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Fancy Fabrics Challenge 2013

McQueen Modified

Front View

A design by Alexander McQueen, which appeared in the exhibit of his work and book Savage Beauty, was the starting point for this bodice. I plan to wear this for New Year’s Eve with skinny black satin pants.

The neckline of the original garment was a little severe and I felt it needed modifying to be wearable. I drafted a fitted, corset-like pattern following the photo. The underlayer was constructed from silk moire and topstitched with matching silk thread. This provided the base for the lace overlay.

French chantilly lace was backed with silk tulle and sculpted to the correct shape by using appliqued seams so the lace appears to be one solid piece. A feature of this garment is the way the lace is cut and moved apart, creating an additional style line. I used a lace which was virtually identical on both the right and wrong sides so that the back could be mirror-imaged on the right and left sides. This mirror-imaging was a common element found in many of McQueen’s designs.

The lace edges were hand appliqued to the base garment. Scalloped lace trim was applied to the cap sleeve and lower edges. Next, hundreds of Swarovski crystals were heat set to accent the lace. Additional beading was also used as well as the dangling jet drops from the sleeve caps and hem.

Finally the lining was made from matching lilac fabric and fell stitched into place. The final result is a dramatic, yet wearable garment.


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  1. User avater
    Sewista | | #1

    Fabulous and wonderful workmanship.

  2. AtelierDesigns | | #2

    Thanks. It was time consuming but I am very pleased with the final result.

  3. User avater
    slmendes | | #3

    Amazing! I am in awe of your skills.

  4. AtelierDesigns | | #4

    Thank you for noticing and the compliment.

  5. User avater
    LauraLeeSews | | #5

    Stunning work, I am inspired!

  6. User avater
    Astragana | | #6

    You have obviously had great attention to detail and have made an incredible interpretation of the original. From the photos, you are a perfectionist and have all the necessary skills to get to a very professionally finished look. You've done a lovely job and I hope the wearing gives you even more pleasure than the making!

  7. User avater
    ladycher1 | | #7

    Very feminine and lovely!

  8. AtelierDesigns | | #8

    Thanks for all the compliments. I loved creating this and felt it was a challenge to interpret a designer runway garment into wearable fashion.

  9. user-713547 | | #9

    I wish I'd gotten my vote into the count. Your top is STUNNING! Great design, dramatic use of materials, good looking construction. I hope it was fun to wear. Just a dazzling garment. Thanks for sharing photos with us

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