I have to admit, I was just plain excited to make a big, floofy queen gown for myself for our family costume. I am playing the part of Queen Miranda, Sofia the First’s mother. (And it was really fun to get to wear my bridal crinoline again with this gown!)
The dress is sewn from brocade and gold costume satin using Simplicity 1728. It truly took three yards of boning to structure the bodice!! In sewing the gown, I learned how to insert a lapped zipper for the skirt (THIS tutorial is fantastic!) and a separating zipper for the bodice.
A little backstory about the fabric. The pattern calls for a whopping 8 1/4 yards of 45″ width fabric for the entire gown (assuming a one-way design/nap). I really didn’t want to have to purchase that much, so after seeing the brocade (45″ wide) in the store, I came home and set about laying out the pattern in the most fabric-efficient way possible–disregarding any directional qualities to the fabric. I also shortened the skirt length by 3″ on all of the pattern pieces. I knew that I wanted to do a contrast panel in the front of the bodice and the skirt, so I was also calculating the yardage necessary for the second fabric as well. I had everything laid out and I wrote down my numbers (4 7/8 yards of the main fabric plus 1 1/3 yards each of the main fabric and the contrast fabric to do the skirt insert) and got myself back to the store. I made a beeline for the brocades, and I discovered that in the few days since I’d been there to do “research,” quite a bit of the fabric I’d wanted had been purchased. Uh oh. When I got to the cutting counter, there was exactly 4 7/8 yards left on the bolt! It was amazing–exactly the number I’d written down for myself. I had to change my plans for the front insertion, but it turned out to be just fine. I just replaced the entire front panel of the skirt with the contrast fabric–much easier, and it looks just as nice (or nicer) than my other plans.
I think this dress represents the most efficient use of yardage I’ve ever accomplished. The scraps are tiny– and I even pieced the skirt’s waistband so that I could fit everything onto my 4.875 yards.
The front gold panel is interlined with white cotton for stability (costume satin is pretty flimsy), and the whole bodice (not the sleeves) is lined with that same white cotton– more upcycled bed sheet! I used yellow extra-wide bias tape from my stash to finish the bottom edge of the bodice.
Husband strung beads on wire and attached them onto an old headband of mine to create my crown. I wish I had a closer photo of it! It is really pretty.
Speaking of Husband– he, of course, was in costume, too! We are re-using Husband’s Mr. Darcy costume and adding his old FFA and speech medals from high school to transform him into King Roland.
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Thank you for indulging me and looking at three separate spotlight posts about our costumes! I’m very proud of the work that I did for them. And as an extra bonus, I was so surprised and honored to be chosen as the winner of the 2015 BurdaStyle Costume Contest! Thank you, BurdaStyle!