Friday, December 12, 2014

Wallis Simpson Wedding Dress

When I was asked to create Wallis Simpson's wedding dress for a commission a while ago, I was not sure I would be able to do it.  My favorite fashions come from 1947-1962.  I do not know much about the 30's at all.

Wallis Simpson was an American socialite for whom King Edward the VIII abdicated his throne so he could marry her.  They were married in 1937.

Wallis' gown was designed by Mainbocher and was the color "Wallis blue" to match her eyes.

The dress over time faded into a lovely ivory color, which is the color we decided to make our dress.

The commissioned dress is made out of a beautiful ivory silk crepe de chine that I picked up in NYC this past summer.  I made it to fit Tonner's Antoinette doll.  I had never sewn for this doll before.  She is smaller in the bust and bigger in the waist and hips than Gene.  Antoinette's figure is probably a lot closer in proportion to Wallis' figure than Gene's is.

The original dress had sleeves, but I chose to make a sleeveless dress to be worn under the jacket, to reduce bulk.

There were some beautiful details on the jacket too, that I was unable to replicate.  For more photos and information about this dress click here.

I wish I had a better wig for my Antoinette doll.

Believe it or not, the skirt was the hardest part for me to figure out.  I cut it on the bias, and flared out the bottom of the skirt.  There is not enough weight to the skirt to really get it to hang the way I want it to.  One of the many challenges of working in miniature.  I also learned the hard way not to stretch the fabric when you are sewing on the bias.

Of course I had to make the dress again to fit the Gene dolls.  Here is my "Evening Mist Zita" playing Wallis.

Wallis' hat kicked my butt, I was not able to make a little hat with feathers on it.

I ended up making a hat out of Ultra-suede, tulle, and beads.

Since I liked the wedding dress so much, I decided to see what it would look like with a shorter skirt.  I really love how this suit turned out.  I made it out of a beautiful blue double silk georgette that I had bought on-line years ago.

The blue is an unusual color, I had a hard time finding buttons and material for the hat that matched.

I ended up using crystal beads for the buttons, and tulle for the hat.

I only had tulle to work with for the hat, so I was inspired by this photo that I found on-line.

To purchase the pattern for the Antoinette doll click here.

To purchase the pattern for the Gene doll click here.