Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lili's Dress

In my former life as a seamstress, I made dresses : Renaissance Faire attire, wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses. I even made my own wedding dress modeled after Lili's white dress in the movie Legend (1985). [Yes, that's Tom Cruise BEFORE Top Gun. The actress who plays Lili is the impeccable Mia Sara. Sigh!]

It was very difficult to find good photos of her dress back then. I studied the movie on VHS, and sketched her dress :

Then I looked for a pattern that could be modified--since this exact pattern was not for sale anywhere. This is what I found :

Butterick 4301

In pencil, I drew over the top of the pattern that seemed close. All I had to do was modify the front panel to be lace-able, and modify the sleeves--and that worked out quite well.

For my dresses, I always made a muslin version--to make mistakes, and chart changes in the real version. That works out very well. Then you're not wasting that lovely expensive silk and linen on a dress that doesn't fit.

Next I took a trip to Chicago's Vogue Fabrics. I was living in Madison, WI, at the time. No one there at the time sold fine fabrics like linen and silk.

Light blue silk for the under-dress.

French Ribbon alongside linen.

Pearly-beady trim my Gramma Pickles had. It was just enough to trim the arms and waist.

Here's the finished dress on my dress-maker's dummy.

No--It's not exactly Lili's dress. I had to work with what was available to me in terms of trims and my own abilities as a pattern drafter. I was pleased with the results. Good enough to get married in!

The shoes I wore were the Medival Moccasins. It felt like walking on clouds, they were so comfortable, and perfectly fitted to my feet. I actually traced my feet and sent the tracings to them. From that they were able to make a perfect fit.

Gramma made me a crown to wear. I don't have a clue how she did it. It's not one of the mysteries I am privy to. My friend Caroline loaned me a string of pearls. I made the earings.

No--this dress is not for sale.
And no--I don't have time to make another one.
But I do know someone who might be willing to make one for you. So ask me if you are interested.

The dress has been put away with archival tissue paper and placed in a cedar wardrobe for safe-keeping. A Sweet Leaf Productions Original!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anyone looking for a pattern for this dress should pick up Simplicity 2573 as it's the exact same dress (even the same color on the front picture)