Wednesday, June 4, 2014

THE Project - Part 4 - First mock-ups of the Dress

The time is flying fast! In my last post I shared the patterns which I chose for making my dress. After that I spent weeks in wondering which dress patter to start with. That is my main problem -when I have two options it is too less, when I have more than two it is too complicated. So, finally I decided to move on and just start with mock-ups of three different dresses. I was so excited - after years and years of sewing I was to make my first mock-up. I wanted to use the opportunity to learn as much as I can for sewing dresses, especially the couture techniques. Luckily, a few years back I had found Craftsy (actually the platform was created and developed before my eyes and since than I have attended many of their courses). However, one one that I had started and not finished yet was The Couture Dress course with Susan Khalje. Now it was the time to get back to it. I learnt so much! She is an excellent teacher and the course is full of useful information and tips! Plus it came with a free dress pattern which I unfortunately lost somewhere during the years.

Another good course of information was a book I had bought several years ago - The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting  by Sarah Veblen. It helped me a lot with constructing of the bodice and fitting later.

Finally, there was one more book which I loved and almost ordered twice - Couture Sewing Techniques, Revised and Updated by Claire B. Shaeffer. It is not as detailed as the previous one, but has many images of fine couture dresses, ideas and details. A beautiful book to have and use. I did use it a lot!

I highly recommend all of the resources above! And, yes, a glass of wine here and there helps too!

The first mock-up looked like this:

Then I decided I'd not go for this particular dress and took some time to make a new mock-up. It took me sometime to re-do a pattern I had - I made the bodice longer. I wanted to see it finished so badly that I did not take the time to document it. However here is the final bodice which consists of three layers. The upper part is linen. The middle and inner part are from cotton muslin. The middle part holds the whole construction, I will show in another post more about it.

At this stage I needed to stop and evaluate what I'd done so far. I showed some pictures to one of my friends, a wonderful cloth and jewelry designer. She gave me really useful tips such as to underline the linen part and to use some band in the upper part of the bodice to make it more sturdy. I will show you what I finally did in a future post.