Thursday, November 5, 2020

Sewing for Others - Costume

 The last few months I have been busy sewing for others.  I volunteered for both projects, inspired by  the requested garment and my affection for the requesters.  It was only after making the commitment that my inner voice said, “What have you gotten yourself into?” Both clients have a significantly different body shapes than I do, and I am not experienced with fitting others.   But how am I going to get better at fitting if I don't practice.  Better family members that paying customers, for practice

The most  recent request was for a replica of the dress worn by the character Marion Ravenwood in the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. To be worn to a Halloween party.

The dress  has a fitted top with an empire seam under the bust and floor length skirt. It is also backless with a huge rosette and train on the back.   My client was a very curvy, petite. I showed her pattern options that would look very similar to the actual dress, but had features that would facilitate  fitting.  We chose McCalls 7974.  

I felt  gathers, would be more forgiving than bust darts, for bust  fitting.   The under bust band could be fitted to emphasize her curves .  The skirt gathers start  2 inches above the actual waist. My thinking was that this would make the transition from teeny waist to full hips easier and lengthen her bottom half, making  her look taller.

 I made a muslin of the dress bodice.  A lot of slashing and inserting of fabric in the resulting gaps went on in the first fitting.  Then the apprehension of transferring the muslin changes to the pattern, and wondering if I did it correctly, especially when the resulting bodice shape that was um… unfamiliar.

 I had a fitting instructor that told us to imagine the body as  made up of different shapes; spheres, polyhedrons (pyramid),  cylinders and think about how you would shape fabric over those shapes.  I told myself based on the body shapes I was putting fabric over, the  extra fabric was where it needed to be; low, and near the center. And it ended up fitting beautifully. 

The dress is underlined in a cotton fabric (high grade twin flat sheet from Target).  The  outer fabric is a  lightweight fabric with raised fuzzy dots  that I have always called “dotted swiss”. It was labeled "clipped dot" on where it was purchased. We opted to forgo  the bum rosette and the logistics of finding an undergarment to support a large bust in a backless dress.

"Marion" is very pleased with her dress. She talks about wearing it on other occasions and her favorite feature is the pockets. At least her cell phone won't show like Indiana's does.