On the 12th April we will the attending the Titanic theatre resturant in Williamstown, in period costume. This is the progress of my costume at the moment.

Design ideas:
This was my first design based on the "swim" dress from the movie and my research into the clothes of that period. It is a satin base with the over-tunic in chiffon. All the dark blue lines are beadwork, and the marks on the chiffon will be small diamonds made with bugle beads. After some more research I decided I wanted a train. This was my first idea for a train. I also changed the beadwork around the neck and sleeves. I decided that a chiffon train would get damaged to easily, and I quite liked my original asymetrical line. This is with a satin train. I decided that the beadwork would be too complicated to work around the curved edge of the train. Also I wanted to be able to hook the train over my finger whilst dancing and the skirt design I had was too narrow for this. I would have ended up with a train nearly as long as the skirt itself, and very narrow. This is the final design that I am going with now. I have gone back to the floor length skirt with no train and have decided to widen the belt. I also dropped the back neck to a 'V' shape after looking at some patterns and bring the ties of the belt up the bodice. I've also added some beading to the ends of the ties.
This is the satin for the under dress. The chiffon will be of a lighter colour but I haven't bought that yet as I don't need it yet and I don't have the money at the moment.
Here is where I was trying out different beading methods. I had decided to use seed beads because they gave the smoothest result, but then my friend pointed out that they weigh a lot and the fabric I had chosen was quite light so I have decided to go with the bugle beads. I also now think they give a nicer result.
I am using the Simplicity Titanic pattern as a base for my dress. Using the pattern on the right the overbodice has been extended to meet at the centre front. The belt in the pattern is quite wide because on the finished garment it is folded over double. I am making it thinner to save fabric (budget is an issue here) but I don't think it will make much difference to the appearance. I will only be doing two skirt layers not three, and I wont be including the blue band across the bottom of the bodice.
This is my first calico toille (with chiffon over bodice). It was mainly made for the fit, and I can see now that the neckline on the overbodice is going to be a problem and I have to be very careful that it doesn't stretch out. Also the underarm seams on the overbodice have been sewn as french seams to enclose the raw edges of the chiffon. This makes the seam pull and pucker a littler so I think I might flat-fell the seam instead, hopefully this will help it sit more smoothly.

11th March 2003
Went shopping on the weekend and bought the beads for my dress, started the beading. I don't think it's going to take as long as I originally thought it would so I might get it all finished in time for the dinner. Original plan was to just bead the hem and finish the rest at a later date.

Also have decided, against all desires to make an historical garment, I will put an invisible zip in the back. This will be much easier to sew and to get into, and most of it will be covered up by the back 'tails' of the bow.

26th March 2003
I bought the chiffon fabric today for my dress, and the lining. Got a nice voile for the lining so it will be soft to go with the dress and cotton against the skin is always good. I got over bemsilk linings a few years ago. The whole lot came in under budget by about $5, including the thread, zipper and interfacing/stabilizer fabric.

Have sewn the four straight lines around the hem of the skirt and am now putting in the zig-zags. Once I have completed them I think I will construct the dress and then see how my time is going before I start any more beading. Best to have symmetrical beading then half finished beading. I have two weeks and three days to complete the garment to a wearable stage.

2nd April 2003
I have finished beading the two zig-zagged lines around the hem of my dress. Today my friend is coming over to help fit the toille again (just to make sure) and then this weekend I'll start cutting and sewing!!!


12th April 2003
And here are the first pictures of the dress in its half finished state
Not the best pictures but they're immediate
There is so much more beading yet to be done