Pocahontas dress update

I've had some success with my Pocahontas costume!

Here's my main reference screencaps (for proportions and construction):

And not at all related to the costume, but I laughed when I noticed how long Pocahontas's neck is in some scenes:

I used Burda 7460 and modified it to have a single strap, fringe flap and triangle hem. I just freehanded these modifications. The zipper ended up crooked, somehow - I think I pinned one side too tight, or something - and the bits where I freestyled aren't that good looking but... hey, it's the first big project I've done in years. The colors of suede available were limited and the yellow-y ones were kind of gross, so I went with the darker one. It's a more realistic color than in the movie, anyway. I'll have to make the belt with a dark brown, since my dress is about the color of her belt.

The first thing I did was assemble a mockup, pin and alter it to fit my body better. I happened to have three meters of stretch corduroy laying around that was almost the same weight and stretch as my suede. After pinning for fit, I added the shoulder strap and triangle hem to the mockup:

Then I tore apart the mockup and used the mockup pieces as a pattern to cut my stretch suede. I basted everything together, pinned a second time to improve fit (The ever-helpful T was very patient with me, ha) and finished the seams, installing an invisible zipper last. I had to do a bit of engineering to get the facing and the fringe flap working on the bust seam, but I guess it turned out alright (Mirror shot, so it's reversed):

At the moment I've got almost all the fringe on top done (no picture). Looks like it took thirteen yards of cording to do the top. I originally ordered seventeen yards of off-white suede cord from a (really great) Etsy seller, but then I went back and ordered ten more yards because it is looking like I'll need it. Hopefully that'll be enough to finish the bottom hem!

If I were to do it again I'd make it a touch looser, add a proper lining instead of just the facing, and put the zipper in a side seam instead of the back so the fringe flap in the back doesn't have to be cut.


In the end I had to go back and order more cording. The total amount of cording was about 35 meters for the top and bottom fringe, all the way around the dress. The piece length varied between ten and twenty centimeters (making fringe about 5 to 10 cms long).

In order to do each fringe piece, I poked a craft knife through the fabric to make a slit, then pushed a folded piece of cord through the hole, tying it off around the fabric. I put a piece of fringe approximately every centimeter. The end result looks like this:
I used iron-on no-sew hemming tape for the bottom fringe because I didn't want to do a blind hem all the way around. It held up pretty well and made the fabric more stable for the fringe... although it wasn't stretchy so it wasn't happy when the suede tried to stretch. I also used the iron hemming tape to affix the facing to the dress so it wouldn't pop up, and to finish the arm hole edge. That stuff is really, really handy!

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Pocahontas dress update

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