Feisdress presents: The Emily 9-panel Solo!

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Oh, and..ta-DAH!!! (Please excuse the crud on the crown…had to take pics before I was done trimming.)
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So, to review, this is a 2-piece, 9-panel dress. The regular Feisdress pattern was used and altered for a panel skirt using Susan Gowin’s directions (email her if you want them). Designed by Susan to be a 10 panel, but I could not truly find a way to add the 10th panel over/around the zipper in a way that pleased me, so the 10th panel is hanging on my embroidery rogue’s wall. Turns out that the young dancer has lost more than a bit of weight, so I would have had to remove it anyway to make this skirt the correct size. Here is the skirt and under bodice:
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Here is the finished under bodice. I was so excited that I had learned how to make bias tape that I made more to finish the neck and hem of the bodice jacket…such a dweeb!
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Here is the sleeve in its entirety…
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…and the lining for the bodice jacket and the sleeves (I LOVE the wild stuff):
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We used a regular 3-panel construction for the underskirt (the details can be seen here: Emily’s 9-panel). I have recently had the opportunity to really inspect a couple of panel dresses that did not have anywhere near enough room for a dancer to move freely: one had box pleats between the panels that were small and so terrifically stiffened that they did not have much give, and the other was a supposedly soft underskirt that was actually a set of ruffles attached to a RIGIDLY stiff CONE with vestigial, tiny stiffstiffstiff side pleats that did not move and NO back pleats…no room to dance here at all. I like the 3-panel underskirt because I already know how it moves and there is enough room for the dancer to kick freely. The next dress on deck is another panel with a completely soft underskirt…can’t wait to tackle that!

Look at the crown/headband “from a distance”…
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The clients had sent me a description of the type of headband that they wanted, but I had not received it by the time the dress was to be picked up, so I did my embroidery impression of a headband…does it look like one? A fat one? Molly thought I had succeeded. I am waiting for a pic of the dancer in full regalia to determine my success.

Here are my shawl “pins.”
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These are not actually pins…they “pin” the shawl underneath with a sandwich of velcro as shown in the Webmaster’s revamp, the flower dress, and Aislinn’s teal dress. One of Susan’s genius ideas. All of our clients are so amazed by them!

Here they are at work:
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(Notice the bunching above the embroidery line on the back of the bodice jacket? In a former life, my dressmaking dummy was an Olympic swimmer by the name of Helga…and this is as small as she goes. Does not fit this way on Emily, thank goodness!)

This is the skirt lining:
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Not enough fabric for the bloomers so made them out of heavy dark pink satin that matched the pink in this fabric.

Ended up putting some crystals at the neck…I like the necklace look. Used a tip from IDD posted by Erika…I put 2 fabric bandaids on my left index finger so that I could really press these hot-fix crystals into place. Great idea, Erika!

Yesterday, diva Maggie was looking at the bodice jacket and she exclaimed, “It looks just like a corSETTE!” That’s how she pronounced it.

” Yeah.. that’s the point, dear.”

“Oh…well, it’s cool.” The Divas are all lovin’ this dress! I feel truly successful when the Divas approve!

Even diva Michael is impressed with this dress. He actually came down the stairs into the dungeon to look and discuss it with me last night. Tonight I showed him the finished shawl product in this pic and he laughed…
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…can you see it?

The whole family has remarked that this dress, though intensive in its work process, has not been as crazy as others. However, Michael said, “That is so perfect!” when, in the background, he saw this:
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Not birth, but these creations make me tired and a bit bug-eyed!

Now…on to the next!

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christina
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 22:17:00

    Beautiful job! I love the cape pins (do they have pins on them?)

    Makes me wish I made my own dress a multi-panel….they really are so pretty. I love the idea of the underskirt being more like a traditional 3 panel with the petals on top–its great and doesn’t look too hard.

  2. Ann
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 22:20:00

    Thanks, Christina.

    No, no pins. We call them that because they pin the shawl underneath. If you look at the Webmaster’s re-vamp it is explained. I will make that part of the post more clear. Thank you for the question.

