Apr 152011

Since I always liked this gown from Moulin Rouge:

Screen Cap from Moulin Rouge

– just not the color, because red makes me look as if I have been dead several decades, I at first didn’t want to make it for myself.

That was until I found a nice looking acetate satin in slate blue with a black woven backside:

(Picture was taken outside in the sun – the black backside of the satin looks a little blueish in this picture; but in reality, it’s just black.)

Now, don’t get me wrong – this acetate satin is, without doubt, a really nice looking material. However, it’s acetate – plastic. Like all acetate fabrics, it feels on the skin as if you would wear a plastic bag. This is why even after obtaining this fabric, I hesitated considerably long to actually make this gown.

Well, to be honest I didn’t only hesitate because of the acetate, but also for two other reasons:

First, I feel overweight.
I am probably not overweight in the overweight sense. I stand 171cm tall without shoes (that’s approx. 67.5 inches or a little more than 5′ 6“), though I usually wear (and feel very comfortable with) heels that make me look as if I was 180cm / 70 inch / 5’9“).
Before my son was born, I had a weight of 50 kilograms – that’s about 100 pounds; and many people would call that underweight for my height. But I felt very comfortable with that.
At the climax of my pregnancy, I had 85 kilograms – that’s 170 pounds – almost double as much than before. Most of that weight, I guess, was in my legs and feet.
Today, five years later, I am constantly jojo-ing between 65 and 75 kilograms (130 and 150 pounds). I feel overweight, even if I may be not.

However – if one is constantly jojoing with 10 kilograms / 20 pounds of weight, then making a tight fitting gown is a game of luck. Especially if the only thing hiding that jojo weight is a narrow placket on the backside, below the lacings.

The gown was made to fit super tight at about 65 kilograms. The lacings on the back allow me to wear it with a weight of up to 70 kilograms. Over that, I feel like a sausage on vacation if I wear it.

The second reason for hesitation was the fact that I have absolutely no idea to which event I could possibly wear something like this (as I have with almost all the gowns I make).
See – I’m living alone and quite happily so. I rarely ever go out. I must admit that I have not been to many costuming events, which is also the fault of the fact that here in Germany we don’t have so many costuming events. Though, of course, I like to wear costumes to historical events and use them for a little walk through town – but say, is *that* gown suitable for walking through a town which much more has a country and Elizabethan style…?
And though sewing is a part of my life that I would not like to miss for anything in the world, I consider owning costumes not to be a necessity for living (especially since other people who said the same obviously do just that, no matter what they said before).
I don’t feel unwell when wearing a costume several times. In fact, I don’t even feel unwell if I don’t wear any costume, or even omit visiting a costuming event (and I did just that several times, even if the hotel was booked – just because I didn’t feel right).
There are more important things in life than costumes; like, for example, having food, a roof over the head and the knowledge that the ones you love are happy and healthy. That’s far more than having a new costume for each and every event that takes place – in fact, one can very happily live without any costumes if required.
Uhm – sorry, I didn’t want to start with philosophical and rather personal musings in this place. Where was I…? Ah yes.

As I had the material at hand anyway, and didn’t want to stuff more fabric into one of my fabrics closets, I just started making the gown.
As I had already made that gown twice for other people – though in silk duchesse and red – I already knew the making process very well and knew that I could finish it in relatively little time.

I started by coloring two pictures of the original gown to a color which closely resemble the color of my acetate satin, just to see how it would look:

and liked them so much that I right away started making it (which was at about 2 o’clock in the morning).

I don’t really need it, but I wanted to *see* it in blue once and wear it for some pictures (and so far, it has been worn for not other occasion but just that).
I started by making the skirt.

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