I was selected as one of 11 designers from 8 submissions to create a unique Red Dress in support of heart and stroke awareness in women. This was my original sketch.
Our only instructions were to submit a Red Dress design for a celebrity/VIP to wear on the runway of the Heart Truth fashion show... I found just that daunting enough, as I like to try to match design to personality and body type, and had no idea who the celebrity/VIP might be.
After my design was selected, I was assigned my celebrity, CityTV BT personality Jill Belland. We met for a short consultation and I took her measurements. After making a pattern using these measurements, I then sewed up a mock-up, or toile, to check basic fit before I got into detailed seaming.
It was a bit big, and there were some changes to make, so I tweaked the pattern in some spots and made a new toile using coutil instead of sheeting, as I was concerned the sheeting was stretching under stress....
Again minor tweaks as the structure comes together, and client's desires are narrowed down.
I have chosen spot broche coutil for the corset, and a cotton lace for the skirt, with a red satin underskirt. As the theme is Red I needed to dye both of these fabrics. I used Dylon hot water dye in Pagoda red for this project.
After I had the fit exactly how I wanted it, I drew my style lines under the bust and around to the back, and made those pattern pieces seperately, and recreated the top and bottom of each pattern piece with seam allowances.
I constructed the corset as a single layer with interior coutil strips to hold the boning. Each seam was double stitched, topstitched, and trimmed before applying the waist tape and coutil strips by "stitching in the ditch" and then again on each side of the seam to create casings.
The center front had two solid steel bones, as well as each side of the grommets, and the next seam to the back panel. All the rest of the boning was 1/4" spiral steels, cut and tipped to fit.
I then made the lining using the original pattern, so there wouldn't be as many seamlines to irritate the wearer's skin, and basted it into the corset. Narrow bias binding made from the spot broche coutil was machine stitched on, and hand finished inside.
Grommets placed 3/4" apart along the back, with four placed 1/2" apart at the waistline complete the body of this piece. I also made a modesty panel, and embroidered info inside on the back panels.
The skirt is a little fuller than a circle skirt with the lace layer several inches longer than the satin layer. I finished the satin with a tight stretched rolled hem so it flares a bit. I matched the rows of flowers around the skirt, and finished the bottom with the scalloping of the lace.