Yvaine (Silver Dress) - Stardust


This wasn’t up there on the dream costume list the way Yvaine’s blue dress was, but it’s still a costume I’ve been keeping in the back of my mind. I bought the fabric in summer 2014 when I was in London at the same time as when I’d started to seriously plan the blue dress. I knew I wanted a stretch satin to make fitting easier, particularly because the dress has no fastenings, and I was able to buy 8m cheaply. I needed almost all of it! There’s a lot of fabric in that skirt.

I spent a lot of time on a mock-up made from a cheap stretch knit. I began with Simplicity 4940 which was a useful starting point as a full-length princess seamed dress with sleeves. I added in a waist seam so that I could work on the bodice pieces separately because they needed much more adjustment than the skirt. It was handy to be able to re-cut only the bodice and sleeves as I refined them. I then eliminated the waist seam I'd created when it came to cutting out the final dress.

The skirt pattern was fine as it was and all I needed to do was add godets. I tested out inserting a triangular piece into the front seams to find the right sort of width and length. After I had figured that out, there was no need to repeat on every seam on the mock-up.

The bodice and sleeves needed a lot more work. I had to move the princess seams a little, and most significantly, convert it to raglan sleeves, which took a lot of fine-tuning. I was irritated to start with that I couldn't get them to fit without a shoulder dart, then on going through the dvd for references again I realised that there's darts on the actual dress. Even later, I realised that's common in raglan sleeves, so I wish I'd done my research earlier and known that from the outset! Another aspect of raglan sleeves which hadn't occurred to me before is that you're unable to try on the garment until you've made the sleeves. Having conquered the raglan aspect, I also spent some time shaping the flare of the sleeves, reshaping the neckline and deciding how to approach the cuffs and collar.

With a thorough mock-up complete, the actual construction wasn't too bad, but the fabric was incredibly frustrating to work with as you'd expect with the combination of satin + stretch. There's also the usual satin issue that pin and needle marks show, so I had to be very careful and precise. After cutting, I overlocked all the edges using a less-bulky 3-thread finish so at least continual fraying wasn't one of my problems with the fabric. I then hand-basted every seam within its seam allowance. Due to the godets, there are 12 long skirt seams, so that was a lot of basting. All that preparation was worthwhile though because it meant the actual sewing went fine. In spite of my mock-up, when working with the final fabric the collar took a little adjustment to cut to the correct length and stretch it to fit the neckline. The cuffs are self-lined and secured by a few hand stitches on the outside. The final challenge was the narrow hem, which was far too long and is never my favourite thing to sew. I overlocked it first then stitched it up once, then a second time.

The boots were a lucky ebay find - they have exactly the shape of heel I needed and are suede so were easy to paint. I mixed up some acrylic to paint them grey and being lazy, also painted the laces at the same time rather than buying some the correct colour.

I wore the same wig and necklace as for my other Yvaine costume. Although pressing the dress can be a pain, this is a great simple costume to pack and put on. Pull the dress on over my head and that's mostly it! I like how much volume the skirt has and it's great fun to wear.

InfiniteJester posted on 29 March, 2015 - 13:15
Can't wait to see this!

Amy-Lou posted on 5 October, 2015 - 12:01
Such a beautiful fabric!

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