Sunday, 14 September 2014

Grecian Costume

My friends 18th birthday party was historically themed and I decided to go as a greek, because greek clothes have a simple elegance to them that I love. Most of my research came from a very useful book entitled "Costume and Fashion, a Concise History" by James Laver. Greek men and women wore the chiton throughout the 7th to 1st century BC, which was a basically a rectangle of fabric, folded around the body. Pins and brooches held it up and it was usually belted around the waist. The upper classes wore colours like red, yellow and green and decorations such as the greek fret were at the border only. 
From this information I drew up my design which is consists of 2 rectangles (one front and one back). The top edge of the rectangle was scalloped and buttons put at the point of each scallop. The rectangle was cinched around the waist with a belt. I was going to do some fabric printing of the greek fret around the hem with gold fabric paint but time was an issue so I decided it looked fine without. 

It really needs a belt to give it some definition.


The side seams were french seams and the armholes were turned twice and hand stitched in place using a slip stitch. To get clean scallops I used a facing for the top part of the rectangle using leftover fabric. 
The facing was all over the place so I stitched it down to make sure the scallops were the right shape. The buttons I found at my local market for I think 25p each?
The fabric is a rayon polyester blend that we found at a Textile Traders in Perth. I was originally going to go with chiffon for this dress because I wanted a really nice soft, flowy drape but this fabric jumped out at me so I decided to go with it instead. I bought 3 m which I basically cut into two 1.5m lengths for my rectangles. The fabric is really cool because the warp yarns are gold, giving it a really shimmery effect when it moves.
At this birthday party there was a bouncy castle, so I needed to adapt my dress somehow to be bouncy-castle-suitable. To do this I put a circle of elastic around my waist, tucked the hem into it and put my belt on top. Ta-da! It actually worked quite well, as long as I didn't bounce too vigorously...



















That's it for now, thanks for reading and to Mum for taking quick photos before we dashed off to the party!
Lauren xx

11 comments:

  1. You look amazing, the curls, the colour of the dress and the way it fits all look so good. The treatment of the sleeve detail is such a good way to keep it open but neat on the insides at the same time, very cool!

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    1. Thank you! I really enjoyed working out the nitty gritty details.

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  2. I can't believe you came to Perth on your trip! No one ever usually comes to this side of Australia :) Love a good day out to Textile Traders, they have fantastic sales!

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    1. Aha my Uncle lives there, that's why! We stayed in Freemantle though. It was seriously the biggest fabric shop I've ever been in.

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  3. That's such a pretty costume, I love it!

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    1. Thanks Cecili! I'm going to have to find a way to wear it again.

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  4. This is brilliant! Such pretty fabric. Look forward to meeting you Saturday!

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    1. Thank you! I can't come on Saturday anymore :( But I will make it to a meet up, I will!!!

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  5. You're awesome and beautiful please marry me!

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