Masquerade Dress

Now that the Masquerade has past, I can share photos of the dress I was working on. I don’t have any “in-process” photos though. I’m horrible about that. Here is the dress:

And here is my husband and I:

The fabric is one I’ve had for at least a few years. We’ve been calling it my sunset plaid. It is a taffeta weave with thicker threads and moderately tight weave. It is a bit more red then it seems to appear in the photos.

The bodice is just a basic basque bodice with the  basque cut as part of the bodice rather than as an added piece. I generally like this approach. The challenge is getting the lower part of the darts right. I’ve decided to shorten the darts to get a better front flair. I think the front is too flat. I am also going to change the outside dart because that has some pulling. The neckline is actually a jewel neckline just turned down into the V neckline. I couldn’t make up my mind. So, I did it that way. The back is a two piece back. I tried to line up the plaid horizontally. I think I did fairly well given how the pieces curve. The pepulum is shaped with two box pleats underneath the pleating. The trim was actually an after-thought when I had some left.


The sleeves started as a funnel sleeve even though you can’t really tell with the tiers. The base is just muslin. Under the top tier there is some extra tucked out so I can change the sleeve to have the bottom two tiers detachable. For the silk, I took the base pattern & cut it into 3 pieces adding an extra inch to the top of the bottom two for overlap. Each silk piece is cut on the bias. An important thing to know if you want to do this – While three pieces will fit on the straight grain, all three pieces will Not fit in one row on the bias of 60″ fabric. It is most economical to cut each piece open separately where they fit. The undersleeves are a temporary make-do from a semi-sheer fabric I had. They are just tacked inside.

The trim is bias strips pleated with the top edge turned down. There is approx. 10 yards of finished trim for the bodice – two rows around the basque and one row on the sleeves. The 30ish yards of bias came from about 1 yard of fabric.

One last note – Yes, there is a balance thing going on with the skirt. I made the skirt first. Then I didn’t try it on until the night of the event. Oooos. It was a good 4+ inches to big. I did a couple quick tucks in the back to get it to stay up. But, there was still some sagging in the front. So, the horizontal lines dip in the front. I’ll be fixing that.

Published in: on October 18, 2010 at 8:17 pm  Comments (1)  

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Anna,

    Lovely dress!!!! I really love plaids but am so afraid to sew with them (after messing up a plaid skirt I made..).

    A masquerade sounds fun!!!! I am just hoping to attend SOME kind of event…. My parents have finally consented to me making a dress, so at least I am getting there!

    Best of wishes to you!
    Sarah aka Fiddlin Girl

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