Dress and Jacket for Karen

Cocoa and pink silk ruched dress and peplum jacket by Felicity Westmacott

Karen wanted to look glamorous and sophisticated for her daughter’s wedding day and to show off her new figure, having worked hard to lose weight.

Her dress and jacket were both made of cafe coloured silk dupion and lined in pale pink satin which was designed to show in places. The dress had a shaped v-neckline with looped ruching detail over the bust and ruching all down the slim fitting dress. The skirt flared from mid thigh into a fishtail shape and the pink satin lining was cut longer to peek out of the hem. Chiffon sleeves, cut full to the elbow and closing with tiny cover button details finished the dress.

The jacket was a simple cut away bolero from the front but graduated in length around to the back where a peplum  detail gave Karen’s outfit more glamour, also revealing more of the lining to echo the skirt.  The long sleeves and peplum back were both finished with cover buttons.

Cocoa and pink silk ruched dress and peplum jacket by Felicity Westmacott

Cocoa and pink silk ruched dress and peplum jacket by Felicity Westmacott

Cocoa and pink silk ruched dress and peplum jacket by Felicity Westmacott: design sketch

Karen had so many ideas about elements she might want included in her dress that we went through several design stages. The final design, as made, was never actually drawn. It used details from both of the ideas above and combined them to create her perfect dress.

Cocoa and pink silk ruched dress and peplum jacket by Felicity Westmacott: design sketch

In a similar way to the dress, her jacket was gradually simplified and perfected in the design process to perfectly compliment

Making Karen’s dress

Cocoa and pink silk ruched dress and peplum jacket by Felicity Westmacott: toile fittingCocoa and pink silk ruched dress and peplum jacket by Felicity Westmacott: fitting pictureCocoa and pink silk ruched dress and peplum jacket by Felicity Westmacott: fitting pictureCocoa and pink silk ruched dress and peplum jacket by Felicity Westmacott: finished, on the stand

Just as the designs were modified before we began the dress was still changing right up to the last fitting and Karen changed her mind about the finish at the back of the dress. Originally the dress was to have a silk cowl hanging around a neckline, with an optional chiffon modesty panel which could be poppa-ed in or out depending on the occasion. But after one fitting Karen decided that simplicity was the key and so the cowl was also made removable, to be poppa-ed back in at the shoulder if she ever wanted to wear it.

Cocoa and pink silk ruched dress and peplum jacket by Felicity Westmacott: final fitting

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