Friday, February 14, 2014

V is for.....

....Very Valentino!!!!! Chuck the chocolates, dolly can't eat. Forget the flowers, dolly can't smell. But we your diva some love by making her a flaming hot, lipstick red dress inspired by legendary couturier, Valentino.

Valentino's woman is elegant, super feminine, and has a strong penchant for luxury. This luxury can show up in the details of a garment....from heavily encrusted embroidery on lace, to the simplest silhouettes cut from a sumptuous silk.

I chose three simple silhouettes inspired by classic Valentino Couture. The first is a strapless, princess line dress with a lot of flare.

I simply elongated the dress from the "Princess Diaries" post, but redesigned the neckline into a strapless dress. If the dress won't stay up on the doll's body, make tiny straps using strands of "invisible" thread or fishing wire.

I was also inspired by the details of another dress which in fact is a fish tail dress.

Not a great lover of that particular silhouette, I took my original dress and added the little "ruffled" pockets for this one. This was as simple as gathering up some scraps, scrunching them into little "poufs" and stitching them in place.

What I also love is Valentino's use of bows. I begin with a sheath dress but alter the neckline into a one shouldered dress.

For this dress, you need to work with a full front and a full back. The closure for the dress will be on the side seam under the arm. You can either draw the new neckline directly onto the paper pattern, being sure everything lines up perfectly at the sides and that the shoulders seams are equal. can make the complete dress, mark the new neckline with a ribbon, then carefully cut it out. (Similar to what we did with Lupita's red dress.) Just remember to leave enough for the seam.

After, it is a question of making a bow. My bow is made of three parts. The long tube. A shorter tube folded into a loop and pinched in the center. Then with the smallest tube, wrap the bow in the center, catching the long tube at the midpoint. This will then be tacked to the shoulder of the dress.

And then there is the empire waist dress, which in this case, is comprised of silk and chiffon. (In another post, I will do another project later on to show you the many possibilities of the empire waist.) For this exercise, I though it best to keep it easy. I've used a dress form here, but you can tape the toile onto the doll and continue form there.
Mark the muslin at the center front and pin (or tape) in place. Pin or tape the muslin to the underarm side. Now pinch the loose fabric that falls under the bust and pin it shut, folding the dart towards the side. Turn the doll (or dress form) to the back and pin or tape the muslin to the center back line.

Smooth the muslin to the side, fold under and pin to the front. Mark the points where the seams meet, where the dart closes. Then draw in the neckline and under bust line of your empire waist bodice. Transfer to graph paper. Add seam allowance.
I since I'm using habatai silk which is thin, I decided to line the bodice. I cut a second bodice and stitched it along the top of the bodice. I ran a basting stitch along the bottom. I did not want gathers for this, so I took a rectangle the width of my bodice and the length of the doll down to her feet. The bodice is pinned to this rectangle. I pressed everything down, then I stitched the dress up the back, leaving just enough for the doll to get in and out. The back is finished simply with hooks and eyes.

For the finishing touch, I took a length of silk chiffon and draped it over the top of my empire waist, pinning it in place. Stitch down the drapes; cover the back bodice with chiffon, allowing it to trail down the back of the dress.

Next up: a look at New York Fashion Week. The girls provide a sneak peak at what they want to wear for Fall/Winter 2014!

Oh, by the way....I know it's late, but.....

Happy Valentino Valentine's Day!!!!

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  1. I knew Valentino was coming!!! I really liked how you reinterpred his fashions.

  2. Thank you. It was an ambitious project which was why it was posted so late in the day. And doing something so simple is always a challenge. But it did come out the way I envisioned. Sorry, at the last minute I couldn't find the pictures of inspiration for the other two dresses.

  3. Gorgeous gowns! I especially love how you altered that one dress to be one-shoulder. There's something about the one-shoulder look that's just so elegant on a doll.

    I'm in love with the tiny dress form. Where did you find it?

    Also, I'm looking forward to the empire waist post! Since you were way ahead of me when I asked about the empire waist, I'm wondering... do you have any plans to make a halter dress?

    Thanks for another great post!

    -- Sarah

    1. Thank you Sarah. The dress form is from Jason Wu for Integrity Toys as part of his 'Loft" collection. They pop up from time to time on Ebay, so you should check there. I did a simple halter top in the "Summertime" post, but I'll do more when the weather gets warmer.


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