2 August 2013

may ball dress (well, sort of)

Yes, it's that time of year again, when I suddenly decide that it is imperative that I create a new ball dress. And of course, it has to be pink. 

This year I was determined to do another self-drafted pattern. The design was very much dictated by the fabric. I picked up this amazing saturated pink trieste from John Lewis. Now for the shocking truth. It is 100% polyester. No silk here peoples. And then I thought I must at least make the most of one of the benefits of polyester: namely, it makes wonderfully crisp and lasting pleats. I also wanted to jump aboard the palazzo pants/ culottes bandwagon. So pleated culottes and matching bodice it was!

I drafted the culottes using Sai's tutorial. The one thing I changed was the length of the crotch. I plotted a few centimetres short of my actual hip arc measurement as it seemed to me that the crotch would turn out very saggy otherwise! I added 2cm inverted pleats from the centre fronts and backs all the way to the side seams and a narrow waistband. The culottes fasten with a hidden zip at the side seam and a small popper at the waistband. As you can see I put it at the right hand side. Now having tried on other trousers since I realise they should fasten on the left hand side. I'll remember that one for next time! I so love the culottes I'm thinking about making them in black, but slightly less voluminous to make them more casual.

The bodice was adapted from a bra pattern I had already made using gedwoods' tutorial over at Burda. I have been longing to use the techniques in my much loved copy of Claire Shaeffer's Couture Sewing Techniques. The bodice is supported by a corselet made of two layers of fine net with underwired bra cups and plenty of boning. Not ideal for making the most of the endless food available at a May Ball, but now I know why Victorian women never slouched!

Alix x

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