California coast dress



Kenzi cloward


(click images to to enlarge)

Outline the story …

My inspiration for my entry was the California coast. Specifically where the ocean meets the land. I wanted to create a dress that represented the ocean with a cape that represented the land. I designed my entry with techniques I’ve always wanted to do in mind. This is my first project that I knew I would spend more than a few days on so I wanted to cram as much learning new things into the experience as possible. I knew I wanted to make an 1860s gored corset so I started designing around that. I also knew right off the bat that I wanted to include the California poppy. With those two things in mind I drew multiple sketches to lead the way.

Outline the construction…

The base of my ensemble is an 1860s gored corset. I used redthreadeds pattern. This was my first time ever using a pattern so I used lots of YouTube resources on how to properly put together a mockup and then adjusted the pattern to better fit my body and vision. The next item I made was the skirt. I knew I wanted a gradient of some kind to represent seafoam but did not want to have to dye all that fabric so I cut out small triangles into the bottom of the skirt fabric then cut out triangles of white organza double the width of the smaller triangles in hopes it would float nicely. The next step was the bodice. I used a simple self drafted base then added pleated arches over the surface. I cut out squares that were double the height of the arches i wanted then cut those squares in half into triangles so i could fold down the edge of the cut middle and use the stretch of the bias to sew it into the shape of the arch then pulled the fabric over the last stitch line sewing it up then sewing it down again and repeated the pattern. After the arches were finished I decorated the whole thing with beading. I then made the cape. I added lace that I dyed myself to the bottom and the collar. Lastly I made some poppies and attached them to the hem.




  1. Constance MacKenzie Constance MacKenzie on May 10, 2023 at 7:55 am

    Lovely Flossing on your Corset, a beautiful detail to include. And the hem detail really adds the movement and skirt and well done for inserting a different fabric into you the main body of your garment.

  2. Avatar Steffi Wee on May 10, 2023 at 10:03 am

    This whole ensemble is STUNNING! The bodice, the skirt, the corset – you paid so much attention to detail.

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