(All credit goes to Josef Samuel for these photos! Knowing my record, I would never have gotten photos of this dress let alone, beautiful ones like these at Meadowlark Gardens! Thank you to Jennifer and Josef for permission to put these on my blog!)
When my dear friend asked if I would make her graduation dress, I squealed with delight and couldn't imagine saying no! Sewing formal dresses are my favorite. I don't usually get to work with such pretty, expensive fabrics and the sewing techniques are usually more difficult when compared to everyday clothes. Having a challenge really keeps sewing interested!
Believe it or not, both fabrics were found at Joann fabrics! Both are polyester but I hope you can't tell ;) I think they look really nice. The lace fabric is from the bridal section and the navy is from the formal section.
My friend was very inspired by the dresses in Downton Abbey and other dresses from that time period. I think it turned out quite Titanic-ish! I used Sense and Sensibility's Titanic Tea gown pattern for the under skirt and Simplicity 0489 for the strapless navy bodice. The Simplicity pattern doesn't seem to be available anymore and I can see why! The bodice pieces worked well for me but the pattern cover is actually really ugly! Just a warning.....sews up great though!
All of the lace pieces, including the skirt and bodice/sleeves, were all draped. I sewed the navy pieces, pinned them onto my dress form, draped the lace and then cut cut cut! It was a little bit scary at first but I'm used to draping, especially Civil War dresses, so it was no sweat. The sleeves are technically "bat wing" because the lace that make up the sleeves and bodice are all one piece. The sash was simply a tube of the lace fabric and the navy fabric sewn together with the ends nicely finished.
What a fun project! Looking forward to my next formal dress......
Love and Blessings,