Saturday, 4 February 2012

WFC Burn’s Supper 2011 – 1950s Glam

The (Imaculate) Conception
The starting point for this year's Burn's Supper offering was this image that I found on Pinterest one lunchtime: a dress from the 1950s.  Well, this looked like just the ticket for me to create for this year's Burn's Supper.
First stop – material.  However, I'm trying hard to use what is in my stash and to 'make it work'.  So, I purchased some lace and some satin (on the Crafter's Ceilidh), but all the rest came from my stash: whoop whoop!  The other exciting thing is that I didn't use a pattern for this dress.  Please refer to the following diagram for details of how I felt about this:
Remember "Meet the Fockers"?  You're outside the circle of trust Greg...
The Notes

NB/- detailed notes will be provided in a separate post
The first step in this project was the creation of the bodice.  I figured the skirt would be easy, so I had to make the bodice first to see if my adventure was going to work.  I wanted a strapless, shaped bodice, with boning, that wasn't too high.  My starting point was the bodice (minus overlay) from McCalls 5382 (??), as I have made that dress before and knew it should work.

My bodice is made of a number of layers:
  • Black lace overlay;
  • Black chiffon/white satin as the outer layer;
  • Black satin cumberband
  • Sew-in, medium weight interfacing (white); and
  • 100% cotton (white) for the lining*. 
*There are multiple reasons why I used (and why I always use) cotton for the lining on evening dresses:
  • It is not slippery and therefore the dress holds up better;
  • It is breathable and therefore more comfortable to wear; and
  • It has a certain amount of stamina in it and is therefore up to the task of supporting the rest of the dress.
The Show
Here is the final dress.  

Detail of the finished bodice

I think the hard work was totally worth it as this makes me feel $1,000,000 – see evidence below of me pleased as punch.  I wore it with the petticoat I purchased from Armstong's, which was good as new after a soak in the bath, cold wash in the washing machine and a spray of white vinegar/water.  It was only this last one that took the musty smell out

The Reception
My friends (mostly gals admittedly) loved it.  Mr. L told me that he loves how I always look elegant.  "Look – not act" is all I can say!
The Mr & Me 


  1. Hey hey hey! Look at how beautiful your dress came out!!! You definitely look like a million bucks!

    Welcome to the blog world! Woo hoo!

  2. Oh my goodness, thank you! This blogging thing is compulsive isn't it! I'm like a kitten with a new toy ;-)

  3. Oh WOW! That looks amazing! Great work, indeed! And I second Melizza's welcome to the blogging world!

  4. Oh wow! That is a stunning frock! I remember you trying to choose a lining in Edinburgh Fabrics :)

  5. Hi Rachel! Your dress is fab - well done :)

  6. Thanks you guys! It may be cheesy, but I imagine you all as my cheerleading squad now, and it's lovely :-)

  7. I love the dress! (and love the blog too! will be following from now on :)


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