Sunday, 27 July 2014
Elen's Prom Dress - Part 1 - A design concept
We'd left it rather late to sort out my daughter's prom dress - this is also her main GCSE exam year and due to the staggered approach her school takes, she's either been sitting exams or studying hard since November which rather limited the time she had to go shopping!
Elegant with a historic feel. Strapless with a sweetheart neckline. A very fitted bodice with boning. With a low waistline (dipped at the front) and a corset back. Full length with a flowing skirt that is not too puffy but has a very full hemline. And in blue or green chiffon over satin. And maybe with a bit of diamante.
Should be easy enough, I thought. But after numerous online searches, lots of phone-calls and visits to loads of shops across South Wales, still no dress. There are hundrends of beautiful dresses out there. And most of them looked gorgeous on her. But none of them were right... too puffy... wrong bodice... too much bling... wrong colour... too straight... I started to regret encouraging her to do the design course!
Ok, Mum, she said - you can make me a dress, rather naively assuming I could just whip up something to her specification! I did make my own wedding dress and have done bridesmaids and prom dresses for family and friends. But I usually started with a pattern not a design concept. And I have an irrational fear of working with chiffon! However, I do make stage costumes without patterns, and although she is almost an adult, she does seem to still have a child's belief that her mum can do anything. So I said I'd give it a go. Brave words.
I eventally managed to track down a pattern for old fashioned wedding underwear - a boned corset top and a full "A-line" petticoat - the sort of thing you'd expect to see under a Victorian costume. They were separate pieces but I hoped I would be able to put them together as a dress - at least for the satin under layer.
So far, that was the easy bit. I decided to have a go at the boned bodice first, before worrying about how to add the skirt. I'll share how I got on in my next blog post.