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I am interested in learning to sew a dress like Olivia Wilde’s from the 2009 Emmy Awards.

This is a website where you can view the dress: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/09/20/olivia-wildes-emmy-dress_n_292812.html

I don’t really want a replica of her dress, but I am intrigued by the backless thing that is going on that uses tulle/voile/chiffon?? (if you know what type of fabric that is…) and would like to do something similar. I am an intermediate sewer, I can make most things from patterns and do minor alterations, but have never made a pattern from scratch or done extensive pattern alterations. I have never worked with a sheer like that backless dress and wondering if there is a specific technique to keeping the heavier fabric from pulling.

If you have recommendations on what I should look for, books that have that info, how to do it, or if you have seen a pattern that has something similar please let me know.



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  • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

    Oct 4, 2010, 10.51 PMby katexxxxxx

    The fabric is probably a flesh coloured power mesh or body mesh, commonly use on competition dance and ice dance dresses to get the nude/bits stuck on the flesh look. Coloured versions are also used for lining coloured sections. You will need to use dance/swimwear techniques, fabrics and findings, and patterns, and be familiar with the used of negative ease in your pattern drafting to get that look.

    The lace will be stretch lace, and the skirt possibly a stretch silk chiffon.

  • Img_1958_large

    Sep 28, 2011, 06.23 PMby Andres Pinedo

    I made a dress similar to this check it out its called couture manifest. I used a beige thin tulle fabric and I molded it to the dress form. It looks really cool

  • Missing

    Sep 30, 2011, 01.49 PMby mickeygirl

    It might be difficult to sew the zipper in.

    1 Reply
    • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

      Oct 3, 2011, 11.29 AMby katexxxxxx

      Tricky, but possible. You need to fix the fabric to the zip tape at the correct length, same as for bias cut stuff. Also, I’d hide the zip in the side seam rather than making that ugly lump down the back…

  • Threadbanger_av_large

    Oct 5, 2011, 08.46 AMby blueshoegal

    You could also use some of the Selvidge of the fabric (thicker) to make a supportive panal down the sides of the zipper – I agree though – why put the zipper in the back, when it would look better hidden at the side

  • 20596winter_20fairy_large

    Oct 5, 2011, 08.50 AMby sewingfan1

    I reckon the sheer fabric is probably stretchy so you wouldn’t need a zipper anyway and that’s just there as a feature as visible zippers were/are big recently

    • This is a question
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