Wednesday, 6 January 2010

A Dress Salvaged

This did not start out as one of the most promising of the gowns. The lace currently visible was originally bright white in colour. It did not in any way work with the dark grey stretch wilk and equally dark grey brocade.

Many things conspired against this dress, as well as this photoshoot. For a start, these were some of the last photos we took that day and the sky was threatening to rain (it had been overcast for most of the day, leading to some splendidly bad photos). The dress was newly washed and dyed at time of photography. There wasn't time to iron it and it was still slightly damp (meaning the collar couldn't be arranged properly).

The salvaged dress was made some time ago and for that reason, it also doesn't fit as well as other gowns more recently made. Even when laced as tight as possible, it is still loose on me.

The salvaging involved redying the entire gown black (well, the intention was for the black to only partially take, thus resulting in a dark grey). I used Dylon's cold water dye and it worked surprisingly well (except that my fingers are still dyed an interesting shade of blue). Because the stretch silk and the brocade are mostly made of synthetic fibres, they did not take the dyes as well as the lace, resulting in interesting colour variation. At least in colour, the gown is now coherent.

The back of the dress was then drawn up rather hurriedly into a cloth bustle and it's slightly off centre and a bit loose. It will need to be done again at some point.

The dress should really be worn over a corset and proper ass-padding, but considering how I had started with a dress I was about write off as scrap fabric, it's not doing too badly.

The whole dress takes on a much more gothic and Victorian cast than the others. I wouldn't even pretend it's anything other than an accident of a number of unfortunate design decisions and only partially successful salvaging efforts. Though strangely enough, it now bears a passing ( and largely unintentional) resemblance to Mrs Lovett's Silver/Black dress in the film Sweeney Todd.

The purple-lined cloak worn worn with this dress will be availiable at Character Kit at the end of January.

More photos of the dress under the cut.


  1. Thank you for the link to the Twilight gown sketches, I was indeed amused! :) Your dresses are gorgeous -- it's hard to believe the color of this one isn't perfectly intentional, I love the way the blues all work together.

  2. 6p00e550f00b888833, huh. That's a bit of a mouthful. How about another method of commenting...

  3. Jessica O'Donnell7 January 2010 at 06:03

    Hey Jeanette,

    Just found this page through your R7 comment (we know each other from Maelstrom, though it may not be as easy to know who I am without pictures!)
    Anyway, the costumes on your page are gorgeous! I'm so impressed! (And a little jealous. ;) )

    Especially this dress! I can't believe you were going to declare it scrap! :) I'm going to have a further nosey through the rest of the blog anyway, and bookmark for updates I think. :)

  4. That's a lovely dress. Almost makes me wish I could wear one :)

    (Another person who may know you a little via maelstrom)

  5. 6p00e550f00b888833, am delighted to make your acquaintance and am terribly, terribly flattered. Especially since you draw such beautiful paperdolls.

    Jessica, I do remember you. The urge to note that I am a mercenary when it comes to costumes (and not an expensive one at that) is great but I'm trying to suppress the hardsell and merely be very flattered. I do recall you making quite splendid red frockcoat not so very long ago.

    I really wish I have photographic proof of the horror that was this dress. Bright white does not compliment dull silvers.

    Anonymous, how very mysterious. Feeding the dress-vanity is a poor decision. It may make me feel that my merchandise is worth coin.

  6. Please, let's not stand on ceremony, I insist that you call me Liana ;) Thank you very much, I'm glad you like them! I can't sew at all, though...


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