Friday, 30 November 2012

Rose's Titanic Swim Dress for Halloween 2012

Sneeky Peek
This year for Halloween I went out with my lovely second job workmates and when they told me that their theme was going to be film I knew exactly what I was going to make.  An e-mail had recently arrived in my inbox to say Simplicity were re-releasing their Titanic sewing pattern to coincide with the centenary of the disaster.  I really wanted it but there didn't seem to be anywhere in the UK selling it that I could find so instead I searched Etsy and managed to get a copy of the original.
Simplicity 8399
Next I had a look at some of the stills from the film to work out what colours I wanted my dress.  The stills and the publicity shots actually have this dress in conflicting colours, one looks very lilac/purple and one is more blue.  The fabric I ended up with is a cross between the two.  In daylight it is more lilac and in artificial light and in my photos it is a bluer shade.  I am happy with this though as the dress in the film does appear far more blue.
Lilac version
I really wanted to keep my costs down so I bought enough silk chiffon to make the overlay of the dress and the bust band, then used poly-chiffon in white for the skirt overlay and plain old white poly cotton for the base of the dress.  It was actually quite straight forward to sew up, it just has A LOT of hems.  I did run out of time at the end and the bottom hem of the over skirt and dress are not fully hemmed yet, just overlocked but I will do this to finish the dress off.
Full view, you can see the layers here
I did have problems with the overdress staying the right length all the way around as it was pretty easy to pull out of shape when cutting so I just eyeballed it in the end.  I really like how the chiffon sleeves look over the top of the bodice.
I used white ric-rac between the bodice and lining and then white lace around the neckline to add detail to the top.  The pattern suggested using brocade fabric but the original had lace so I went with the lace option instead.  The blue bust piece was actually a bit tight on me, I should have measured it beforehand and read the reviews which said the bodice portion came up small on larger busted ladies.  If I made it again I would add a few inches onto the top to make sure the bustline actually fell under the bust rather than right on it.
I used some peach poly chiffon for the sash which was 3 sections sewn together and I like how the colour adds a bit too it.  I wanted a coral colour originally but couldn't find anything in my price range.  I tack stitched it to the front but most of those stitches have popped out now due to over vigorous dancing so that will need repairing too.  You can see how the dress has a small train here too (plus my hem that needs doing again!)
I totally cheated on the back and realised I could get the dress on over my head when I was about to sew the zip in so I neglected the zipper and just did a big seam as it is only a costume anyway and I was really worried about catching all the different chiffon layers in it.

What I don't have is any pictures of me wearing it, which just did not get taken on the night.  I will put it on and get some pictures soon but at the moment I have ten jumpers and a blanket on and I am not really feeling putting on a light chiffony dress!  The night of Halloween was a terrible one, it absolutely poured down and I got drenched wearing this costume which I guess was appropriate for a Titanic costume really!


  1. I love this. It is fantastic. I found your blog via all sorts of others. I recently made a Regency Jacket from Pride and Prejudice. This is great.

  2. Oh wow, this is beautiful! I think you should wear it more often than halloween though, it's too lovely not to!

  3. Aww you did a great job on that dress, your so creative! Bet you looked the best!
    Daisy Dayz

  4. This is soooo pretty! I want it! Job well done :)

  5. This is stunning!