First, I had her email me some pictures of dresses that she liked, then I looked through patterns, vintage and new, to see what I could start with to create our custom design. She wanted something above the knee, with a full gathered skirt that would stand out, corset style top, and of course sparkles.
The pattern I started with as a base was Simplicty 1910. I knew I could take the pleats out, shorten the length, add more netting for fullness, and dip the front down to add just the right look.
The fabric: I took her to Gail K’s in Atlanta where we searched for two hours before coming up with all the right fabrics. The beaded and sequined embellished lace netting for the outer corset started the looking process. Finding all the coordinating fabrics was quite a challenge, but we did it. We ended up with all different types of fabrics from silk to polyester.
She looked beautiful in our creation; by the way, she did become Prom Queen.
Here are photos of some of the processes and details.
I made a temporary form of her bodice using a tee shirt and duck tape. Then I cut it up the sides to get it off of her. This way I would have the correct measurements and her form to use as reference with me, while she was at school.
Tip: Use a tee shirt that is tight and form fitting. Pre cut strips of duck tape for quick usage. When placing the duck tape, don’t pull too tight so you don’t distort the body. Most important: Make sure the person can breath. LOL
I always make a muslin first, so that I can assure the perfect fit.
Details of the muslin.
I use different colored Sharpies for my markings. Even though I knew I wasn’t going to use the pleats, I still marked them for placement references. I had to add fabric at the top of the waist for the gathers, because the waist top was cut out to create the pleats.
Front Detailing. The lace netting was not cut in individual pieces. I wanted the fancy bottom edge that was straight, to curve up into a vee to finish the bottom of the corset nicely. To do this I hand sewed the netting in little bunches and tacked it to the face fabric and underlining, making sure not to catch the lining.
Here are additional pictures.