Monday, 6 May 2013

The Deco-punk dress, second attempt!

While the Captain soaks dog chews for the rawhide, I've been busily making stuff as well. Remember the dodgy dress pattern from last week? I decided to buy this one:
What could possibly go wrong?
Initially, I thought it might be an idea to use contrasting shades of grey for the inset panels to really amp up the deco look, but I wanted something subtly different, and the ones in the local fabric shop were too extreme. In the end, I just cut some of the panels on the long grain and some on the short grain. The fabric I chose - charcoal satin - is quite shiny so the effect of the alternating grains was pretty similar to the look I was going for anyway. 

I made the body of the dress up on Saturday, and it wasn't too bad. I was anticipating a really horrifying, slippery mess on account of very unforgiving, slidy fabric and a complicated construction, but actually most of those panels are edge-stitched and cut on the straight so it went together very easily. Unfortunately, it also looked like a bag. 

What you can't see in the glamourous pattern image, is that there isn't any provision for the belt - if you nip the waist in with a belt, all you get are massive wrinkles, and there isn't much scope for adjusting the bodice to give it some shape of it's own. Plus I'm taller than the average person, so the belt looked weird at my natural waist. As I stood there, gazing into the bathroom mirror in my bag dress, I have to admit that a tiny voice in the back of my head said 'you should have made a toile'. A moment later, I came to my sense and squashed the little bastard, deciding to turn my expensive mistake into an opportunity to be creative. I lengthened the edge stitched darts in the back to take in some of the fullness, and then created a pin-tucked art-deco style fan in the front to make it a bit more flattering. This created an unpleasant and slightly suggestive effect towards the bottom of the front inset square:

uh oh.
'Excellent!' I may or may not have cried, 'Another opportunity to be creative!'

So here is what I think - 'Decopunk' is barely a thing, 'Metropolis' notwithstanding, so I get to invent it myself a little bit. I went to the hardware store and bought some of these:

[I was going to have a stock photo here, but you try googling 'tiny nuts' (on second thought, don't)]

After all, if steampunk has gears everywhere, deco-diesel-I-made-it-up punk can have tiny nuts. Anyway, I bought a few packets of beads and some tiny nuts and decided to try my hand at embellishing over my mistakes (it's a lifestyle choice!). I'm pretty happy with the result:

Please ignore the creases - I've had it rumpled up on my lap working on it. 

A close-up of the deco-sunburst 

It isn't finished, yet. I'm going to add an internal stay instead of a belt and tack the dress to it to make sure it isn't just hanging off of me, and I've also been strategically putting off (avoiding) doing the final finish (snaps and hem).
Mark says it looks like a pair of She-Ra's pants, but that's fine because he spent yesterday making a shield out of a table top and rawhide dog chews, and then may or may not have brained his best friend with it. 

1 comment:


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