Forest Ballgown - Original Design


In keeping with the 'Enchanted Forest' theme, I made a full length ballgown for the Cosplay Ball. I almost went back to an old costume, but 2 weeks before the ball I saw the olive green fabric and got hooked on the idea again.

I decided the colour scheme of green/gold/red-brown, but that was pretty much all I stuck to; the design evolved as I went, finding new fabrics and bits (like pinecones!). I should have used a non-stretchy fabric for the gathered part of the bodice, but the colour was just too perfect to lose and I really overspent on this one, the amount of bits I picked up because they fitted the feel, but then didn't have a place to go.

A lot of people thought I looked like an original Dawn design and Jessica Rabbit was mentioned...I'm now thinking I may dye my hair red, I love the wig so much.

The pattern was an arse to adjust and I think from now on I'll be cutting a couple of sizes smaller than the instructions sugest (they're all lies).

Anonymous posted on 23 September, 2009 - 14:18
I love the dress design, it's so elegant and intricate without being fussy. You'll look beautiful.

Sephirayne posted on 14 October, 2009 - 00:38
Ooooo! Can't wait to see pics. It sounds beautiful. XX

KhaosKreator posted on 17 November, 2009 - 00:20
HOly shit on a shit sandwich that is beautiful. -Tab

nert posted on 17 November, 2009 - 00:38
:O insert jawdrop here.

Ninodog posted on 17 November, 2009 - 01:16
heh! patterns are confusion! I do like this!

Anonymous posted on 17 November, 2009 - 11:26
You gonna be so pwetty =^_^=

GunstarVixen posted on 17 November, 2009 - 12:00
oooh pretty!!!

Amy-Lou posted on 17 November, 2009 - 18:55
Thank you so much for the comments (lol Tab), motivating me to sew on these rubbish dark evenings. I'm so excited about the ball!

Anonymous posted on 17 November, 2009 - 22:32
Oooh, that looks gorgeous so far. Can't wait to see photos of the finished gown. Unfortunately I'm a pumpkin so I shan't get to see it at the ball.

Anonymous posted on 18 November, 2009 - 19:24
looking awesome so far can't wait to see this! I feel a little left out not doing my own design :P

sjbonnar posted on 3 December, 2009 - 11:30
It looked STUNNING!

BlusterSquall posted on 3 December, 2009 - 11:43
So pretty. Sads I didn't get to see it in person. :( The colours look fabulous on you and really compliment you skin. The wig really finishes the whole dress off I thing. You look like some kind of forest nymph. <3

ryaoki posted on 3 December, 2009 - 12:04
such a beautiful costume amy, you looked great, i wanted to say hi but i got shy if you can believe it lmao

Ilpala posted on 3 December, 2009 - 12:20
Your ballgown was lovely, very pretty!

Debbie Ella posted on 3 December, 2009 - 14:11
You look beautiful! :D

Ranma1-2 posted on 3 December, 2009 - 19:42
Beautiful. ^_^

Anonymous posted on 3 December, 2009 - 20:32
This suited you so well. I think you should take to wearing elegant evening ware all the time now!

CrystalNeko posted on 3 December, 2009 - 20:46
Oh wow, you look amazing! I love every little detail in the dress : D

theKillingDoll posted on 4 December, 2009 - 09:43
pretty, pretty, pretty!

Anonymous posted on 4 December, 2009 - 18:57
Wow, you look fantastic. That wig really suits you. :D

KhaosKreator posted on 5 December, 2009 - 12:32
This was really nice. Good to see you again too! -Tab

Sephirayne posted on 5 December, 2009 - 12:33
Wow! So beautiful and you look very stunning in it. XX

Yuka posted on 5 December, 2009 - 23:39
Awww, you look so pretty~! Your dress is gorgeous!

sjbonnar posted on 14 December, 2009 - 23:32
It was completely gorgeous!

FrankieEstee posted on 15 December, 2009 - 11:47
Wow~ The dress is amazing *O*~ Excellent job on it :D

Mighty Odango posted on 15 December, 2009 - 14:08
Hang on, I haven't commented on this yet! Bad me! Really, really beautiful dress. I love greens, especially green satins :) And it looks stunning on you, as does the red wig!

Anonymous posted on 15 December, 2009 - 14:10
you looked awesome at the ball, a fantastic job on the dress! made me think 'ballroom poison ivy'

Ninodog posted on 15 December, 2009 - 20:10
Bah! I still think that it would've look million times better with a few squirrels on it!