  3. Peggy
    Oct 20, 2007 @ 00:13:00

    Beautiful work. I love the soft flowy shawl. If the top bodice and sleeves were that same soft flowy stuff you must have done some major lining or stiffening or both. Can you tell I don’t know much about dressmaking?

    I love this dress so much, the colors are wonderful- like wearing a sunset.

  4. Ann
    Oct 20, 2007 @ 00:20:00

    Yes, Peggy, both lining and stiffening. I would just love it if I could embroider on the soft stuff, but no such luck. But , I am getting closer to learning the “secrets” that make it all work!

  5. Toapert
    Oct 20, 2007 @ 00:45:00

    Very pretty!
    I was looking at the Halloween decorations,too. But only because I knew you’d have them out.

  6. Adele
    Oct 20, 2007 @ 08:14:00

    Hello Ann,

    I am one of your avid fans who never writes a comment, and as I was reading your entries about that issue and the responses to them, all I kept thinking was “Get back to work on that dress! I wanna see that dress! Enough navel gazing already!!”

    Now I’m happy. I’m fascinated by the art of Irish dance dress making (would never be brave enough to try one myself however), and the quality of your work strikes me as fabulous. This dress is gorgeous. I too love the colors.

    So….what’s our schedule on the panel dress with the soft skirt? I’m already drumming my fingers on the table…waiting…..


    PS – the “fake sneeze” piece was worthy of anything Erma Bombeck ever wrote, it was that good.

  7. Lara's
    Oct 20, 2007 @ 10:09:00

    I absolutely love that cape. It flows so much better than most I see. I love your idea of the cape pins too…I went and read the webmaster link and it’s a great idea. The colours of the dress are gorgeous, I image it will look wonderful on stage.

  8. GailV
    Oct 20, 2007 @ 11:26:00

    If the clients decide they don’t want it, I have an 8 year old who is quite taken with it. The 12 year old would probably fit it more like your dress dummy (she’s a swimmer, as our school dressmaker discovered when she tried to fit a used school dress).

    I love the soft cape and “pins”. It’s a great look.

    Between reading your posts on dance technique and reading your posts on dressmaking, I’m developing into quite the critic at feiseanna. Before I just sat there agog; now I’m starting to notice the details of how the dancers move and how their dresses move.

  9. Anonymous
    Oct 20, 2007 @ 11:50:00

    love the dress, wish i had your talent, anon again

    Oct 20, 2007 @ 22:34:00

    After hearing about this dress on Celtic Fire, it is delightful to see it “in the flesh.” Love the shawl and pins (and witch). The headband/crown is a great fusion of both styles. Pat yourself on the back!

  11. MegaMAID
    Oct 21, 2007 @ 20:49:00

    I saw this dress in action at the ROI Feis today – BEAUTIFUL!!!

    Was hoping to see you here, too…

    Hope to connect again soon! 🙂

  12. hpyswr
    Oct 21, 2007 @ 23:40:00

    After gawking for several days I finally decided which part of this dress is my favorite….and it has to be the embroidery on the sleeves. Love how you blended the bodice design with the petal design…just completes the whole thing. Hats off to you…a picture of the dancer in the dress would just send me over the edge! hpyswr

  13. Dancers' mom
    Oct 22, 2007 @ 20:44:00

    Ann, I LOVE this dress so much. It is creative, elegant, vibrant AND simple all at the same time.
    Seeing a dress that is well-constructed of beautiful fabrics and design trumps an over-the-top carnival dress any day.
    Well done!

  14. meaghan
    Nov 18, 2007 @ 11:44:50

    this dress is amazing. it’s so beautiful and vibrant-the judge won’t be able to look at the other dancer on the stage!

  15. Elayine
    Jul 13, 2009 @ 03:33:36

    I am in love with the fabric in this dress, where do you find such wonderful fabrics? Also do you use a pattern for the headbands? I have had success with making irish dance costumes, but no my dancer wants the high headband, something I haven’t done yet.
    once again this is a gorgeous dress.

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