Finally, the long waited queen gown costume I made for my daughter is published here!!!! With details and photographs, including those taken during the performance 🙂
A big thank you to all of you who encouraged me to sew it instead of buying it off-the-shelf. I never thought that I could finish this queen gown costume on time when I was given only 7 days before she wears it for the dress rehearsal and 11 days for the performance. I thought of getting one off-the-shelf and embellishing it but I knew I wouldn’t be satisfied with the result. So……
Every time I walk into my craft room and see the queen gown costume hanging there, I’d think “I made this?” It is just like a dream that I spent 7 late nights and early mornings (I have a day job, so I can only sew it at night) to get it finished, with no pattern to follow!!!! Even my daughter couldn’t believe that it was made by her mum as I didn’t let her see the queen gown costume until I was almost completed it. By the way, kids are not allowed to enter my craft room, with pins and needles everywhere, it is a dangerous playground!!!
The performance just ended last Friday and the queen gown costume is a great keepsake especially for my daughter. Though the queen gown costume just had been on stage for a few minutes for the performance, that’s good enough to surprise the audiences. I received some sweet compliments from other parents, most of them don’t believe it that I sewed it, anyway I may not look like a tailor or a fashion designer, but I definitely am a hobby craftswoman.
Queen Gown Costume
Upon making up my mind to go for the “DO IT MYSELF” decision, I quickly drew the pattern for the gown with the inspirations from some gown photos I found on the web. I am no professional sewer or seamstress and I didn’t attend any proper tailoring class before. All I have is self-taught from book and guidance from my mum. Yes, I made a few garments by following pattern book since I was in high school, with no proper training. I met with failure along the way but it didn’t stop me from sewing. Here I am, drawing my own paper pattern for the first time and it is challenging.
If you wish to make this gown, there are some online gown patterns available in places like SewingPattern.com.
I went to a few shops during my lunchtime the next day and quickly got some materials for the gown, like red linen and black satin (I changed to white in the later stage), ribbons, pre-pleated ribbons, laces, buttons, zipper and also a pair of open-finger long hand glove… basically anything I came across that I might need. I ended up buying more than I needed :p
The cutting began after the kids went to bed and there was no one to disturb me. I was excited and started to cut the fabric, made a few mistakes and wasted some fabrics though. Well, at least I learned something through-out the process.
I made the blacktop (right) on the first sewing night and let my daughter try on it to check if the measurement was correct, and her first reaction was “Mummy, why did you use black, I don’t like it!”…. mmmm… I had the same opinion too, so I wasn’t surprised when she made that comment. Without a second thought, I trashed the first night effort and replaced the black satin with white satin, resulting in a white-red-gold combination (left). And, I also extended the V-waist a little as the first pattern was too short and the V is not noticeable… problem with a self-design pattern… lol!!!
Next, on to the sleeves. That was a pair of puffed sleeves where I embellished it with 3 stripes of ribbons.
I called up my mum to ask for some help in drawing the puff sleeve as I never sewed one before. It is not difficult, just split the sleeve into 6 equal vertical parts, glue them onto another paper with double the spacing in between them (if you want it puffier, add more space in between), and extend the curve on the top of the sleeve with the same spacing. Redraw the sleeve with correct curvature, that’s it! I later found a website with detailed photos for the “puffing”, but it is only “puffing” the top and not the arm hem.
Phew, luckily the sleeves came out PUFFY. I got it right 🙂
The red centerpiece on the top is a combination of gold powdered lace with red fabric. I later found out that it is non-washable… dry cleaning may work but not water.
The top was finished and I needed to get on to the bottom skirt fast. I was running out of time and the bottom needs more time to finish as it was heavily embellished.
Basically, the bottom was made up of 4 pcs. of rectangles and 4 pcs. of triangles (curved bottom).
I sew lots of pre-pleated ribbons onto the white satin triangles. At first, I sew them slightly overlapping each layer, I later added another layer in between to make them look “full”.
Sewing them up took up a lot of time as there were 22 layers of pre-pleated ribbons in each triangle. Took me a night to finish it.
I added 3 stripes of ribbons on 3 pcs. of the red rectangle fabric, otherwise, it will be too plain for that part. The centerpiece is a combination of golden lace and red fabric exactly like the top.
Had all of them sewn up. Sent to the craft store nearby for serging services as I don’t have a serger machine.
Gathered on the top side of the dress and joined up with the top to make up into gown. Went for another serging service again. There was an interlude for this trip, the lady who did it for me gave me a big eye and said “You made this?”, I said, “Yes, it is for my daughter’s stage performance”. Their customers (mainly seamstress) all hovered around it showering compliments on it… I was like “oh my goodness!!!” blush… I am not a pro by the way and this is my first gown sewing 🙂
Back to the details of the gown. I later sewed in the long open-finger hand glove onto the puff sleeve and added a ring of pleated ribbon at the wrist.
I also put in a line of small pleated ribbon on the waist to make it looks more “ROYAL” 🙂
Also, another line of pleated ribbon for the end hem of the queen gown costume with the same purpose… ROYALTY LOOK!!!
Side view of it.
Finally finished the whole gown. This gown is displayed with crinoline in it. I need it to make the gown look inflated and domed. I am saving this for my next post on how to make a crinoline, quite easy compared to sewing this 🙂