Fire and Ice: Part 5 – The Dress!!

Here we go – it is Fire and Ice – the dress, at last! I woke up on Saturday morning, took the bustle skirt off of Sally’s shoulders and sighed hugely – the tapes were way too short and the apron attachment to cover the zipper at the central back looked absurd – it was far too small to be rucked up with tapes of its own.

So I unpicked the tapes in the apron and lengthened everything by 100 percent.  It works.

The Dress looking Splendid:

Straight on:

Tabubilgirl poses in a hallway, wearing a red silk gown draped over a gold lame underskirt.
Tabubilgirl stands in a hallway. She is wearing a ballgown consisting of a red silk gown draped over a gold lame petticoat.

Lots of sideways yumminess:

The dress has a couple of technical issues – the bodice tends to ride up and wrinkle- I thought about putting some heavy duty press-studs on the waistband but it became very puckery – a better solution would be a piece of fabric to go between my legs-  leotard style, but I didn’t have time or appropriate materials, so I sewed myself into the dress and sailed grandly out of the house toward my ball.
I’d bought face paints and planned to cover the sides of my face with flames – but had an allergic reaction to the paints.  I began painting on the yellow undercoat and without any fanfare or preliminary itching, my eyes puffed up until I was squinting through bloodshot slits, and they began to weep – it was like Niagara. I jumped back into the shower and washed everything off, then proceeded to redo my face – conventionally.  With as much gold as I could convince to stay there.  It doesn’t much show in the photos, but I was most impressively gilded.

The bustle isn’t perfect – the upper apron is too long and the whole bustle tends to slide sideways. I was mystified till I took the dress off after the party and found several pins still tucked into the lowest tier and tugging the whole assemblage off balance.

On the whole, however, for the amount of fabric I had to play with – I’m very happy with how this gown has come out!

In fact, my only genuine issues with the over-skirt stem from too much fabric – the little apron attachment needs shortening and the over-skirt is far too wide -it doesn’t hold the gold underskirt tight enough and the whole assemblage blooms too wide. I need to unpick a few seams and lap the back apron further over the front so that it sits more neatly.

I love the shoulder ruffle on my bodice – I wired the edges of the upper and lower sticky-out-y bits so that they’d stand up sharply. Unfortunately, this ruffled piece is NOT detachable from the dress – although I wised up when I got to the feathers. And after that, the waist ruffle that disguises where I took in the waistband. THAT little bit of yummy scrap-flower-craziness can be removed if I need to wash the skirt!

Shoulder corsage:

detail of a fire red silk and feather shoulder corsage.

Here it is. Fire and Ice – the dress!

Two women pose - one wears a fire red and gold ballgown. the other wears an ice blue silk saree.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Tabubilgirl poses in a fire red and gold ballgown.


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