Thursday, December 4, 2008

Buttercream Court Gown

September 29, 2008
Middlefaire was an absolute blast. Only in it's third year, it has a much more laid back atmosphere than Scarby or TRF, and it seems like there's more time to really enjoy everything that's going on. I wore the Buttercream Gown to opening day, where it received many compliments! I was pulled on stage for several different shows, as well. ^^ I actually managed to find pictures on Flickr of opening day, so there are actually some pics of this gown now! The first picture I took myself, but the rest are off Flickr, by scottd6057.




September 27, 2008
Goodness, it's been a while since I updated! I still haven't managed to completely finish the gown, but I have managed to bring it to a wearable state. I plan on wearing it to Middlefaire tomorrow, a wonderful faire in Hillsboro, Texas that started up three years ago. Unfortunately, I missed it last year, so I'm really excited to see how much it has grown since year 1. ^^ Hopefully, I'll have some nice pics to share, too! Until then, I finally have a full-length shot of the gown. :D

May 27, 2008
Okay, I've typed this post out three times now, and the computer has eaten it every time.
Rundown : sleeves and bodice 85% finished. The sleeves just need a bit of finishing on the ribbon work and just a little bit of trim, and the bodice needs tabs and eyelets. I've left the lining loose on the bottom of the bodice so I can add the tabs in tomorrow. The pic below isn't the greatest, but it's too late to try and get a better one.
I'll hopefully have some pictures of me wearing the finished dress this weekend at A-kon. It won't be completely finished, but it'll be presentable.


May 22, 2008
I've been working on the ribbon work for weeks now, and I'm finally starting to get close to finishing. I need to go back to the sleeves and add a row at the bottom and one at the top, not to mention the puff sleeve at the top, but the sleeves are pretty close to finished. I'm out of trim, so I have to wait to complete them.
I started work on the bodice decoration tonight and managed to get a good amount done. I'm going to go back and add some more pearl flowers between the ribbons, and then I can move on to the shoulder straps and the back.


Below you can see the bodice with the start of the ribbon decoration, and the progress on the two sleeves.


May 10, 2008

I managed to get quite a bit done today/night. I'm halfway through one of the McMasters sleeves, and I've finished the ribbon work on one of the "smocked" sleeves. The method for the ribbon work is pretty simple - apply ribbon in rows, pull together at centre, tack and secure with pearl. So far, I'm pretty pleased with the results. It doesn't look exactly like the original, but I like the effect that I'm getting.
The McMasters sleeves are taking far longer than I expected. The store only had two small spools of ivory cord, about 6 metres, and it was only enough to do half of one sleeve! So, I have to wait until they restock until I'm able to continue on them.
I did managed to finish the ribbon work on one of the "smocked" sleeves, though, and I'll hopefully finish up the other one in the next day or two.
In the pics below you can see the applied ribbon, the ribbon after tacking, a close up of the ribbon work, and what I have so far on the McMasters sleeve.




May 5, 2008


I didn't manage to get allot of sewing done today, but I did manage to get the sleeves for the buttercream gown cut out. I'll be making two sets of sleeves for this dress, simply because I couldn't decide on which style I liked better.

The first style is one that I fell in love with immediately. Lynn McMasters (yes, I think her gowns are fantastic, in case you haven't noticed) first did this style in black velvet. I thought it would look good in the golden/buttercream colour (it looks almost exactly like the fabric in the other pic, just not iridescent), and I was determined to make these sleeves with something. Plus, there are pearls. Any excuse to put pearls on an outfit and I'm there!


The second style is from a site I came across randomly. At first I thought the sleeves were smocked, at which my immediate reaction was "PLEASE GODS, NO MORE SMOCKING!", but then I read the description and learned that it was actually decorative ribbon work. I thought that was fascinating and would be fun to try. Plus, another excuse for more pearls.

Despite everything else that was going on today, I still managed to get the sleeves for both styles cut out. I think that for the "smocked" sleeves I'm going to go with white ribbon accents, but I'm not sure. I really like the taupe colour of the original, but if I did it in white then it would go better with the bodice I'm working on. :-/ Maybe in silver...I just really like the taupe.

The McMasters sleeves took the longest. I took a sleeve pattern I already had, traced it onto some new paper, and started to try and make it look like her sleeve schematic. At first I was trying to do it with measurements, but after about 30 minutes of fiddling with 1/4" and 1/8" variants, I got fed up and just started slicing it up with my Sharpie. Yeah, it looked like a roadmap of the DFW airport when I was done with it, but I finally got it sectioned out like I wanted it.

I still have to cut out interfacing for all the pieces, but I think that once the interfacing is fused on, the rest should go fairly quickly. I'm going to couch the silver cord/piping on after the squares are all assembled, that way I don't have to mess with all that between-the-seam-allowance nonsense.
As for the rest of the gown, I'm still not sure on what to do for the bodice decoration. The ribbon decoration from the bodice above is sort of growing on me, but maybe a modified version so that the McMasters sleeves would fit with it. I'm still not sure.

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