Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Merida Madness

Little girl's dresses seems to be a thing that I'm into right now.  I just finished up Pinkie Pie in six year old form, and I have moved onto Merida, from Pixar's "Brave", in girls-size-10 form.  I was delighted to be approached for this commission, having wanted to make a Merida dress, but not having the wardrobe space for *another* costume.  Even more so, I was thrilled when the owner asked for some embroidery on the piece.  This was a great project, and I'm sad to see it leaving the workshop.

Here is the movie poster from the movie (which was excellent, if you have managed to *not* see it, yet), and a pretty good view of what I was asked to make; Merida's everyday dress and cloak.  For those of you who are familiar with medieval costuming, you know that this ensemble would ordinarily consist of an over dress, a chemise, two upper arm gauntlets, and two lower arm gauntlets.  My challenge here was to make the dress all one piece that could be pulled over the little girl's head.

The first picture in the sequence was an unfinished picture I sent to my friends so they could understand what I was doing as I was flailing around looking for inspiration as to what to do for the embroidery bits.  In that picture, the (unfinished) dress and cloak are simply hung on a hanger.  Trying to give the dress some shape, I pinned the dress to my adult sized dress form and took the other two pictures.

((I should take this moment to express how frequently I've weighed the "creep factor" of simply calling the mothers of the little girls in my son's 2nd grade class, asking if their daughter was a size 10, and then asking if she'd like to model a dress for me.  I might still do it, but I feel like I would get labeled "that mom" and would have to leave the district.))

Some detail shots, first of the sleeve and then of the neckline.  I feel I was very clever with the sleeve, carefully placing the "upper gauntlet" and "lower gauntlet" with the ribbon on a full, muslin sleeve and then sewing it all together as one piece.  Then, the muslin behind the keyhole neckline is really something along the lines of a modesty panel I stitched in.  Overall, I'm *really* happy with the effect.

 Below are the pictures of the Celtic knot band on the bottom-front of the hem of the dress.  Be sure to click on the images to enlarge them, as you can see the detail a lot better that way!

I used a simple outlining stem-stitch and hid/anchored my knots for a fare-the-well.
A close up of the front.
The neat thing about the stitch I used is that the back of the work looks like a back-stitch.
In this way, the design is pretty well reversible.

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