Saturday, July 18, 2015

Independence Ball (Gown)

Well... I haven't posted in a few weeks... I have a great excuse though! ;) I was busily sewing and planning for our Independence Ball. :)

I had a dress design all ready for it MONTHS ago, but ended up getting sick and being busy with other things, and thus, didn't get started on the mock-up stage until a week before the ball. AHHH!!

The design for the dress is a mash-up of several different time periods... mostly modern inspiration for this dress though. The gathering neckline is reminiscent of the 70's, but I've noticed it has recently made a come-back, as a lot of vintage and retro styles have. The short raglan sleeves are a 30's inspiration, but are also re-appearing in the modern world.The skirt is a 70's/modern flared cut. The belt shape inspiration came from a late 1930's/early 1940's dress I found on Pinterest. I found some blue cord and a star pin to give it a patriotic flare. :)


The mock-up gave me fits, and being in a hurry wasn't helping me think through problems clearly. Refashioning a stretch shirt pattern into this bodice was probably not the best choice either, but it had the sleeves I wanted... so, it's what I used. ;) I nearly gave up in frustration after making 4 mock-ups with each looking somewhat better and somewhat worse than the last, but then I put on the first mock-up, and decided that one was almost right, and to work with it again... so with Mom's help I fitted it, added darts, and adjusted the collar... the next mock-up worked! I had a momentary scare when I tried it on over my shirt because I was in a hurry (note to self: never EVER try a mock-up over a shirt unless it is for a garment intended to be worn over a shirt *facepalm*)

Shirt Pattern vs. Bodice concept art. (I intend to make a new belt with a floral embroidery design similar to the picture)

For the skirt I copied the shape of a dress with godets in the skirt, but I re-drew the seam lines, so instead of godets in the skirt, the skirt seams flare out. I love how spinny it is! :)

I copied the mock-up onto paper and made a pattern envelope.. so now I can make a dress exactly like it again if I want... :) I pasted my design drawing to the front of the envelope for identification. :)
I didn't finish the mock-ups and start on the dress until Wednesday the week of the ball. (Major scary! 2 days to make a dress!!!)  The dress zoomed together and was at the basically finished point by Wednesday night... well, it looked like a dress and I could get into it anyway... ;)

Thursday Mom and I went shopping and picked up all the snacks and beverages we needed for the ball. Which left only the evening to finish the belt of the dress, fix the fitting issue in the back zipper area (for some reason a mock-up of muslin pinned at the back, and crepe back satin zipped up the back fit differently... ;)), and measure and sew the hem... I finished! At 2:00 in the morning... :D

We had fun decorating the hall with Independence themed decor Friday morning. After decorating the hall... we proceeded to decorate ourselves... ;)

Red white and blue EVERYTHING! :)

 One of the other girls painted my nails for me.

I accented my dress with a brooch and a pair of screw on earrings that used to be my Grandma's. :) Unfortunately, you could hardly see my earrings, since I made a last minute decision to wear my hair down.

We had a blast dancing! This year I split the calling up evenly between myself and 2 of my dance class members, so I only had to call 3 dances! It was really nice to get a "voice break" in between calling.

Discussing something (obviously very serious ;) ) with Mom and Dad

 Oldtime Country Dancers Independence Ball 2015 Attendees

Oldtime Country Dancers Class Photo at the Independence Ball 2015

My hard dance class and I once again performed some of our harder dances for the parents to see what we'd accomplished, but this time we did it as a medley. We strung 4 dances together ... The Pinewoods Reel, The Petronella (the hard way), The Bees of Maggieknockater, and Back to Bach twice through (by far our hardest dance).