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Forum > Bridal and Formalwear Sewing > Quinceanera Gown - Draped skirt and Transparent Bodice ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Quinceanera Gown - Draped skirt and Transparent Bodice
couturemom
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couturemom
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Date: 1/10/12 12:58 PM

I have been hired to make a gown for quinceanera party (Mexican version of a sweet 15 - they go all out - it's like a wedding). I have a couple questions on structure and technique.

The bodice is a see-thru corset (a style I attribute Pnina Tornai, made popular on 'Say Yes to the Dress'.) Similar to this:
Corset Bodice

The skirt will be this:
Draped Skirt

1) Should I be concerned about the bodice supporting the weight of the skirt, since there's very little fabric? Should I use heavy-grade spiral steel boning? The skirt will most likely be poly duchess satin. I plan to purchase a hoop skirt to put under it (see separate post).
Note: the girl is tiny - 23" waist

2) Any ideas on how to draft the skirt pattern? I cannot find an appropriate pattern to use as a starting point. I thought I would just start with a large, full 6-section skirt and then experiment on picking up the gathers with the skirt hanging on a dress form to see how much extra fabric I need to incorporate.

3) Any suggestions on where to purchase nice rhinestone appliques for the skirt?

I'm very excited about making this dress - it's like a wedding gown, but I don't have to use white fabric! Why the parents are willing to spend $$$ for a custom dress when you can buy something for $200 is beyond me, not to mention why they're letting a 15-yr-old wear a lingerie-type bodice.
If you have time browse for entertainment sake - check out these flabergasting dresses that put Scarlett O'Hara to shame:

Quinceanera dresses
How can they sell these things for $200? The fabric must be horrible.

I will post photos as the project progresses.
Thanks.

MarthaA24
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In reply to couturemom


Date: 1/11/12 1:03 AM

First looking at the bodice on Pnina Tornai dress, IMHO the parents need their head examined to let a 15 wear that.

The boning is very obvious on the Pnina Tornai dress, so I would think you could use as heavy a boning as needed for support.

Many wedding type dresses have waist stays, which obviously you can't do in this case, but if the skirt needs the support I would think you could create a "waist" stay just under the bust.

Also with the shear bodice, the hooped skirt should be interesting as I would think the normal support would be at the waist not at hip area. Not sure what kinds of problems that will or won't create as I've never done anything like that.

------
Martha

petro
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Date: 1/11/12 1:37 AM

Is the bodice to stop at the waistline or extend to a high hip line like the one in the link? At the waist, anchoring the skirt would be easier. If not, the bodice is going to have to take the weight and be tight enough and boned enough to stand a chance of staying up. I'm not a fan of the bodice style especially hip length for either bridal or teenwear, (a bit revealing for my taste), but I can see that it will be a fun project to make up, the colours of the dresses you link to are wonderful. I think you are on the right lines with the skirt pattern from the look of the one in the second link. Could anyone find a mailing address on that website btw? I wonder about bona fides when it comes to extraordinarily cheap bridal and special occasion dresses. Perhaps the parents feel the same way, and prefer to see what they're going to get for their cash.

stirwatersblue
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In reply to MarthaA24


Date: 1/11/12 1:49 AM

Quote: MarthaA24
Also with the shear bodice, the hooped skirt should be interesting as I would think the normal support would be at the waist not at hip area.

Ok, first, I am FAR from prudish when it comes to clothes, but I would draw the line at that "transparent" bodice. YIKES.

However, I really wanted to address this comment. I know nothing about wedding gown construction, but speaking in terms of historical gowns and their underpinnings, the support for the heavy skirts does come from the hips--specifically from the boned tabs of the corset, which you can see here. This allows the skirts to be supported without putting strain on the waist (human or garment). It also keeps the corset layer from digging into the wearer's hips, which is an important bonus. Even unboned tabs can make a big difference in support/protecting the wearer.

Since the structural underpinnings of this gown will be on display already, I'm sure you'll be able to figure out a way to add some kind of structure/boning/etc to the hips. As another poster pointed out, spiral steel will curve over the hips (think those extreme hourglass Victorian corsets), and might be a good solution here.

------
~Gem in the prairie

Elona
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In reply to stirwatersblue


Date: 1/11/12 3:28 AM

Quote:
Ok, first, I am FAR from prudish when it comes to clothes, but I would draw the line at that "transparent" bodice. YIKES.


Boy, am I ever with you on that one! Wow. However, the Quinceañera is the 'coming out' event celebrating the girl's transition to womanhood--i.e. marriageability--and maybe her parents really want to make the point with that dress.

But the seamstress' job is not to question why, and I am sure that what couturemom makes for the girl will be beautiful.
stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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In reply to Elona


Date: 1/11/12 7:15 AM

Quote: Elona
Boy, am I ever with you on that one! Wow. However, the Quinceañera is the 'coming out' event celebrating the girl's transition to womanhood--i.e. marriageability--and maybe her parents really want to make the point with that dress.



But the seamstress' job is not to question why, and I am sure that what couturemom makes for the girl will be beautiful.

OMG, I nearly just sprayed cereal on my monitor! Believe it or not, I actually had that *precise* thought when I looked at the Pnina Tornai gown and pictured on a 15 year old... but I think I've been watching too much about the Borgias!

------
~Gem in the prairie

EleanorSews
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Date: 1/11/12 8:39 AM

I guess I'm not the only one who had that kind of reaction to the bodice that was requested. Yikes!!!

My DD teaches in a school whose population is primarily Latina and her kids often have older siblings so she knows about these events. One co-worker's daughter had quite the blow-out but her dress was more conservative because there was a Mass and her mother decreed she had to be presentable in church. I am guessing there will not be a Mass.... At least not wearing that dress. LOL

------
"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anais Nin

"Attitude is the difference between an adventure and an ordeal." unknown

couturemom
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Date: 1/11/12 9:16 AM

Thank you all for the feedback.

stirwatersblue:
In terms of the boning tabs - is the point that they stick out and give the skirt something to rest on? Since yours are worn on the outside, I'm trying to picture how to attach a skirt. Also, do you have a pattern to recommend?

In terms of the risquee factor, I'm hoping that the boning will actually provide 50% skin coverage, simply due to the girl's small circumference. I'm also thinking about putting a layer of silk organza under the lace, which may add a bit of opacity.

The reason she wanted this style of bodic is because she saw a dress on a show (the spanish version of MTV's Sweet Sixteen) and brought a picture and video on her phone to her consultation (!).

Oh, and I forgot to mention the other 'dancing' dress she wanted! Also had a video on her phone - something like dancing with the stars. It was literally half a dress (flesh-colored spandex on the other half), super short, and had fringes - looked like a skimpy skating outfit. I told her I couldn't make that one, partly because of a lacking skill set, partly because it was just inappropriate. I told her it would be better and cheaper to order something online.

Luckylibbet
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Luckylibbet
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Date: 1/11/12 3:35 PM

Did anyone notice the price of that sheer bodice dress?

$11,500.

Yikes. I guess tacky can be really expensive.

------
Suo ergo maledicto

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. - Steve Jobs

MarthaA24
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In reply to stirwatersblue


Date: 1/11/12 3:47 PM

stirwatersblue,
How very interesting that historically the skirts were supported from the hips, I didn't know that.
At PR I can learn something new everyday. I've never done any historical clothes. Your information should be a help in figuring out how best to do the dress.

------
Martha

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