My poor fiancé has learned more about the details of these gowns than he ever cared to know. Ask him a trivia question about one of them, and he'll be able to answer. He knows the approximate widths and lengths of things in relation to the overall size, fabrics, colors... He's been bribed to give input and to try to find the most minor difference between what I'm working on and photos of the original, and being bribed to sit there looking for differences in gowns made by others and the originals so I can prevent making the same mistakes. He's been such a good sport, and I'm grateful for him.
Four solid days of beading this layer of the Dinner dress is enough. I am ready for a break! There's a reason why this gown isn't cheap with me. My bead and sequin work is much MUCH denser than I've seen anyone else do (and believe me, I have a huge folder of images I've saves for every single version of this dress I've found on the internet, from gowns made by other professional seamstresses to hobbyists to people just trying to make something work for a night, even pictures of gowns started by never finished, gowns that are beaded on chiffon, gowns that are all lace with no bead work...), and yet I don't feel that even mine is dense enough. To achieve the density that would truly please me would require use of 3mm flat sequins, and the cost would be much more than it is now due to the time easily doubling. As it is, I priced my Dinner and Heaven gown on the use of 6mm sequins and 6mm large beads. That felt like too much filler to me, so I left the price the same, but decided to use 5mm sequins (I haven't found 4mm flat sequins, only cupped) and 4mm large beads. An occasional 6mm is used if the spot on the chiffon is too small to use 4mm in a pretty way, but too large to leave open.
Before much more can be done with these layers, I'll need to get black silk for the gown's lining, and possibly navy silk organza rather than the dupioni I have now.
Also, this gown might now have removable sleeves so it can have spaghetti straps and be worn with a bolero. This custom detail is currently in discussion.
I'm trying to be patient waiting for the silk chiffon I need for the Swim gown. Before I can proceed further, I need more chiffon for the bodice. Dying it the lilac I need won't take too long. But I can proceed no further at all without it.
And Flying dress...pattern? You read that right. Only I'm not using a pattern. I'm drafting a pattern for this gown to sell. Yes, Simplicity came out with a pattern a decade ago, which is long out of print. But it is extremely expensive when it's found, and some of the pattern's directions I just don't like. An elastic waist? No thank you. The bodice being just an inset rather than a separate bodice? Not interested. I own the pattern in the 18-20-22 size, and have read the directions, and I don't like them. I don't like the cut of some of the pattern pieces. I don't like how the peplum isn't cut in such a way to allow the same drape as in the film. So I am drafting my own multi-sized pattern with a fitted waist band and separate bodice, making it closer to the film and period-correct (no zippers or elastic!). Options will be given for an elastic waist band, though I believe even a beginner should have no problem with a skirt that has no zipper or buttonholes.
I'm about half way through drafting the first size, and from there will manually scale to other sizes. Pattern programs spread the size difference over the entire pattern. Plus-sized women aren't necessarily linebackers, and thinner people aren't necessarily petite. Once I have the additional sizes scaled, I'll need volunteers to make each size to double check not only fit, but ease of instructions. From there, it will be printed as well as in PDF format for e-patterns that can be printed at home and taped together for a lower cost.
I don't expect to be inundated with orders right away. I expect it will take some promoting. But it could be a good way to still make money during the post-partum period when I expect to simply be too tired to take many, if any, orders.