Saturday, 9 January 2016

The Peacock Dress - an introduction

I'm very lucky to be invited to two weddings this summer; in June, one Saturday after another and with two totally different set of guests. That means I can wear the same dress, which I'm grateful for since this is going to be a crazy spring. I'm working full time for the first time in years since the project reaches one of its biggest milestones in - you guessed it! - June.

The fabric is already in my stash. 2.10 metres of the most glorious peacock blue silk I've ever laid my eyes - and hands - upon. It's a double satin, so equally shiny on both sides, with a lovely drape and weight and made in France for the couture house of Lanvin. I bought it last time in Paris, and it was love at first sight. And not crazy expensive either; 35 euro per metre. (I've bought worse since then, without even noticing it.)
Peacock blue silk satin from Lanvin |
All I have to do is figure out what I want to make of it. Oh, and make it.

It can't be something too structured (if I don't want an understructure out of steel) since I want to show off the beautiful drape, but at the same time, it's turned out that I'm not so fond of things with draping all over my front. So I thought maybe draping in the back instead but I really want to wear a proper bra. It should be knee-length and a rather fitted skirt - but I would like to add something special to it, a bit of a drama. And I want to take advantage of the double weave.

Most of the time, a fabric speaks to me and tells me what it want to become. For being a peacock, this one's been awfully quiet... I've looked at thousands of vintage patterns and dresses and contemporary patterns and dresses, and added and removed pictures from my Pinterest-board and at last, I'm on the final stretch.
The Peacock dress Pinterest |
Should I wear a head-piece? I need a bag. And a cover-up - June can be cold in Sweden (somewhere between 5 and 25 degrees Celsius...) As I said, something draped and a bit dramatic for the dress. A nice low cut draped bodice with some sort of train or flounce or drape for the skirt. I'm thinking it will be a combination of those patterns and designs that makes up my final peacock dress. There will be toiles...

For the bodice, I've already ordered Gertie's wiggle dress pattern, Butterick 5814. Modes Royale 1467 is so beautiful (without the strap across the chest) but the pattern is very rare; I've only found one copy that sold for $165 last year... But as you can see, I've found a picture of the pattern pieces so it is possible to draft my own version.

For the skirt, Advanced Pattern 41 has been highest on the list. But with a bit less fabric in the flounce... (Partly because I only have two metres...) The evening gown by Dior, modelled by Alla, is also an idea - but cocktail length. I'm uncertain of how it looks from behind, and if my fabric has enough bounce. I think the draping at the back of the Ceil Chapman dress that Laura Mae sewn suits my fabric better, and that happens to be very similar to the back of the Modes Royale dress. So perhaps try those three versions for the skirt...?

As I write, I realise that I've left the Burda pattern with the glorious back drape behind. It's beautiful, but I don't like the front (even though that can be changed) and as I said; I want to wear a bra.

It should take me about two weeks to make toiles of the two bodice-versions, including drafting and fitting and not much else to do during the weekends. And perhaps two weeks for the three versions of the skirt as well? I should be done with toiles and patterns by Easter, and begin construction of the real deal...

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