Here's it is, the moment you've been waiting for! The pictures aren't the best, as I only had one photographer (the other one was practicing his piano lessons!). My daughter did comment that I looked a whole lot different that when I go skiing! She thought this ensemble was more beautiful than my wedding gown, which I made. Anyway, I finally did get the coat lining in, but I'm sure you don't want to read about that (basically, I adjust the lining/facing seam and everything lined up nicely and the hem went in! Duh!), you want to see the pictures. So here they are: coat front and back, dress front and back.
Notice how the hem stands out pretty nicely on the dress (thanks to one mistake) and the coat completely covers the dress. I wanted it that way, but forgot to measure when I made the garments. Only when I put it on today did I realize it worked out! The gloves are my mother's prom gloves. I don't have the jewelry made yet and I am going to buy red shoes, too!
So why did I make this ensemble? Mainly, because I can. I love those grand 50's gowns, and I love to take what we're doing currently in embellishment/quilting and use those techniques in vintage patterns. I also like trying out new things - like making the fur from rows of stitched yarn. I also enter this sort of thing in competitions, but that's not why I do it; it's coincidental. Trust me, if I didn't love doing this sort of thing, I wouldn't put the time into it. I also enjoy challenging myself to learn new techniques and to improve my sewing. I have learned a ton from this ensemble.
Is it perfect? No. There are many things I'd change. I don't like the wrinkles on the bodice from the strap seams - trust me, it may look tight in the pictures and that's the usual reason for the horizontal wrinkles, but I can still pinch out 1/2" or more fabric around the waist/ribcage. The lining in the coat bothers me a bit still, and I'm still thinking of doing something with the cups in the corselette (I can sneak in and do that and handstitch it all closed). Right now I need to let it rest and look at it again in a month or so and reevaluate it all. I'm too close to it right now, and can't see the forest for the trees!
So, with one final look, we'll say goodbye to American Beauty. If you like following my crooked paths through the sewing world, I have a two more large vintage projects planned for the year, so look for one to start up sometime in February.