June 29, 2009

A New Dress - From Bleak House

Months ago I happened upon this image. It shows the cast of characters from the 2005 film version of Bleak House, originally a book by Charles Dickens. Esther Summerson, main character, is wearing an amazing dress which I fell completely in love with.

So I copied it.
Bleak house is a very strange movie. I am halfway through, and wondering what the point is. It is very similar to Little Dorrit I suppose. Dickens definitely has a unique style.
The dresses are fabulous though. I want to copy all of them! I'm taking lots of screencaps, and I'll share them eventually.
Personally I like to think of this as my "Little Women" dress. When wearing it I feel like I stepped straight out of the movie. Coming up soon, a Little Women apron!
Oh and yes, these are the buttons I used.


Anna Kristine said...

Oooh...yes I love the costumes in that movie and the movie as well! How inspiring...I can't believe how fast you get things done. :)

Anna Kristine said...

I meant to say....your gown came out stunningly! Amazing job!! :)

Gloria said...

Wonderful job! I love the bodice details.

SisterlyLove said...

So beautiful!

Marianne Dashwood said...

It's beautiful!

Alayne Studio said...

Wow, that is so amazing! I can't believe you copied that. What pattern did you use? How in the world did you do that? I just watched this movie and enjoyed all the costumes immensely. I would love the hear you secret! Shoot me an email at alaynestudio@gmail.com

Wendy said...

I would love to make a dress like this? Do you have any tips on it or a pattern you used?

Adelheide said...

Wendy, thank you, I hope you do get to make one. This dress was constructed with many of the techniques found in Elizabeth Stewart Clark’s book, Practical Prinkery. The skirt is simply 3 panels of fabric gauged to a waistband. The long sleeves were drafted with diagrams from the book. I did use a pattern for the bodice. It was a basic 1860s bodice pattern with three back panels and a darted front. I eliminated the dropped shoulders typical of the 60s, created a v-neck and had the bottom front curve down like the movie dress.

The trim on the front I created as an individual strip and sewed it over the finished bodice. It’s two pieces of piping, with a 2” wide strip gathered between.

Looking back I realize that I still need to add the lace collar. Completely forgot that, and now the movie picture has reminded me.

Happy sewing!

Wendy said...

Thanks! I like your version better. It's simple but still pretty. Wish me luck!

Wendy said...

Problem #2 - I just looked to see where I could purchase that book and I can't find any sources. Many posts about how great a book it is though.