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XV Dress

A few months ago, I had the privilege of designing a quinceañera dress, with a twist. 
The dress itself was simple, it consisted of a sweetheart neckline with 1" inch straps and a circle skirt. The twist to the dress was, that it had a character hoodie jacket. If you are familiar with the Regular show, there is a character by the name of Mordecai. He is this blue bird with a Mohawk hair do.
This is Mordecai.

This costume was part of the inspiration, we mainly focused on the jacket. The jacket was going to be longer instead of a bolero. The fabrics would be more luxurious satins. It was very important to get the character to look a like as well as making him 3-D. I've done quite a few character hoodies in the past for Halloween costumes so I knew this would not be hard.

I began by marking my style lines onto my dress form. I generally like the draping method better than flat pattern. Once I've draped and marked my muslin I transferred the pattern pieces onto paper.

Here is a little preview of my fine tuning flat patterns. At this stage I make sure lines are straight and curves are curved.  

Once my patterns are cut I always like to do a test garment. At this stage we can look for fit issues or any design flaws. It's a rough draft to the real deal.

It is nice to see it evolve and exciting to try to picture it, how it will look once the real fashion fabric are cut out.

For the jacket we decided to go with a white satin, baby blue satin, and some black satin for the accent details. Even though the quinceañera dress was simple I wanted the fabrics to still be fun and party like. Therefore, we decided on small white sequin fabric for the top. For the skirt we went with baby blue tulle and satin for the underling. It's really hard to find tiny sequin fabric where I live, lucky for me we took a little trip to LA. I did a little shopping at the fabric district, I stopped by the infamous Michael Levine Fabrics store. It felt like heaven so many wonderful selections.

Here is the sequin fabric for the top.

We did a fitting, and there were some adjustments to be made. For the top I had to move the straps further out. 

The back had to be taken in because it was too big.

One of the things I found hard about this design was getting a visual on the tulle skirt since muslin doesn't have the same volume as tulle. The client said she didn't want it to be too overwhelming, volumizing, or an exaggerated tulle skirt. For this reason, the tulle was cut as a circle skirt as well. I ended up getting 10 yards of tulle and I was able to get three full circles out of it. Which was perfect since she didn't want it to be too dramatic. As we all know more tulle = more drama.
Once, the pattern pieces were adjusted I proceeded with cutting onto the real fabric. Let's just say by the time I was done cutting I was having a sequins confetti party in my studio.

I really loved the final product. It screamed party dress but not to loud.

 Here is the front view of the dress.
Side view

 The back view

The jacket, had a lot of pattern pieces due to different color blocking that made up the character's head and arms.

Both the hair and the beak were stuffed with cotton filling. I had to stuff them very tightly specially for the Mohawk because it had to sit sturdy at the top of the head. The eyes were hand stitched since the material was too delicate. I decided to incorporate tiny black beads for each of his eyes, thought it added a special touch. I really tried to captured his big eyes and looking at the finish hoodie I must say I did him justice.  
When she saw the final product she was super happy with the dress especially with the jacket. The garment was pretty special for her not only because this was her quinceañera dress but because she was a Mordecai fan. I felt great knowing she loved it so much. So much that her mother warned her not try to live in it lol.

Here is a picture of her on her big day. She looked very pretty and happy on her special day. :)


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