So I spent most of my free energy finishing the dress. That took a bit more than a week. Hare are some photos from the process.
First up is the prototype I did. Simple cotton fabric strips just to see exactly what sort of pattern I wanted, and that it would follow the curves properly.
And here is the completed front of the prototype. I just love how this came out. It really evokes the feeling of metal band plate armour. So I am calling the dress “The Amazon”. This is a dress you wear when you want to conquer the world!
With the prototype done, It was time to start cutting the silk itself. Fortunately, I had enough to spare, so I did not have to worry about every piece becoming perfect on the first attempt. Turns out this design was really easy to get right, with just a bit of patience. The main challenge was that it took forever. Each strip of fabric had to be cut, then pinned on the base layer while mounted on the manikin. Then the bodice had to be taken off of the manikin to sew the strip in place. Finally the bodice had to go back on the manikin so I could pin the next strip…. But the result was totally worth it!
Since the strips were simply folded and hot-glued to the inside of the bodice, I also had to hand-attach a lining. I could of course have used a machine, but the way I fastened the strips of fabric meant that there were no visible seams on the outside of the dress, so I decided I wanted to keep it that way.
Look at the structure of this thing! It practically keeps its shape even when lying down on the side.
Finally, a fully lined skirt completes the entire dress.
And just for completeness, I decided to make a matching tie. Lesson: Don’t try to make a tie. It is completely impossible. It is all twisted and weird. But as long as i tie it with care, an amateur won’t notice, so I am calling it a win.