The Evening Gown

Hi!

As I said in my previous post, my mother asked me to make an evening gown for her, and as of last wednesday, it’s done!

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Obviously it was made for my mum and not the dressform, so the fit isn’t perfect in these pictures.

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Here’s the drawing I made for her to give some idea of what I was going to do:

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She liked the design, so I set out on making the patterns for the dress, with the help of some basic blocks I made with my mother’s measurements.

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Making the patterns was really the hardest part of this dress, since after they were done thinking wasn’t such an essential part of the process.They ended up looking something like this (though the proportions may be a bit wonky):

mum's dress

As you can see, all the pieces are asymmetrical, so there were no shortcuts in cutting them out from the fabric.

To make sure I wasn’t going to mess up everything with the final piece I made a toile out of a bedsheet, and had my mum try that out first (it pretty much looked like a toga with the drapings and all).

I’m really happy with the finished piece, and my mum was definitely pleased too. It was a lot of work though, 32 1/2 hours in total (this is the first project with which I actually wrote down how may hours I did).

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My mother bought the fabric before she’d even asked me to make her a dress. She just showed me the fabric, told me how much there was, and asked me what I could make from it.

I absolutely adore the fabric and the colour (which isn’t exactly what it looks like in the pictures, sorry). It’s 100% viscose, but clearly a very high quality fabric. And heavy. The texture is also interesting, but very hard to explain.

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With the front-drape there was really no choice but to let the underside of the fabric show a bit, but I don’t think it looks too bad. There’s even a nice contrast with the shiny vs. matte.

I used bias tape to finish off the edges of the drape, which looks fine from further away, but I’m not overly satisfied with how it looks from up close:

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I sewed it on by hand to make it neat on both sides, but the stiches are a bit to clear (curse you, perfectionism!).

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The original “point” of the dress was that the front necline would continue to the back, where it would be transformed into a diagonal seam leading to the front overlay (I hope I’m not being too confusing with this. Just look at the pictures below :D). It’s not quite as clear as it could’ve been, but I think it’s still a fun idea.

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There’s one steel bone sewn into the lining on the strapless side of the dress, just to give support, especially needed since the fabric was so incredibly heavy.

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The trail can be fastened to the sideseam to make dancing easier (the button is cleverly concealed behind the draped front overlay):

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I loved making this dress, I absolutely did, but I’m still looking forward to making something requiring a little less work!

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4 thoughts on “The Evening Gown

  1. What a beautiful gown! Thanks for posting all the details, it is always nice to see how the effect is achieved.

  2. You are so clever and generous to make such a beautiful dress for your Mum. She must be so proud of you and I am sure she will brag to everyone when she wears it and tells them her daughter designed and handmade this especially for her. The bias edge you have carefully added looks perfect. Those types of edges are a challenge for the perfectionist. I have those issues myself and always want my creations to look professional rather than home made. Thanks for sharing the creation of this very lovely evening gown.

  3. prttynpnk says:

    Gorgeously made- thank you for posting so many construction details. She must love it!

  4. Thanks for all the lovely comments (I’m a little late, I know)
    Good to know that the design details were appreciated, I’ll try to be more generous with them in every post in the future :)

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