InstructionsI modified a commercial pattern to create my design and concept.
Type of item: Costume
Silver reversable brocade, gold/silver/purple metallic trim, grommets, aiglets, boning, white silk cotton, metallic gold lace, black velvet brocade, amethyst flatback stones, pearls of varying sizes and shapes, brass filligrees, silver and black 1/8" cord, dove gray lining, muslin, fusable interfacing, cut-velvet purple taffeta, 1/6" silver cord, black velvet, faux fur, tudor-facsimile flower badge, horsehair of varying widths and stiffness.....probably more I am not thinking of now.....
What was your inspiration?
Glorious Medieval and Renaissance history. Ostentation was the name of the game, and I can't get enough. :)
What are you most proud of?
I got this done in a ridiculously short amount of time, and I did not sacrifice on workmanship or quality. I barely slept for three weeks, but I was not going to let it be less than the very best I could do.
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
Be committed to doing it right or not at all. Be ready to have to take stitches out and redo sections that aren't quite perfect.
I had to redo portions of the gown that were just not right - - for example, 3 days before I needed to have this complete and ready to wear, I realized that I had been so focused on ensuring that the fit was perfect on the bodice, that I had not noticed that I had placed the trim in the front out of alignment - meaning that when I had done some test photos prior to actually cutting and pinning, I had placed the trim with the design on each side lined up, but then when I actually pinned and sewed it, I had shifted them out of alignment without realizing it. Needless to say, I was beside myself in horror when I had nearly completed the overlayer (the silver brocade which has the boned bodice attached), and looked in the mirror to see that the diamond patterns of the trim on the front of the bodice were out of alignment with eachother! I did ask myself whether I could stand to leave it that way, but I knew in my heart that any Medieval or Renaissance connoisseur worth their salt would notice that immediately. I slept on it overnight, and knew in the morning that I had only one choice - - do whatever it took including not sleeping at all to get it right. I had to take those stitches out ever so carefully. I was fortunate in one respect which was that there was enough lead trim that I had left folded under the end points and turns to allow me to not have to start piecing together whatever trim I had left which would have looked really awful.
I have a story about a major rescue I had to do on the overdress (the purple cut velvet taffeta with fur garment), which I can share if people ask. :)