Thursday, May 28, 2015

Finished: Jade Anna Dress

It has been a hectic few weeks with travelling and train strikes and a presentation and birthdays and a competition.  I have multiple finished things to share, but let's cut to the main event, shall we?

Guys, the Jade Anna dress is done.

To recap, I started this dress back in December when it became apparent that the pink grapefruit dress wasn't work for me any more.  Jade Anna is based on a dress designed by Chrisanne and inspired by Anna Mikhead, which explains the Anna part of the name.  For patterns, I used elements of the basic leotard found in Kwik Sew's Swim and Actionwear and Simplicity's 2639.  The book is an excellent resource of sewing things like leotards, but I was not happy with how the Simplicity dress pattern fit.  I am not sure whether I made a mistake with the sizing or if the pattern just didn't convert to stretch fabrics well, but I won't be using it as a base pattern again.
The underskirts, godets, streamers, and floats were of my own design, in as much as crunching numbers for circles and circles can be considered designing.  I got the shape of the floats by copying the floats of another dress I had on hand.
The fabrics all come from Chrisanne and the dominant color is jade, hence the other part of this project's name.  The secondary color in the skirt is mint.  The bodice, leotard, and gloves are made from lustre lycra, while the gathering on the bodice and the waistband of the underskirt are made from stretch mesh.  The underskirt is two layers of organza edged in 77mm crinoline.  The skirt and streamers are all made from satin chiffon, and the floats are georgette.  The armbands and shoulder straps are lycra over elastic, and the diamond appliques are two layers of lycra bonded with wonder-under.

This dress uses sequins heavily to provide sparkle without the weight or expense of rhinestones.  the appliques on the bust were covered in two layers of silver flat sequins before stoning, while the appliques at the top of the streamers have one layer of jade sequins.  Three types of crystals were used: ss 16 crystal from Chrisanne, ss 20 crystal AB from Swarovski, and ss 32 crystal AB from Swarovski.  I'd like to note that despite the striking appearance of the stones, this dress isn't carrying all that many.  I haven't done a formal calculation, but I estimate there are less than 10 gross of stones on this dress.  For comparison, the pink grapefruit dress has more than 20 gross.

You can find further details in all the posts about this project:

Overall, I am happy with how the dress turned out.  As a design, it was my most sophisticated dress project to date, and none of the elements failed to do what I wanted them to do.  As an example of my sewing abilities, those are definitely the best they've ever been.  I am not thrilled with the fit of the top of the bodice; that was also a problem with the pink grapefruit dress, so I fear that even with my practice bodices I haven't learned how to get a proper fit yet.  I also wish the godets started a bit higher up the leg and that the underskirts had more volume.  The current shape and volume was on purpose, because I wanted the dress to look for modern evening gown that classic ballgown.  However, I have found that that silhouette isn't the most flattering on me personally.

I considered putting lines of blue zircon stones along the seams of the bodice, but hesitated as that would require buying more stones and such stones would get rubbed off by body contact with my partner.  I still could add them, though . . . we shall not consider more gluing of stones.  That way lies madness.

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