Friday, October 25, 2013

Confessor's Dress Part 1

So like an idiot, I end up waiting until the day before the Halloween party to start my costume. Some of this was life, as I had some paperwork I needed to do last night (student loan stuff) and some of it was migraines. But anyway, I finally started today on my Confessor's Dress.
My temporary design board. I took over the entire dining room for this project.

This was actually really difficult to start, because although many many people have replicated this dress, I couldn't find a single tutorial. So I'm going to document what I am doing in the hopes that it will help someone else.

 I did find that someone suggested a pattern to make this dress, which I had on hand. The pattern is McCall 4491

From the costume study I've done, I think this pattern will work very well with a few slight modifications.

1. The straight part of the sleeves needs to be elbow length. The bell sleeves will have to be modified significantly. They will be much narrower and split all the way to the elbow.

2. The front of the dress is two pieces instead of one, with lacing from the waist up and open from the waist down. Bridget Regan wore a ankle length black skirt underneath the dress. As far as I can tell, there are no other slits in the dress.

3. A hood needs to be added.

First up was fabric. I had this beautiful red fabric that Jack bought me waiting in my closet to make this dress.
Yes those are cans of tomato sauce. They make great weights for holding slippery fabrics. 

The downside to this fabric is that it just isn't going to drape correctly. It is much too stiff. So if you are trying to make this dress, find some fabric with a good drape. It needs to be very flexible and a decent weight.

To cut out the pattern pieces, I started with the main body of the dress. I did not cut piece 1 (the center of the dress) on a fold as the pattern said. Instead, I cut out two half pieces and I left an extra inch where the fold should have been. This is necessary because I will need to finish that edge.

The edge on the right was supposed to be on a fold, but instead I cut it on the edge of the pattern paper.
The two front halves of the dress with the front side panels.

I left the train on the back. I think that the original has a long train and also, if it doesn't drape well I'm hoping to bustle it a little to get it to lay correctly. And I can always cut any extra fabric off.

All the main pieces stitched together, back view
This is the easy part - as they like to say, the devil is in the details. I will be tackling the sleeves next, then the lining in the bodice of the dress, and then the hood, and then the hem, and finally, the closures. And I need to finish it all by 7 pm tomorrow.

I love my dress form and strongly recommend that you get one if you don't have one yet. I always had trouble getting my costumes to fit until I got one of these. It turns out, my torso is shorter and my legs are longer than the average person. Having a dress form makes it very easy to modify the clothes so that they actually fit.

1 comment:

  1. Ummm how did u keep the seams from kinda buckling?¿