Bridge Dresses

I had quite a clear image in my mind what this dress was going to look like, so it was easy to get the materials that I wanted. I looked quite extensively for crinkled, beaded silk chiffon and came across some very interesting fabrics, but the right one wasn't among them. So in the end I decided for crinkled white silk chiffon without any beading, and purchased the beads myself. The underlayer I imagined was made from china silk, and luckily the week when I went fabric shopping, my favorite shop had a discount on silk. I found the perfect 10mm Habotai and bought a bit more than I usually planned 'cause it wasn't as wide as I hoped. That way, I ended up with 8 metres of beautiful silk. Of course not all went into the gown, I still have about 2 metres left.


It was white, so it had to get the cream tone that I wanted for the underdress.
After some experiments with tea and various silk dyes, I had good results with Dylon cold water tea dye.
The fabric came out of the dye bath exactly that cream color that I wanted, and the dye was very easy to work with. I dyed by hand in a small container, but you can also use it in a washing machine.

So...using my old side-seamed pattern that I took from my Blood Red Dress, I cut the underlayer (had to cheat a bit because the width of the silk required a little seam on the left side from the bottom up to about mid-calf...but better than a center front seam. The back piece has a center seam) and the four chiffon layers. The top layer is only loosely attached to the two other layers by a few stitches.

I created a tie by cutting four long pieces of my silk chiffon, sewing two of them with right sides together on three edges and then turn them "inside" out. The open, small end was pinned into the seam of the top layer and sewn down with the fabric. That way, the tie disappears into the waist seam and when it's pulled back and knotted, it pulls the fabric back as well.

At the moment, I'm struggling with the cowl neck...this looks easier than it is. I need to find a way to attach it without being bulky...
Also, the sleeves are still missing little drapey cowls, and the train will be bag-lined with my leftover silk. That's the last I will do on this dress, 'cause this will be easy. The, the beading can start ;-)
Here are some preliminary pictures nevertheless....


The tea dyed fabric (back piece with center seam)

The tea dyed fabric, front and back sewn together


The silk lining attached


A very see-through muslin



The three layers....finally!

Side view (train still unlined)

And finally a first quick picture of me in the dress, from a fitting. But please forgive me, I looked so awful in this pic, I *had* to photoshop out my face! People say I look a lot like Arwen these days 04.gif


Finally, I've found a way to attach the cowl that doesn't look goofy...
Photos will follow, and a detailed description how I did it. I really begin to like this dress 01.gif

The dress is almost finished. The cowl is attached and I've even started beading. I will change my sleeves though for a longer version and solve the 'sagging sleeve' problem at the shoulder with this. I first thought the shoulders had little cowls as well, but it seems it's just a bigger piece of fabric sewn to the dress at the outer corner,so that it sags in the middle...a bit like the neckline of the Dream Dress, if anybody knows what I'm talking about :-)

Nothing new on my dress,just an observation....
I noticed Uma Thurman's dress at the Golden Globes looked a lot like the Bridge least the neckline. Still, it reminded me of the Bridge Dress at once. And she looks pretty in white.


Here are finally some pics of my finished Bridge dress, not many, but I'll take some more soon.

0031-51.jpgThis was taken at RingCon. I'm to the outer left. The other elves are from our group at the RingCon board. :-)
I'm wearing the Arwen wig here, and -though you can't see it - the Evenstar and Bridge headdress. I'll add some notes on the headdress soon, and some more about the dress, also pictures on the dressform.



Taken from