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Ragtime Evening Dress - Teresa Marchand  Ragtime Evening Dress - Teresa Marchand

Ragtime Evening Dress by Teresa Marchand  Ragtime Evening Dress - Teresa Marchand


Ragtime Evening Dress

Teresa Marchand, California, USA

Many thanks to my mom for taking the pictures!


The Design

I made this dress for a Ragtime era dance I went to earlier this year. While I was still working out the design details of the dress, I came across this contest and thought it would be fun to make the dress "insecty".

I beaded a dragonfly motif on the bodice, inspired by some Art Nouveau bug jewelry I saw. I tried to have the design of the dress reflect the dragonfly beading. The shape and color of the dress are supposed to look like the body of a dragonfly and I tried to make the sleeves reminiscent of wings.

I barely finished the dress in time for the event, but I got it done and had a blast dancing the tango in my new dress!


The Construction

This dress was a lot of firsts for me. It was my first time sewing an evening dress, beading, and sewing with velvet. If I were to do it again there are quite a few things that I would do differently, but all in all I am quite happy with how it came out.

I draped the pattern for the dress on myself while looking the the mirror, which proved to be an interesting challenge. The bodice is boned and fastens in the back with hooks and eyes. The sleeves have hand rolled hems. The dress is worn over a corset made from an Atelier Sylphe pattern.

I also had the challenge of being on a very tight budget. The fabric for the under bodice is made from a thrifted silk shirt and the black bow came from a thrifted silk skirt. Except for the velvet, all the other fabrics used were scraps from previous projects. I did splurge and buy some real silk velvet which, although beautiful, was very finicky. In total I spent $45 on the dress, the most I have ever spent on a single sewing project!

More details on my blog


What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?

I loved it. I am so glad this contest was offered! It inspired me to try something I may not have done otherwise.

Such a beautiful gown!
I love the beading you did on your hand rolled hem!
very accomplished use of tricky materials, sophisticated and elegant design too
So beautiful and elegant, and the beading is just lovely!
Love the flowiness of the top with the velvet of the skirt. The beading of the rolled hem gives a subtle yet interesting finish. A lovely dress.
The outfit reminds me of delicate geisha women in their beautiful kimonos. Very lovely indeed.
The dress is so graceful and the embroidery is "the dot above the I", as we say in Sweden smile I know what you mean with finicky velvet, but it does not show, the dress looks perfect to me.
Kudos to you for mastering such tricky materials in such a graceful and elegant way!
I also really like the colours you have chosen and the embroidery has turned out really beautiful!

Gaaaaah, what a beautiful hand rolled hem! I love your attention to detail, Teresa, very well done!
This is stunning!!
So elegant well done.
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