Friday, September 6, 2013

Smithson Gown 2013 -- Getting started

The annual James Smithson Society Gala is usually in April or May, but this year it was moved to September, which is why I haven't been doing anything about it yet this year. But now it's sneaking up on me again (in three weeks!!) and that means I have to kick into high gear to get it done in time.
The good news is, I have both the design and the fabric, so I'm ahead of where I was last year. What's better, hubby actually picked it out for me! I never would have considered the one he chose, but the more I look at it, the more I like it. I'll have to take him fabric shopping with me more often.
This year I'm going to try and do a strapless gown. I had such a great success with the strapless sheath I used for the Ursula costume, that I'm going to take that same pattern and modify it to give it a skirt instead of tentacles. And while I was sorely tempted to use neoprene for the gown, cooler heads prevailed and I'll be using regular fabric.
The multicolored fabric on the left will be the gown itself. The brown suede-looking fabric to the right will be the body of a bolero jacked to go over the gown (I'm thinking it could be a tad chilly as the event will be outdoors at the National Zoo), with the red fabric as the trim. At the lower right is the lining fabric for the dress and jacket.
This is the first time in a long time that I've used anything but a solid colorway for my gown. I've already got my pattern printed out and will be doing a muslin in the next few days to tweak the fit -- after all, regular fabric will probably behave quite differently than neoprene! I also need to build the foundation a bit better, to make sure the stays don't work their way out of the casings and try to stab me to death.
So, another gown saga begins! I'll do my best to keep you all updated. And let me know what kinds of details you're interested in, okay?


  1. I'm not a "print" person for clothing, but I have to say, I really like this fabric! I think this is going to be a stunning outfit and can't wait to see it finished and on you. Any and all details of the construction process would be interesting to read.

  2. Oh goodie, goodie, goodie, I do love reading about you making a gown for this annual event. Will you be making anything for your hubby, so you can be co-ordinated in splendiforus style? ;-)

    1. Diane, I will be making a matching vest and tie for Bob. The print scale is a bit big for the vest, though... not quite sure how I'll deal with that. The lapels will likely be the tan suede.

  3. Always enjoy reading about your annual Smithsonian gown journey, and I'm looking forward to your design for this beautiful fabric!

  4. Looking forward to your post about your gown!!!!


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