The Masquerade Dress, Part One

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My newest project is a dress based off a masquerade mask I found months ago in a Party City. It was inexpensive and I thought it was really pretty, so I decided to buy it and design a costume based off of it. A few weeks later I found this gorgeous sparkly fabric at Joann’s, and bought a few yards. So that’s how this costume started! This post will cover making the bodice and the waistband piece.

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I mocked up a basic sweetheart bodice for this dress on my dress form first out of my lovely owl fabric. It is a 6 piece bodice design with dart details in the back, and I planned to later add straps. I transferred this pattern to paper, and then cut it out of mock up fabric.

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On the first try, it fit almost perfectly, so I was pretty pleased! I went ahead and cut out a top layer and a lining layer in my grey fabric for the real thing.

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Once these were cut out, I sewed all the pieces together, and added boning to the lining layer to give the bodice structure. I then sewed both the layers together.

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At this point it actually started to look like a bodice! I notched the seams where I joined the two layers together to release some of the tension and stop the puckering you can see in the picture. Right now this bodice looks pretty boring, but I plan to add some things to it to remedy that in the future!

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Next I got to work on the waistband. I wanted it to have pleated details on the front and then fall into long ties that would trail down the dress. I cut out three pieces – a square for the pleats in the middle, and two long rectangles that would become the ties.

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I did approximately half-inch pleats with the square, which took about an hour simply because this fabric was so against going into such tiny pleats. In the picture, which is pre-steaming, you can see the fabric fighting the structure. I made the two ties by sewing them right sides together and flipping them right side out, and then got to work on making the pleats look a bit better.

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I gathered them down a little on to the waist ties, and then tied it securely around my ironing board so it would stay tight! Then I steamed and ironed it.

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At the end, they looked at a lot better.

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And they added a nice little waist detail to the bodice!

Next for this dress I have a skirt and some sort of sleeve detail (when I figure out exactly what I want). Thank you for reading!

Inara

 

 

 

 

 

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