Bella Mae's Designs · Completed

A Hollywood Worthy Gown – Edwardian Walking Dress

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I am going to tell you a story. A story that I though I’d never tell. Not because it’s bad, just because I thought I’d never have this amazing experience.

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Three years ago I awoke. After completing my morning routine, I checked my inbox; an Etsy order awaited me! Briefly looking over the order, I saw that it was for my Edwardian Walking Dress.

I created my first dress of this design a year or so ago and it was based off of an original dress in the Musee McCord Museum. That original dress is pictured below.

Walking Suit

As I looked at the order details… that’s when I saw it. The address for the order was to the Costume Department of Universal Studios! 😱 I might have ended up on the floor…well not actually, just metaphorically.

That’s when it all started!

I was going to create a dress for the film industry (and I hope it’s not my last)!

This dress was to be made in standard size 8; the gown was to be a replacement for Universal’s Costume Stock. A gown had been destroyed during filming and needed to be replaced, so this dress wasn’t being made for a specific movie, “just” costume stock.

In order to create a standard size, we decided to purchase a suit coat and create the pattern based on that (which worked very well).

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~ The Draft Bodice ~

I decided to draw lines on the draft so I could achieve the perfect striped alignment. Once the draft was perfected, I just aligned the draft pattern to the real fabric!

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Now, here’s where I made a huge mistake…I cut the fabric wrong!😧

You know the knapp? Do know Velveteen? Do you know the incredibly important thing about the knapp of velvet? You probably know what I’m referring to, plus, where this post is going. Yup, I cut my bodice pieces on reverse knapps! 🙄

Now here’s a double problem…I couldn’t get more of this fabric, anywhere! Oh, and let’s not forget, this order is for Universal Studios! 😫

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The visible knapp difference…

Fortunately, the lady I was communicating with for this order was extremely flexible and I was able choose a slightly different fabric for the dress. Back on course!

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I used black silk velvet for the collar and cuffs!

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Finding the perfect placement for the buttons was accomplished by plenty of pinning!

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And here you have it, the finished Edwardian Walking Dress:

Unfortunately, my dress from is quite a bit smaller than the dress, thus the dress doesn’t look the best in the photos!IMG_6912IMG_6947IMG_6938IMG_6917IMG_6961IMG_6955IMG_6923

And I just have to share this response for the lady:

“Universal was absolutely thrilled with your work!” and “Isabella was lovely to work with and the walking suit turned out beautifully. I would absolutely work with her again and recommend her.”

Thanks for looking and learning with me! ~ Bella Mae

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