1950s | Dresses

Dressed to Impress: 50s-Inspired Formal Dress

By on August 23, 2015

Things I love in a sewing project:

  1. Remnants
  2. Getting the pattern placement you wanted
  3. Getting the pattern placement you wanted when you only have 1.5 metres of fabric
  4. Getting a dress with a full circle skirt out of 1.5 metres of fabric
  5. Getting your ballgown for less than $40

But my favourite thing? All of these combined in the same project! My self-drafted 50s-prom-dress-inspired strapless ball gown, with full lining and a boned bodice. I wore it to a ball recently, and felt like a princess all night. I was so happy with how it turned out! 🙂

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For more photos and construction details, check out my blog!

Until next time,

Miss Maddy x

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1950s | Dresses

Jimminy Crispies! There’s a Charles James gown in my livingroom!

By on April 4, 2014

Back in October I posted on here an introduction to a big sewing project I was taking on: reproducing a version of Charles James’ Tree Gown:

Charles James: The Exhibition - Threads

My excuse for tackling this, apart from the challenge of it, was to wear at the 2014 Toronto Garrison Ball.  Which was actually last weekend – yes, the dress was finished beforehand ;o)

This project was made possible/feasible by the generous loan of a pattern taken of the dress’ foundation made by a former curator of the Chicago History Museum for their Charles James exhibition in 2011.

I documented the process at each step along the way and blogged about it, but didn’t post all of those here because I thought they’d get tedious.

But now it’s FINISHED and I’ve caught up with my blogging (that lagged when it got to the stress-sewing point) so I’m sharing here again!

Here’s a brief(ish) retrospective on the process:

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And finally I ended up with this:

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A CHARLES JAMES GOWN OF MY VERY OWN!!!!

I cannot tell you how RELIEVED I was that it actually turned out well, lol.  I was nervous about it right to the very end.

If you’d like to follow the process in more detail (there is some fun stuff in there) here’s a link to all the Tree posts.

You can go here if you just want to see more of the finished dress – and the “superhero” evening cape I made to wear with it!

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