FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Outline the story …
When the theme was announced, I immediately thought of my favourite book, "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien, which I read about once every other year. My dress is for the character of Arwen Undómiel, who marries the newly crowned king when the main adventure of the book is over.
Here I am imagining her as queen, living in Minas Tirith. We know from the book that she prefers a simple dress and I have therefore kept the decoration fairly unobtrusive. I would like to think that in her home of stone, she would surround herself with images of nature wherever possible, including on her garments.
Rather than going for the usual vaguely medieval long sleeved style often found in fantasy images, I took inspiration from the artistic reform dresses and art nouveau decorative arts from the turn of the 20th century, to create a light and unrestricted dress that she might be comfortable in at leisure on a warm spring day.
Outline the construction…
For the pattern I combined a princess style with dolman sleeves to achieve the flowing unrestricted style of the artistic dress with a more feminine, less angular, line. The material is a cream coloured chiffon with a chartreuse cupro lining and piping.
Some months ago I purchased a tambour hook on a whim and was therefore happy to have an opportunity to try this new technique on a project, using rayon embroidery thread with glass beads and sequins. Unfortunately, the fabric in my stash that I had earmarked for this project turned out to be unsuitable for any kind of embroidery and I had to find something else at the last minute, losing about two weeks that I had counted on thanks to the current lockdown and backlogs at the shops after Christmas. I improvised an embroidery frame that could take the whole width of the fabric and embroidered each panel separately, which then required careful matching when sewing everything together.
It also took me a while to figure out a suitable finish for the seam allowances of the centre side seams in this sheer fabric - not something I would normally work with. The front and back panels were assembled separately and edged with piping, then hand sewn together at the shoulders and along the top of the sleeves in intervals, giving a slashed effect. The hem is also edged with piping.