The Warrior Dress, Part One

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In the past week, I’ve been collecting fabric for five upcoming projects, and doing all the sketches and preparation for them. Consequently, I haven’t had much interesting stuff to post. Hopefully soon I can post a fabric haul or a preview of what’s to come, but until then, I have managed to make some progress on a new project! I have had this idea in my head for over half a year, but never could find the perfect bodice fabric. However, the other day, I spotted some that would work perfectly, and since then, have started to finally make some leeway on the design. 🙂 This post will cover making the pleated, floor-length skirt.

I was pretty bad about photographing this one, so excuse the wordiness. I wanted to make something that looked like something a magical, warrior-esque fantasy character would wear, and so with that in mind, I set out to sketch and decide on my final design. I decided to start with the skirt because it’s easy and quick, compared to a more complicated bodice. So, I pleated about 5 yards of fabric down to 24 inches, doing 1 inch pleats with at least 2 inches of depth. This helps create volume and makes the skirt look flowier.

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The fabric I used was 60 inches wide so it was very long, at least for me (being only 5 foot 3), so I cut off a strip from the bottom that would become the waistband. I sewed down all the pleats, making sure everything was flat and even.

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This fabric is so silky and light that I ended up using interfacing on the waistband to give it some strength. I ironed this on, then folded it over and pinned it to the pleats.

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The pinning was pretty quick and simple, and I went ahead and ironed down the pleats before I sewed it down so I could get some idea of the final look. Even though the fabric is light and it isn’t that big of a skirt, all the extra fabric in the pleats means it’s actually pretty heavy.

IMGP4427I sewed down the waistband and pinned it on to my model, and I loved how it looked!

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I put an invisible zipper in the back, and put it on. I should point out I am wearing a waist cincher in these pictures, to help achieve the more extreme silhouette I wanted. It only takes about an inch off my waist, but combined with the structured bodice (which will have lacing up the back), it is very effective.

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It was still very long, but it looked good! After hemming, it will likely still have a very long train, but that finished it! I decided to hem it at the end because I’m still deciding on trains, and want to finish and see it with the bodice first. And, hopefully, a post will be up on that soon. 🙂

Inara

 

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