Many times when getting ready to make a dress, I find one or more inspirations that I really, really like. What do I do? Pick one and leave the other for next time? Sometimes I don't have to choose between the two, because I can combine them! It may be a bodice form a painting and a skirt from an old photo. It may be a bodice closure element from an extant dress and the skirt pleating from a fashion plate! I like to call these dresses Heinz dresses....you know, a mish mash of different ideas!
The Coca Cola dress I made for The Steampunk World's Fair, in New Jersey, 2011. The bodice was inspired by a Tissot painting and the skirt was from an antique photo!
"Women of Paris: The Circus Lover" by James Tissot. At first when I saw this picture of the book of Tissot paintings that I found at Savers, I was really taken in by the lady in pink in the foreground. But as I studied the painting further, I noticed something wonderful! In the crowd in the back sits a most lovely and shameful (she is smoking a cigarette!!! Gasp!) lady in white with red polka dots!
See her now? I was really taken by her bodice and fell in love with the red bows. For my dress I used white eyelet fabric layered over bright red silk!
I needed a skirt to go with the Tissot painting bodice. I was perusing my old photo collection on my computer and found this lovely! Look at all that ruching and pleating! Swoon! Instantly, I knew that this was the skirt to be married to Mr. Tissot's smoking lady! Photo came from Beth Carson's collection.
This dress was also worn to The Steampunk World's Fair. I had this most fabulous eggplant velvet and taffeta that needed to be made into something fun!
I love this bodice from the Atiti Antichi collection. The tabs on it were a perfect solution for the very small piece of velvet I had.
The back and side panels were inspired by a black and white fashion plate...
Here is the fashion plate....I thought the back with the "swooping" puffs and the pleating was fabulous! The side panel I decided to pleat as well!
Skirt and bodice combo from different inspirations. This dress is fun as I made it so it could be two different dresses. The two lower ruffles are detachable! The skirt can be worn long or short as the fashion plate inspiration is a masquerade dress, and I plan on making the bodice from said fashion plate! But add those rows back on and I can wear the dress as a day dress! Whoo hoo!!!
NFE masquerade inspiration! Plate via Beth Carson
Bodice for NFE dress. I was shopping at Fred Meyer one day and saw the most glorious looking fushia plant. The colors were pink and burgundy. I said to myself, "Self! You have those fabrics at home right now! You need to make a fushia dress!" So, I went home and searched for a fashion plate that would resemble a fushia and low and behold.....
...I found this plate! The bottom of the bodice was the exact shape as the petals of the fushia! I couldn't believe it! After calming down a bit, I set about making this fashion plate come to life!!!
Next time you find that you are having to decide between two inspirations, why not try using both! You never know what fun outfit you will get!