YamiNoAeris posted on 18 December, 2009 - 18:06
This was so pretty!!! *_* It came out so well! And did I mention that red hair looks great on you~? ^_~

Toshi-chan posted on 14 February, 2010 - 04:42
this is so stunning! Looks just like it should belong in a fairytale forest....but at the same time on a red carpet! Everything about it is beautiful :)

Angelphie posted on 2 May, 2010 - 20:20
Beautiful design, I love the drape of the fabrics you chose!

JustPeachy posted on 13 July, 2011 - 15:18
This design is absolutely stunning! You look beautiful!

3rd December 2009


Finishing touches time! Well, take a day off work to get the thing done time XD I found a lovely matching sparkly rose in the market, so I used that rather than the fabric flowers in the dress pattern. Using the same beads as the tiara I made some bead strings to dangle down. At the last minute I realised I'd need money, so I whipped up a little matching draw string purse in the embroidered fabric, far easier to keep on me than a bag. I had planned to put the dead leaves fabric around the hem, getting broader down the train, but once I'd hemmed the dress it seemed a shame to break up the lovely green train and I only had 1m of it, so I couldn't add extra drapes. I just put it on the bottom of the shawl instead as that hangs at floor length and it gave a similar effect.

25th November 2009

Beady wonderland

Onto the decorations now. I've hand beaded the front of the bodice with gold and green beads at key points of the emboidery design. I've used an alice band for the base of a tiara, to which I've wired flowers, pinecones and strings of beads. I also completely fell for a leaf design necklace on Etsy, so I took a gamble and bought it (shipped from Canada), it arrived yesterday and it's perfect! Next up: sewing ivy over the dress seams and making the wrist wraps.

17th November 2009


Skirt is now attached, along with the far too fiddly meeting of pleats at the front. I've now altered the pleats on the top and added a dart in the front as the taffeta is a stiffer fabric than suggested for this pattern and I am not the same shape as their model. The skirt pulls in a bit on the dummy, but when my legs are in there it's all good :) Next step: attaching the foundation layer and putting on the shoulder straps so it'll stay up!

14th November 2009


I'm starting to think this pattern was made for a MENSA test. I've made the top and the skirt sections separately, but it's turned out larger than stated, so I'm currently trying to take it in. Adding the weight of the skirt will probably change the shape again though. I'm glad that I managed to get the pattern to match up across the seams. it's not always possible as some pieces curve, but generally it matches up!

11th November 2009


Pleats...so many pleats! It's full steam ahead on the dress. I picked up two more types of green fabric to add some textures. One is stretchy (but it was the perfect colour), so I've spent the evening very carefully sewing it to the satin without it warping, I'm not looking forward to pleating that stuff. Hobbycraft is a place of wonders and I've picked up lots of woody bits to decorate the dress with along with some nice big flowers so I don't have to make the fabric ones included with the dress pattern. No Dez, no squirrels.

23rd September 2009

How to Conquer Indecisiveness

I have been sketching designs for a very long time and rather than finding I like one more, I just keep comming up with new ideas and can't pick which to make. I've decided the only way to stop myself wasting time is to start with an existing pattern which I can then modify, it's something tangible that I can get on with and faff over the details later. It's one thing to replicate an existing character design for cosplay, but when there's the free rein of original design I feel like a rabbit in headlights. I don't think I'll do these too often. The picture is actually two patterns photo-shopped together with a rough colour scheme splashed across it to get the general idea. I've bought the pattern for the lower half and will see what additions I can make once I know all the seams :)

5th September 2009

Fabric hunting

Hunting round Shep Bush turned up a wonderful silk chiffon in mottled browns, it has rows of roughly cut patches sewn on top. It doesn't quite look right in a sheet but I think if I cut it into the rows it'll make a wonderful trim. I got many metres of pale brown chiffon with branch patterns, I'm thinking some form of floaty sleeves, but maybe a layer of skirts. The embroidered green taffeta I found online and this is the current winner for the base dress fabric. I've never thought of using taffeta before, but I really like the embroidery on this. Bargain beads are wonderful! Found my three forest colours in these lovely assorted pearl beads, lucky day! I'd really like to find some embroidered/lace motifs for the bodice, but they all seem to be mostly white for bridal dresses. I'm going to do some experimenting with 3D paint fake embroidery and see if I can make my own. I'm also hoping to put little bells in the bead strings so it'll tinkle :) Still no final design.

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