Thursday, August 25, 2011

What To Wear To The Emerald City

Another item on my work table. (I finished the felted flowers this morning. I'll post on Saturday.)
A few years ago, I made this dress to wear to a party called , An Evening in the Emerald City. I had the fabric left over from some bridesmaids dresses I made quite a while ago. The bride did not want the fabric back, so I held on to it. When I saw what the party was being called, what could be better to wear to the Emerald City than an emerald dress?

I can be a bit, some would say a lot, crazy at times. For the bustier, I decided to cut strips of the iridescent organza and weave them.
At each intersection I sewed a small crystal bead. The beads are lovely. They are emerald with a hint of navy blue.

The skirt is long with a fishtail back. The outer layer is the iridescent organza and the under layer is satin. When I originally made the skirt, I only lined it. I felt it needed something more. So I decided to add a partial petticoat and I wanted one layer of the ruffles to peak out from the bottom of the dress. The partial petticoat was attached to the lining.

To make the petticoat, I folded the skirt in half and did a rub off of just the lower section of the skirt.
I cut strips of the organza, actually, I ripped them rather than cut them as I wanted a frayed edge. The first ruffle I added goes around the entire bottom edge of the skirt. The second layer goes from one side seam to the other and the third and fourth layer of ruffles graduate in from the second. I did this because I only wanted the back to stand out. 

I wore the dress to the evening reception of the wedding that we attended back in February. My husband and I were having a bit of fun in the castle.

I've worn the outfit a number of times. I especially like that I have separates as the bustier works with other skirts as well as pants.
I've decided that I would like to spruce up the bustier a bit and add a small ruffle to the top and bottom edge as well as a solid line of the crystals along the piped edge. I think it will be a nice edition. 

Remember this? It works beautifully with this dress. I'm going to attend a special night at the opera, so other than the addition of the ruffle and the beads to the bustier, I'm ready to go!
A quick tutorial on how to add a fishtail hem.
If you have enough fabric, a fishtail always looks so much nicer than a slit in the back of a floor length skirt.

Begin with a straight skirt pattern.

The fishtail should start about mid thigh. My drawing is a little deceiving. I usually determine the amount that I can add by the width of my fabric. If you have enough fabric, the sweep can be rather large, but basically what were looking for is enough to be able to walk without adding a slit.
From about mid thigh, draw a sweeping line out to as wide as your fabric will allow. You can add a triangle at the hem if your fabric is not quite as wide as you would like for it to be.
Connect the hemline to the line you have drawn out from the center back line. Your line does not have to dip up as mine does in the drawing. Mine is intended for the hem to be the same all around. If you would like a trane, start at the midpoint of the hem of the skirt pattern and draw a line that will dip down to as long as you would like for your trane to be. Your fishtail line will be much longer. Just keep in mind that you will probably have to add a triangle to the centerback seam as your fabric will probably not be wide enough.    

Your finished pattern will look like this.
This is a lovely finish on a shorter skirt as well, especially for dancing.
If you have any questions, email me and I will do my best to answer them.

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  1. thank you for posting this I love the color green. And today to find this on your blog when it's so tense with a visit from Irene expected well, it's brightened my day!

  2. Having been lucky enough to see the dress in person, but on the hanger, I look forward to seeing it worn to the opera gala--a little over a month away!