Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Girlfriend Gown: All's Well that Ends Well

Well, Sis's 50th birthday party was last night, and it was a rousing success. Her dress held up perfectly, and, although she was a bit nervous about feeling secure in the bust, as the evening wore on she worried less and less.

As you can see, I added a 4"-wide band of fabric to the skirt, bringing it down to the floor (which is what she wanted -- to hide her orthotic shoes). The band really tied the gores and godets together. The band wasn't straight; I drafted semi-circular pieces from each of the original skirt pieces, so the swing of each section wouldn't be affected by a change in grain.

Here she is doing a twirl.

The skirt really flared wonderfully as she walked, and it was really only when she walked that you even noticed the sheer inset gores. Her husband's reaction? "Oh, my!" (He didn't see the dress until the party)

Striking a sultry pose. You can see how high the sheer insets went.

Sis and her dressmaker! I got a lot of compliments from the guests on her dress, and on mine. I wore my "Constellation Gown", which I had made for the 2004 Smithson Gala at the Air & Space Museum.

Sis has given me the gown so I can bring it with me to Puyallup for display in the Wild Ginger booth.

It was a lot of fun doing the dress; Sis and I are still friends, and I'm looking forward to a productive year of sewing to come. Best wishes to all for a happy and healthy 2010!!


  1. Hello,
    I read your post on Facebook and the problem you had. If I'm correct, the trimmings or something was short. I was worried for you knowing you only had hours to make the dress.
    You are so talented and skillful! I'm happy you were able to resolve it.
    That's really a very beautiful dress!
    Happy New Year!
    Chris Nyles

  2. Wow, that's gorgeous. I am having a 50th birthday in the not too distant future, I should commission you to make me a dress!

  3. LOVELY LOVELY dress, I kept looking here for the pics. When I read about the addition on the hem, I thought about the grain too but your solution was brilliant! There is a technical way to draft the shoulders during the pattern making stage so that they will stay........don't ask me how but if I ever find the info again in my books, I will certainly share it with you.
    Congrats on your job, it is gorgeous and sexy....oh BTW, did you use silk fabrics?

  4. I love the tunic you made in 2006. Do you have a pattern for it?

  5. Very, very nice, both dresses! Tll your sis, she's a great looking 50! Happy New Year to you as well!

  6. Hi,
    I have enjoyed seeing what
    you've made. You are very
    talented. I also feel that
    you really enjoy what you're
    doing. Keep having fun and
    have a Happy New Year.
    I have to also tell you
    that I liked your story about
    your Wedding Day.

  7. Popping in to say thanks for posting all these lovely projects! Your sister looks gorgeous, and though I can't see her face I can see she is quite happy with the dress and her birthday evening.

    I stumbled on your Snuglet directions after a friend requested a custom Snuggie, and here I find you make a lot of really amazing stuff, from small projects to formal dresses. Thank you for sharing your work!

  8. What a yummy color! Loved the sheer insets too, very ingenious!


I would love to hear your thoughts... Please share!