The Sewing Place

A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?

elisep

A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« on: July 09, 2018, 15:07:42 PM »
Coming up in August I have my once-yearly work function. Each year has a theme and this year it's "Bond" AKA just black tie.
As usual my decision on what to wear has changed several times (I know better than to start too early as I'll change my mind!) and I've settled on a full skirted, silk velvet gown in "wine purple".

My original plan was to use McCalls 7685 for the bodice and draft my own skirt. But now, I'm starting to get concerned that the pattern is less than ideal for velvet.

I'm liking Vogue 1474 more and more, however I would prefer a deeper V neck and I just don't think there's any way I can bone that bodice.
I'd also be drafting my own skirt rather than the skirt on the bias and I don't know how I could get that to work at the centre back seam.

Upon further searching, I've found this pattern which appears to be quite close to what I want, save that the back is closed. That's easily altered though. I'm a bit hesitant to use a vintage reproduction pattern though. Of the three I think this would be the simplest to make though, and I wouldn't have to draft my own skirt pattern.

Any advice or other pattern recommendations welcome!

b15erk

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2018, 15:12:07 PM »
Love the Vogue, and love the idea of purple velvet.  Although I would rather you sewed it than me!

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

elisep

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2018, 15:14:34 PM »
That's the "what was I thinking" part!! Never sewn with velvet before... probably never will after this!

sewingj

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2018, 15:19:02 PM »
My most favourtie frock EVER was a purple crushed velvet mid-dress (it was in 1974)

BrendaP

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2018, 16:13:20 PM »
There's velvet and there's velvet!

A lot of what you find is a synthetic jersey backing with the velvet pile added.  Fairly easy to sew although RS to RS it does creep out of position as you are sewing.  It's also very forgiving of being squashed and creased.  The downside is that it rolls and curls - the way stocking stitch knitting does.  That means that it can be tricky to keep a narrow hem uncurled.

Woven velvet is usually heavier - often sold as furnishing weight!  Cotton is very heavy, silk will cost a fortune.  Lies flat, but if it gets ceased then very difficult to get it to look good again.  When I was 13 I was a bridesmaid and had a dress made from furnishing weight velvet. 

The McCalls pattern has a gathered skirt - IIRC my bridesmaid dress had soft pleats in place of gathers as the fabric was so thick.  You also need to be very slim to get away with that top.

The skirt on the Vogue dress has a ruffle down the back which shows both sides of the fabric.  Ideally satin backed crepe but definitely not velvet!

The vintage pattern, if it's the right size for you (one size only) is probably the best bet.  It says horsehair in the hem; that will be needed if you use a jersey/knitted velvet.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

crafter

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2018, 16:51:48 PM »
I would use a rayon velvet.  It is lighter than most velvets - more like silk and has a lovely sheen and drape. 

Personally, I wouldn't gather velvet, pleat if you must.

I like the first and last of those patterns.  The 1951 one might be cut on the bias though if it is done as a circle (no gathering at the waist I note).  In general, I like the Vogue best.




« Last Edit: July 10, 2018, 08:55:09 AM by crafter »

BrendaP

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2018, 23:15:31 PM »
The 1951 pattern has CF and CB seams, so it's four panels, not a circle.  From the way the checks are drawn it looks as though each panel is on the straight of grain, not on the bias, so would work with a napped fabric like velvet.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

PollyWally

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2018, 08:41:17 AM »
A long, long time ago I sewed several cotton velvet skirts made up of four panels (four gored ? ) as described by @BrendaP. The cotton velvet was very soft but I'm not sure if the same quality fabric is available today. I found one skirt in the back of a cupboard recently and looking at it the straight grain is along the centre of each panel.


Lizzy777

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2018, 11:49:57 AM »

My original plan was to use McCalls 7685 for the bodice and draft my own skirt. But now, I'm starting to get concerned that the pattern is less than ideal for velvet.

Any advice or other pattern recommendations welcome!

I can see why you're concerned that the above pattern is less than ideal for velvet but I think out of the three patterns it's more suited to the Bond theme (in my opinion). I love that pattern for such an event. Can't you rethink the fabric? Does it have to be silk velvet?


lizzy

Catllar

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2018, 21:36:08 PM »
I love the first pattern but I don't think I'd do it in velvet - wold look lovely in silk crepe georgette.
If life gives you lemons, add to gin and tonic !

elisep

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 13:50:32 PM »
Thanks for your opinions, ladies! I've ordered the vintage pattern but may not end up going with it... at least I'll be able to use the skirt.
Unfortunately I can't rethink the fabric - 6m of the stuff is already en route to me from ebay (yes I did get a sample first). It's a silk/rayon blend (I think most velvet sold as silk these days is a blend? seems to me anyway) and it is a beautiful fabric.

I did forget to mention that an option with the first McCalls pattern is to use the lining pieces as the outer, thereby getting the same styling without the gathers. I'm leaning towards that at the moment, but I'll wait till I've got the fabric in my possession before I make a final decision! Once I see how it drapes and how gathers will look.

Regarding the skirt, I'm definitely going for a 4 gore skirt. Not sure whether I will need a petticoat underneath, or whether it will be better to line (or underline) it? That's a question to be answered once I have the fabric too. I'm also thinking it may need horsehair in the skirt hem but I'm not sure how full I want it to look - the extra weight I'm carrying around my high hip means that a fuller skirt is more flattering, but I don't want TOO full. (Though my inner child says go full on ball gown...  ;) )

Catllar

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2018, 19:16:03 PM »
You might want to consider that a Bond theme will need a dress that will fall into an elegant heap on the floor as you seduce Mr Bond, so the horsehair might make it pile up like a lampshade  LOL!!
If life gives you lemons, add to gin and tonic !

elisep

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2018, 10:29:43 AM »
Well my fabric has arrived and it's really more of a burgundy colour than purple but it's still beautiful (yes I did get a sample but it took a while between looking at the samples and the fabric arriving that I'd "remembered" the fabric as more purpley than it is)!

And I've added another pattern option for the bodice which I'm strongly leaning towards (that may change!) - McCalls 7366, the plunging neckline option. The plan is to mock up each of the bodices and make a decision from there.
I'm also wavering on making a full skirt... the thought popped into my head today that if I make it a slinky skirt with a thigh high split, I could have a (fake) gun strapped to my thigh! But, I think a full skirt will be more flattering to my body type and I've bought 6m of the fabric!!
I just need to figure out if I do go the full skirt option, what's the best way to make the skirt full, as being silk velvet it's quite soft and slinky. It may need underlining with a more stable fabric.

So many decisions! And 5 1/2 weeks now to get it made...

BrendaP

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2018, 12:39:19 PM »
Because velvet has a nap it won't look right cut as a circle.  4 or 6 panels/gores, each of which flare quite a lot from waist to hem is the way to go.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

Lizzy777

Re: A purple velvet ball gown, or, what was I thinking?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2018, 23:44:57 PM »
I know this is nothing like you have been looking for but I couldn't resist showing you this pattern I have just seen. I have bought one of the Named patterns this evening and thought I would have a look at what other patterns they do (as I haven't used one of them before). But I saw this and thought I would give you the link. The models dress is made up in silk crepe for the bodice and velvet for the skirt. It is quite open at the back though. Just think it is a lovely pattern.

https://www.namedclothing.com/shop/elizabeth-gown/