Here goes! The first full costume of the year. I am very much looking forward to this one. It is a fantastical idea that I came up with just based on a fabric I bought. I do love to work this way. I don’t usually think of a project and then buy the fabric for it. I am kind of backwards that way but it works well for me.
After I bought a heavily sequined fabric in the garment district on a pure “it’s pretty, I want it” impulse, I began having the idea of what I wanted to use it for. My dearest love and I kept bouncing ideas back and forth about it. I kept giving the fabric the name “dragon scales” and then poof…dragon lady! Not so much a stretch of originality but I love the idea so I am going to do it.
For the first time in a long time I went shopping for a specific project based on a concept I randomly came up with.
The center fabric is the dragon scales and the reason you see some black and some red is that this fabric is kind of interactive. It almost has a kind of nap where if you run your hand one way it turns red and the other way turns black. Cool right?! Well, I had to compliment it with fabrics that were kind of similar. The red and black glitter on the left has a lovely ombre color effect going on. The dark red on the left has kind of two right sides. The prominent color is black but there are red wefts that go through it which makes it look red in certain lights and angles. The other right said does the inverse of that and the red is very shiny. There is a lovely black stretch satin and a black velvet on top that are going to be used to break up the red in the design a bit. Which now that I mention it…
This is my design rendering of the Dragon Lady and I know what you are thinking. *This looks a lot like Elsa’s dress from Frozen.* I noticed this as well and it is driving me up a wall. So I had the idea to change the corset design which is what the drawing on the right corner is. But I still don’t think it will be enough. I may add a second slit on the other leg. I don’t know. I find it difficult to design sleek designs since they all look basically the same to me. I am hoping the fabric will speak a bit louder than the plain design. I still want to make this and I think in real life will look so much more interesting than on paper. Fingers crossed.
But to be honest, the drafting portion does not… look… that great.
I started with the top. For some reason I thought it was good to draft two garments on one dress form at once. On the left is the leotard-type top draped out. ( I should have used a stretch fabric to drape since I will be using a stretch fabric for the leotard but I used muslin…not very clever). On the right is the corset draped out. I am not that great at draping yet and I am making an effort this year to be much better at it. I made slashes and pinned them back together, I have darts in odd places and it all just looks a bit of a mess. But I am going to press on.
Next I draped the skirt (on top of the other drapes) and it also looked quite not great. The shape was what I wanted but in the wrong spot. The left picture shows that it is sitting on the side of the dress form. The shape that it has created I would much prefer it to be in the back.
So that’s what I did.
I moved the skirt to the back and it is exactly the look I wanted. Though you can see that the seams are completely off, there are random pieces everywhere and there is no front now. So I ended up draping the front separately.
I didn’t get a picture of the slit I cut in the skirt but there is one…or going to be one eventually. The overall shape of the dress I do love even with how much of a mess it looks in drape form. So I decided to press on and transfer the drape to paper.
Here you can see the skirt in three pieces, the leotard in three pieces and the corset in six pieces. There are two pattern pieces I drew out to add to the patterns. I drew out a godet to go in the back of the skirt to create the shape I wanted and I kind of flat drafted a sleeve pattern for the leotard.
I am going to start cutting out fashion fabric for the pieces except for the corset pattern. I am going to cut a muslin mock-up of the corset just to make sure of the fit and design. Can’t be too meticulous with corsets.
So that’s it for now. I will show the rest of the process of this dress soon. I am really looking forward to this and I hope you enjoyed reading so far.