Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Footloose" costumes: Ariel's Prom Dress

This was a challenging and fun costume to make! I only had one reference picture to go by:
Since the 2011 movie hadn't been released when I got this assignment, I had to make a whole lot of guesses as to how the dress was put together.
The director didn't want pink for the dress, so I suggested a silver/gray, which would look great with Ren's burgundy tux jacket. Once I found the fabric (a costume satin from Joanns) and the actresses' measurements (the part is double-cast, so I had to make two identical dresses), I got to work.
My starting point was a sheath sundress with a straight bodice. I took the pattern into Pattern Editor and created the points on the bottom edge of the skirt, where I would be attaching the sheer fabric godets.
Initially, I had half-circle godets in each of the six hem points. However, my husband managed to track down a clip of the final prom scene from the new movie on YouTube (which ended up getting pulled a day later, no doubt due to copyright issues), and I was able to see that the flare of the godets was MUCH more dramatic than just a half-circle of sheer could create. So I got more of the sheer fabric and added full-circle godet inserts on top of the half-circles. The end result is a dress with a fabulous flare!
The flounce around the upper bodice was a bit more tricky to figure out. I ended up making a double-layer flounce, serged together at the upper edge, and topstitched onto the bodice between the straps. For the part that goes around the arm, I zig-zagged elastic to the inner top edge so it would hug the actresses' arms without digging in.
Here is one of the actresses modeling her dress:

Here she is doing a twirl!

Here's a close-up of the godets:
I didn't hem the godets, because I was worried that even a two-thread rolled hem would weigh them down too much. Each dress will only be work three times, so I'm not too worried about raveling.

One of the best moments I had was when the director looked at the costume, and asked me, "How do you do that?!?" When I asked her what she meant, she said, "How did you make the pattern?" I told her that I used a program to create the pattern. "Yes," she said, "but how did you copy the dress, just from a picture?" I told her I had years of practice from copying clothes from catalogs and web pictures. She just shook her head and said it was all just magic. That felt so great!!

Now I will finally have some time to do more sewing for myself. Well, actually, my extremely patient hubby will be getting a pair of trousers first. He deserves it.

6 comments:

  1. Bravo!! The dress looks wonderful and it's great that somebody recognizes the work and thought that go into this type of project.

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  2. Another smashing success!!! Kudos!!!!

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  3. I was waiting to see your project results. Nicely done, indeed! "Magic"

    Sue

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  4. I think your dress looks better than the original. Way better!

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  5. felicity from Down UnderMarch 14, 2012 at 4:53 AM

    I'm also quite taken by the red boots! As to the comment re magic, yes, you have a lot of experience and are obviously practised at designing from what you see. But it is a great gift and worthy of all the praise it reaps.

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  6. You truly are a magician!! The dress looks like such fun to wear!

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