Here is my final evaluation on my Zelda project, with luck my next project will turn out as well as I feel this one has~
With my final design drawn up I went looking for a good pattern to use, found this one by Simplicity that was perfect, just needed to make a few little add ons like the sleeves and the overskirt. I knew I wouldn’t be able to find the fabric I wanted in my local fabric shop so I bought some hyacinth and white taffeta from this online seller, the white was much stiffer than the purple when it arrived and it didn’t feel as nice as I thought it would but it did work well for the dress in the end. I also bought a garter for fun, some white slip ons and some small roses to sew in places.
I decided to make the bust of the dress first as it would be easier to know how long the skirt panels would need to be as I could put it on my mannequin (which is my height and size) and measure from the bust to the floor. I bought some white polycotton to use as a lining as it’s cheap, easy to use and no one would see it anyway. Here is the top of the bust without sleeves or waistband. The pins were just holding the seams flat until I could get the iron out.
My main dilema for this part was that the bust of my mannequin is rather small in compasison to my own so I had to put on of my own bras on it while making the dres, didn’t want to make the mistake and finish it only to find that it wouldn’t fit across my chest! Quite pleased with the bust although I hoped it would still look the right shape once adding the waistband.
I made the waistband on this part flat instead of ruffled (like in my design) because it was at this stage that I decided the dress would be in two layers. I decided that the top half of the dress would look like the image above and the bottom of the dress would be white, I would then make what I refer to as an overlay which would be the second purple layer (and that would have the ruffled waistband).
While I pondered on the length of the skirt I sewed little roses on to the fronts of the shoes and garter and found a nice tiara online that would match.
I don’t have many pictures of the stage where I was focusing on the skirt of the dress, but I did take some once it was all in place (without sleeves and overlay).
My main concern at that point was what sort of closure I wanted on the dress (it was pinned on me for the photos), I knew I wanted a hidden zip for the main part of the dress but I knew that adding a hidden zip to the overlay would make it stick out a bit too rigidly at the seam, I didn’t want to use buttons or Velcro or snap fasteners as they’re not terribly practical and I didn’t want to use hooks and eyes as I don’t find them very secure and they take forever to sew in by hand. In the meantime I drew up my own pattern for the overlay using the same pattern pieces for the skirt but shaping them, that way I knew they’d definitely fit properly. After a long think I bought some gold eyelets and used them with some white lacing up the back of the overlay, I think it turned out much nicer than any of the other methods would have done. Photos on the mannequin with the various layers (the overlay looks a bit big but it wasn’t laced up tight for the photo).
I was rather pleased with the outcome because not only is this is the first thing I’ve designed myself (albeit with inspirational help) but it’s also the first time I honestly feel I have made something pretty much exactly the way I wanted it to look!
I decided to make an original modern/formal design inspired by Princess Zelda as I’m a big fan of the video game series and I’ve always loved her designs in each game. I gathered some reference images from 3 of the main games (Ocarina of Time, Wind Waker and Twilight Princess) as a starting point for inspiration.