At last! The much-vaunted Klimt dress. I splashed out on these two gorgeous panels some months ago, and pondered how best to use them to their full extent. The fabric is GLORIOUS and the print is actually metallic, perfect. I think I got them from Frumble fabrics, and each panel was about £12, measuring 24″ by 45″. I think they’re cheaper now dammit.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer is the painting at the heart of the film ‘Woman in Gold’ which is worth a look, if only for La Mirren.
I pondered, re-pondered and cogitated. No waste, no cutting in, hmmm…
In the end I decided to use the bodice from my much loved Vogue 1312
and just attach the panels somehow as a skirt. Easy enough, but I managed LOTS of balls-ups in this make, which should have been quite speedy. I like to make the bodice all stretch, and with a double layer for the body, single for the sleeves. I find that enclosing a loop of wide elastic at what I laughingly call my waist stops it from riding up or drooping back over my shoulders. I’ve made this three times, how could it go wrong?
Well it did.
I remembered [this time] not to sew the side seams until I’d bagged out at the neckline. Yay!
I then put the sleeves in flat…and sewed up the sleeve and side seam in one pass. Cool.
Until I got ready to attach the skirt, and made to slip the elastic loop between the bodice layers. Doh. SO I partially unpicked the overlocked side seams, and resewed them partway down, with the two layers separate. I hate unpicking overlocking.
I simply sewed the two panels together at the sides, leaving a slit open at the bottom. I messed with the printed borders to get a nice neat hem. I wanted to use a somewhat vintage technique of levelling the hem first, then taking up any discrepancy in length at the ‘waist’.
Now allowing for my flat bum and big belly meant I knew this would not be straightforward, so I accordingly faffed about with chalk and pins, trying it on, basting again, re-trying etc until it was almost right. First 2 attempts looked OK but the checkered pattern on Adele Bloch-Bauer panel was floating across my fat bits, and I wanted it above, so I needed to trim some off the bodice and try again.
The missus came home at this point, so I got her to help me with the 3rd fitting [slight improvements each time as I tried to keep the majority of the pattern intact. She disapproved of the pouching above my bum, and we contrived two veryt small pleats to take up some slack. Not much room to mess with this with a total width of 48″, minus seams, and hips of 44″ to fit in.
I trotted off, basted it, machined it, trimmed, then overlocked. I added some gold trim to the neckline, because, Klimt. Did hair and makeup, found shoes, and rousted the missus to take photos. Which the sweetheart did, 60-odd of them, and very nice too. We also took the pics for the Avery tops [next post].
I sat down to sort the photos…and realised that I’d sewn the bloody skirt on back to front, so the ruddy thing was all uneven at the hem, and pouching on belly AND bum. Jeez.
More overlock-unpicking, re-basting, re-sewing, re-overlocking. Much paranoid checking at each stage.
Back again, more pics.
Y’know, I think I love it. More fabric would of course have been better, but I just adore the print so I don’t care. This will be worn!
And here are some of the 60 pics the missus took with the bloody skirt on backwards…
Anyway, channelling this loveliness
Led me to this travesty [yes, I really am this uncoordinated, despite practising in front of the mirror. The missus guffawed.