I just happened to be in a charity shop getting my breath back having cycled into town, it just happened to start raining so was reluctant to leave, there just happened to be a silk scarf of a sort of Indian design, sort of the right size, so I bought it, and this happened......
The original shawls were long rectangles with ornate ends but mine was a 30" silk-ish square with a printed border all the way round. A garment for me? No, remarkably draughty. A garment for the faithful Gwen. To the right the scarf is folded into the centre and pinned at the shoulder to give a very basic drape. The challenge will be to stop it looking like a dressing gown. I like using the border in the centre of an open dress but Gwen needs much more help and structure to give her shoulders, somewhere between the profiles of the green and first red fashion plates.
The dress is fairly simple, the only cutting was to take off the top border, This reduced the length and gave something to make the sleeves out of!
There are 2 rows of gathering to create the bodice, on the high waist line all the way round from border to border and at the centre back along the top edge. The front is joined at a point 3" down and the very top of the front border is pleated back onto itself to give the separation at the bodice. Each sleeve is half of the sacrificial top border, sewn into a tube for an inch and opened flat along the top of the dress and attached. They are gathered at shoulder and cuff trying to give that extra breadth across the top line. I did reserve some of the yellowy border to do the front trim but it has escaped at the moment, so a length of elderly bias binding is playing understudy for the photos. It gives better definition to the bust but is rather clumsy tied at the back. If I can't find the renegade trim this is all I have left of the fabric to work with - wish me luck!
And the most important question of all - Does this make Gwen look less like Juno, athletic and wholesome, and more of a siren, has she achieved cleavage?
Certainly like the wider shoulder, even if they had to have stuffing shoved (romantically) up the cover to stop the sleeve slipping off. The back is a bit too much, may be lose some gathering to the sides. For such a straight forward idea this has not ben easy. Getting one side to work was simple, getting the other to match was a pain. The fabric was lovely, to look at, but had no substance. It lost all shape and form unless it was on the model so that was how most of the sewing was done. If I was making this for real the seams would be taped and the bodice mounted onto a lining. I must take a pattern from this and try with a more meaty fabric, with some adjustment this could become another Gwen wardrobe staple. At least it is her very first grown up ball gown. Not bad for £2.49 ( cheap date).
Some useful sites- There are loads out there, but will there ever be enough time to read them all?