Added Oct 5, 2011
Ceil Chapman Cocktail Dress Reproduction from Vintage Fashion Library.
I finished this gown just in time for this year’s Marin Symphony Gala. It was a labor of love, and I am thrilled with the finished project.
I adore this pattern. The bodice is fantastic, the skirt scallops are stunning – well, I love everything about it.
I did have a few issues with the reproduction. Some of the grain-lines are mismarked. Also, many of the perforation markings are missing which made setting in the sleeves a bit of a nightmare. And the petal bust over bodice pieces were a bit of a guessing game for placement – as drafted, they are a bit more oversized than the envelope sketch.
I made quite a few construction alterations to this dress. The directions and cutting layout include a lining for the skirt pieces which are treated as an underlining in the directions (I hand basted my organza to the dupioni). I also added underlining to the under-bodice pieces and the facings for the skirt and bodice. The bodice facings were also underlined with some cotton for a bit of added body. I finished my seams with Hug Snug rayon seam binding as well as the raw edges of the neck facing pieces.
I would recommend this pattern, but be prepared for a challenging experience. From the multi-sized paper pattern pieces to the missing markings, this is a BIG project. Granted, I did make more work for myself with the added corselette, but the bodice really does require some boning because the sleeves just rest lightly on the outer shoulder edges – do not expect them to hold anything up.
I am absolutely thrilled with the finished product and also a bit relieved that it is complete! I am guessing that I spent about 60 or 70 hours on the entire outfit, and while it was certainly worth the effort, I am exhausted! My next project is going to be a simple one!
My journey is chronicled over at my blog <ahref=“http://lilacsandlace.blogspot.com/2011/10/ceil-chapman-cocktail-dress-unveiling.html#comments”target="_blank">Lilacs & Lace.
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