Feb 282012

Diesen Beitrag gibt es auch auf Deutsch.

I’ve reproduced quite a few gowns from James Cameron’s  movie Titanic (1997) over the years; some of them in a few different versions; depending on the budget and / or wishes of my customers.

In case you happened upon this page while searching for a sewing pattern to make one of these dresses yourself instead of having a seamstress do it – while I don’t sell patterns (as I make my own), you could try the Historical Pattern Company.
While I haven’t used any of their patterns, I find the idea of buying E-patterns and printing them out at home (instead of buying printed patterns and having to wait until they arrive!) very interesting. As far as I can see, most of their patterns only need few work (if any) to be adjusted for Titanic dresses that come pretty close to the original ones!

Here are some pictures of a few of the reproductions I’ve made (click the pictures to enlarge them!):

Rose’s Flying Dress

In case you’d like to reproduce the Flying dress, there’s a fabric that imitates the lapel embroideries available here.
Also, there’s another fabric with a full coverage lapel embroidery available here, which could be used to make the embroidered skirt flap.

Rose’s Deck Dress

Rose’s Breakfast gown

Rose’s Boarding costume

 Rose’s Jump dress

Version 1:
Completely beaded, like in the movie

Since the other pictures above don’t really show the details, here is a pic that does:
A scan of the full beading. 
A picture of my customer, the author Margaret George, wearing the dress I made.

Version 2:

Pre-beaded lace and a few Swarovski rhinestones instead of full beading

Version 3:
Chinese Brocade and hotfixed Swarovski Rhinestones (no beading except on skirt hem)

Rose’s pink Sinking Coat

Rose’s Sash (or Sinking)-Dress

Rose’s Tea Dress

Rose’s Dinner Dress

  16 Responses to “Titanic dresses”

Comments (16)
  1. LOL, these people clearly have NO idea how much work goes into clothing of quality. I learned to make clothing as a child from my mother, I never enjoyed it…too many rules in proper construction. I prefer quilting, drawing and making jewelry (my creation-my rules). Your work is fabulous, you should be a costume designer for the movie industry!

  2. All these dresses look like they go on a plus-size model.

    • All these dresses look like they fit actual people, you say? Right. They all are tailor-made for the customers who ordered them.
      By the way, Kate Winslet, as appearing in Titanic, would be considered a plus-size model as well.

  3. I am interested in purchasing the dinner dress. How much would it cost, if it is for sale?
    Thank you!

  4. Hello,
    I have been trying to find a pattern to make the tea dress for a very long time. I was just wondering how you made yours?

    • I am creating my own patterns, so there’s no commercial source for a pattern which I would be able to recommend.

  5. How much would it cost if I asked it to be made as an extra large? I’m not wanting to spend over 200 if possible..

    • Well the coat. Sorry!

      • Well, let’s calculate that.
        Good wool – and I am indeed talking about wool, the fiber – is at least $25 per yard. For the coat in an XL size, you’ll need approximately 6 yards. That’s $150, just for the outer coat material.
        For the lining, you’ll need a smooth yet firm silk. No acetate or polyester because it’s a wool coat; and if you wear a wool coat, you don’t want to spoil that experience by lining it with plastic. Silk taffeta, at a really good price, can be obtained starting from $20. You need the same amount as for the wool; that’s $120 for the lining fabric.
        Additionally, you’ll need interfacing. That’s considerably cheap; approximately $20 for the coat.
        And buttons. The original coat sports soutache-covered buttons. Those are quite pricey; $5 for one would be cheap; but you’ll need seven (six for the coat, one as a spare button). That’s another $35 for the buttons.
        Add some notions, i. e. thread, needles, and so on and you can safely add another $20 to the list.

        Still following me? So far we’re at $345; given that we’re looking for the cheapest options for the materials. No work done yet!

        Then there’s the cording embroidery. Add 50 yards of soutache cording to the list. At $.20 per yard, that’s another $10. Now we’re at $355; still no work done.

        Now… add at least 50-70 hours of actual work on the coat and the soutache embroideries, which have to be done by hand.
        I don’t know what you earn per hour; but where I live, for a skilled work like this, $15 per hour would actually be a rather low rate.
        So that’s another $750 – $1050 to add.

        Now we’re at $1105 – $1405 for the finished coat; no shipping costs added yet.
        I guess you get the point why this coat, as seen in the movie, plainly isn’t possible for $200 except if you would have it made in an extremely low wage country, with cheap (read: “plastic”) materials and without the hand embroideries; sorry.

  6. you need to put the right price and email under neath the item your selling

    • If I would be selling them as they are, that would probably be true.
      However, I CANNOT sell the dresses that are shown in the picture – I made each of them to the measurements of the customers who ordered them.
      They are now with their respective owners.
      And, as is true for body sizes as well as tailor-made clothing, there is no “one size fits all”, hence no “one price fits all”.
      This is why there are no prices on my website.

      Besides, as far as the Titanic dresses go, I would definitely NOT make the dinner- or jump dresses in the full beaded versions again. As in, ever.
      Each time I made them, it took six (dinner) respectively four (jump) months of my life to actually make them.
      And yes, that’s hundreds of hours of work; which nowadays no one wants to pay for any more.
      With growing older, my time is now too precious to work for a price that doesn’t reflect the workload.
      Just to type it down; Dinner dress: approximately 500 hours of work. Multiply those hours with JUST $15 per hour (which would STILL be very low!), add materials and shipping. There you go; an almost five figure price tag for the Dinner dress – which people are only willing to pay if there’s a famous designer’s name attached to the dress….

  7. I was wondering if you sell any of these or make them for special orders. (: I have been wanting to get Rose’s pink pea coat and went to my tailor down the street and wanted to charge me way over board.. Will you please let me know or how to make one?

    • It always depends on what you consider “way over board” pricing for a tailored wool coat with hand embroideries?
      This particular coat takes approximately six yards of good wool (as in, $35+ per yard wool), same amount of silk lining ($10 / yard), and approximately 60 hours of work.
      That means if anyone promises to make this coat for you for under (($35 x 6 = $210) + ($10 x 6 = $60) + (at least $15 x 60 = $900)=) $1.170 (plus a bit for threads etc.), you will see that something is lacking on that reproduction – either on the materials, the skills of the tailor and / or the work ethics of that tailor’s company.
      Don’t forget that we’re talking about a custom made-to-measure tailored, embroidered garment made from fine fabrics, not about an off-the-rack polyester coat and / or any other mass produced Halloween item from WalMart….

  8. Hello,
    I was wondering by any chance are you selling any of your designs?

    • Please clarify what you mean by “designs”. The actual dress designs (as in, sketches of the dresses) aren’t mine to sell; they were made for the movie Titanic and I never owned them. In case you’re talking about patterns – well I don’t sell patterns 😉

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