29 July 2007

A Formal Affair

A few months ago, I was invited to the 18th birthday party of a student. It is a huge formal affair - a "debut" party. I was so flattered to be included in amongst her friends and family - it is such an honour. Unfortunately, I didn't have a dress to wear. Yeah, I know what you're thinking "What is she talking about?...She just did a complete formal wear SWAP." I know, but here's the deal. I already wore two of the dresses to school functions and most of the other pieces are more for winter formal events. So I decided to create a new dress.

I wanted something formal, but comfortable, appropriate, but a bit daring. I searched through oodles of vintage dress images I have saved from the internet and found inspiration in this dress from Vintageous:
I love the high neckline in front, the slim waist and hip, the full skirt, but most of all, the low dip in the back. I decided to attempt a muslin for this dress using a TNT pattern. I don't have many TNTs, but this dress is so flattering that it has been altered to perfection and made 3 times now, with many more to come. The pattern is McCall's 5042:

In the past, I have made both view C and view D, in stretch cottons. These two dresses are so comfortable and flattering:

Looking critically at the pattern, I noticed it was almost perfect for my inspiration dress. The only alteration needed was to draft a new back bodice to create the low scoop. I traced out the central back bodice and fudged in what looked like a good scoop.

I looked through my extensive fabric stash to find some appropriate wearable muslin fabric. I found a 2 m length of black silk/rayon brocade that I bought on a whim, but never quite knew what to do with it - now, I knew what to do with it. I lined the bodice with black Bemberg rayon.

Tomorrow: the dress and party reminiscences...


Summerset said...

Isn't it fantastic when students remember you and want to include you in momentous events? Great inspiration dress, and I know yours will be just as lovely.

Kitty Couture said...

That dress is going to be beautiful, Shannon. Looking forward to it!