The story behind this dress is simple - Jasper, the incredibly evil cat- peed on my silk velvet I was going to use for the jumper to the Requiem dress. So, I had to wash it - and let it dry on it own- and then wash it again. He has learned his lesson about peeing where he is not supposed to but I didn't have the time to wait for the fabric to dry since this was Thursday night and I was leaving for Dress U on Friday.
Plan B. Plan b is never someone you already have - that's always plan c or d- it's something you can make quickly and will still look nice. Enter in the fantasy version of an early 16th C Italian dress.
The cut is based off of a painting and a sketch from the 1500's. Many people are familiar with the painting of the two courtesans on a roof top playing with a couple of dogs - one lady wears a green dress with what looks like a yellow apron. If you ever get to see the painting IRL or blown up in a book, it's clear that their is a piece of yellow chiffon behind her as well. A sketch, from the same time period, shows a lady standing, with what looks like a flab of possible sheer fabric to the front of back of her dress, open at the sides, but tied off at the sides as well. You can see both here. The sketch is the very first image, the painting is roughly halfway down the page.
Knowing that, I thought maybe an embroidered sheer front and back would look awesome. I have a TON of dupattas and saris that I can cut up. I played with all of them and finally found some old duponi silk I bought years ago that matched one of the dupattas well enough. I cut the dupatta in half so I had a front and a back. The Italian dress, I cut out from my own pattern done in a style I've done tons of time before.
The only other glitch was, that by the time I made a decision and found all the trim, it was 10:30 at night. On Thursday. I needed to leave Friday. So... I finished this on Sunday via sewing machine. Luckily, my roommate wasn't upset with me. At least I had everything cut out, right? ;-)
I managed to finish this at 8 pm Sunday. The party started at 7:30 pm so I wasn't horribly late. Close. But not horribly late.
Because it was a rush job, there are some issues. I need to fix the bodice, again, because of that weird wrinkle in the middle. I also need to fix the skirt slightly. Over all, another fun gown to wear to the Renn Fest though!
It's not H/A simply because of the fabric choices. The duponi I used is very slubby - something that I've only heard of possibly being used as a lining in period, and the front and back pieces don't seem to bee embroidered. Also, silk net? Not really used like this.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the way it came out. The colors went together perfectly and it's certainly sparkly which is what I was going for. :-)