just below my knee, so it is not really at cocktail length. As I am tall, I decided it was better to have a shorter skirt length.

A photo of myself and my husband  at the wedding. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of me standing up. I really do love this dress. It wears and feels amazing. I look forward to hopefully wearing it swing dancing one day.