Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Family Gathering Dress

It's been a long time coming, ya'll...

I'm rather excited to share photos of the Family Gathering Dress, which I finished in May of 2015. Life got in the way right after that, between competitions, moving, new jobs, a new (to us) house, and traveling.

Back view

I draped the pattern myself, and am almost happy with it.  Not going to go about listing the parts I don't like - instead, I'll point out the parts that I do!  One lovable thing: the well-fitting curve of the shoulder band!

As written before, the print placement took a long time to figure out.  It takes up the entire 60 inches of width, which makes it glorious for a maxi dress such as this.  There was no print matching, only matching of basic areas of the design, such as the dark blue curves all being in roughly the same place.

Photo attempt before enlisting husband's help!

Close-up of the waistband
The print design at the side seams came out beautifully. I almost love them more than the front and back!

Left side seam

Right side seam - with slit for walking!

The most special part of this dress is the beaded left shoulder.  Certain areas are highlighted with red, gold, turquoise, white, silver, or bronze beads.  I used clear thread to attach them, and I can't tell you how long it took to sew them on. A long time!

It's difficult to get a good photo of them on a winter evening..

You can also see the earrings I designed to match the dress. :)

Beads are concentrated at the left shoulder and gradually lessen towards the center front and back.  The last beaded area is in line with my chin, which is hopefully observable now that I've pointed it out.  The circle burst where the bodice meets the band is adorned with Swarovski crystals.

The photo below (from a previous post) shows a clearer picture of the vivid colors of this material.

And here's a close-up of the earring design.

The dress is fully lined, with lots of slipstitching to secure raw edges on the inside of the garment.  The invisible zip is light blue and on the left side of the bodice.

Luckily, I have a good length of the print leftover.  It was purchased in Mexico, so there wouldn't be any quick trips to buy more.  I'll have to think hard on what to make with it next. :)

If you'd like to follow the long progress of the making of this dress, you can check out my previous posts:
-  Designing and Cutting
-  Bodice Assembly
-  Beading and a Sneak Peek

I made this dress for the Family Gathering, which is the time when mine and husband's families officially met.  Our only regret about eloping is that our families weren't there with us.  But! Setting aside a weekend in all of our schedules that was about nothing but spending time together meant that everyone got to know something special about their new extended family rather than hurrying from ceremony to reception to hotel to airport.  We're really happy that everyone was able to make the trip.