So…this is it. The final design for this most amazing round of All Stars Project Run and Play. The theme this week? My favorite…formal wear!!! I love designing formal wear. It’s so much fun to dream up and create fancy attire – something beyond the basics, something that elicits squealing from the girl for whom its intended. And this dress was certainly greeted with squealing.
I started with one yard of the most luscious crinkle silk charmeuse. I found the fabric at Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics, an incredible little shop in Berkeley, CA. Shopping there was such an awesome experience because I finally got to touch and see so many fabrics that I only knew by name. This silk charmeuse is beyond gorgeous – I’m not sure the pictures do it justice. It was $20/yard, which is really pricey for fabric, but when you factor in the single yard, the little bit of bias tape, some elastic, and a bit of lining, you end up with a stunning dress for under $30. And if it’s being used for a formal event, such as a wedding, it’s a steal!
Anyway, on with the dress. I created the dress silhouette by draping the fabric on my little dress form. The design just kind of came together and Olivia walked past and gasped, so I knew it was a good one. I left the “dress” pinned up on the dress form for almost a week. I was so scared that I was going to unpin it and never get it to look the same again – my cousin described it as holding your hair up how you want it to go, but not being able to actually secure it in place so that it looks like you want! I started by cutting off a strip of the fabric for the bodice. I tried pleats a few different ways, but I really wanted a soft, flowy look and in the end, I made a bodice that was softly gathered across the front. The bodice is cut to curve under the arms and then the back is fully elasticized at the top and across the waist. This eliminates the need for buttons or zippers and keeps the essentially strapless top in place. I then finished the top edge of the bodice with gold bias tape in front and a fabric bias tape in the back. Straps of any sort could be added at this point – I made a one shoulder strap cluster specifically for Olivia because that’s her favorite style.
The straps start together on one side of the front bodice and then fan out across the back. So pretty.
The skirt is a glorified bubble skirt. I used the remainder of the fabric to form a long skirt, which I attached to a gathered tube of lining. I added elastic in the back of the skirt and gathered the front of the skirts, attaching both the lining and the skirt to the bodice. I then sewed the skirt bottom to the lining bottom to form a bubble skirt. Working again on the dress form, I pinned up the skirt all over to form little puffs. When everything was pinned in place, I used my sewing machine to make zigzag stitches connecting the skirt to the lining where I had pinned.
I finished the dress off with a gold sequined sash!
I love, love this dress. If I’m ever 25 again, I’d like to wear a dress just like this please!
Olivia loves it, too. She was more than thrilled to drive up to a little historic mining town to take fake wedding party pictures at this cool, old church.
And she wanted her hair super fancy – of course! All Dressed Up…..
And….that’s a wrap! Thank you so, so much for playing along these last few weeks as I revisited the fun craziness of Project Run and Play!! For more details on this look and to see all of the contestants looks, please visit Project Run and Play today. Voting is open through Sunday!! Thank you!!