Thursday, December 2, 2010

1950's Dress

My cousin got married on November 20, and since I make gowns for the weddings I attend, this was a great opportunity to show off my favorite colors.  I love fall, and I love long dresses!  I was inspired several months ago by the film "Indiscreet" with Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant.  I absolutely loved the necklace that Ingrid Bergman wore, and I love the style of dresses that she wore throughout the film as well.

However, I DIDN'T like the dress that she wore with the necklace, it seemed too "bridesmaid" to me.  So, I instead found a 1950's Retro pattern - B4918 from Butterick.

I wanted a burnt orange color for the dress, but I ended up with pumpkin, as it was the darkest orange I could get anywhere.  For the top I decided to go with brown velvet; I went with velvet instead of satin to add a warmer look to the dress.  I also did away with the really cool drape over the shoulder since this was for the end of November, and instead I made a shrug out of the same brown velvet material.

At first I really hated the dress, as it just seemed so big in the waist due to the yards and yards of material gathered there, but after cutting out the excess material in the seam, the dress really settled down and fit me well.  I added straps because despite cutting the pattern to my size (16 in the waist and 14 in the top) I still had to cut out four inches (FOUR INCHES!!!!) from the bodice in order for the dress to fit properly.  And then, the weight of the skirt (it had a 15' circumference!) was dragging the bodice down.

Here is the final product!  Check out the necklace - I commissioned it from my friend Pam.

I bet if my waist was as tiny as the waists on the models in those sketches, I'd look even better!