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The Labyrinth Dress

November 4, 2022

This year for Halloween my daughter decided that she would like to dress up as Sarah from the film Labyrinth (1986). I have a lot of vintage sewing patterns passed on to me and the dress in the film made me think of Style 1886, an 80s wedding dress. I did my measuring and ordering and got to work.

This dress would have been super expensive to make without a little bit of help, but luckily as a Minerva Brand Ambassador I can choose some fabric from them free of charge (only the main fabric, though). I still wasn’t sure if they would be willing to send me 6 metres of fabric at £9.99 per metre, but they were excited by the project and agreed to provide the taffeta. I ordered the rest of the supplies myself (6 metres of lining, a 22″ zip, ivory thread, net/mesh, interfacing).

I started with a size 6 toile of the bodice which was closest to my daughter’s measurements, however the pattern is drafted for an adult and so it wasn’t quite right on a pre-teen body. After the first toile I started again and draped and pinned the fabric directly on her to make my own darts where necessary. The back needed no darts, and the front only needed one each side rather than two, and they were a lot narrower too.

At this point my daughter asked for the neckline to be higher, so as I cut the main fabric I rounded out the sweetheart neckline into a gentle curve that came up an inch or so higher than before. When the dress was finished, however, she still thought it was too low, so I added in an extra panel across the top of the bodice! As a result the neckline is nothing like planned but at least she is happy with it!

When I was choosing which kind of lining I wanted I noticed that Minerva have several types available and wondered if it was worth paying £1 more per metre to get the ‘premium’ anti-static lining rather than the regular lining. I opted for the premium and I do think it is that little bit more opaque then the regular kind, and a little less flimsy, which came in handy when I was gathering the huge skirt panels!

There are lots of shortcuts I took in making this dress that I would never dream of doing if I were making a real wedding dress: for instance I just serged all the seams to finish them rather than going to the effort of doing French seams. When I was hemming the dress I was in a rush so both the lining and the main fabric are hemmed by machine and without pinning or measuring!!! Finally the sleeves are so epic that even with the tightest possible gathering I couldn’t fit them into the arm hole so you might find some tucks and folds lurking if you were to scrutinise them! Even with these shortcuts, from first fitting to final garment took me a good few days.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with it and my daughter was happy to wear it. I do wonder if it can be repurposed or adapted to wear again at some point as it does seem a shame to only wear it the one time!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anne Carter permalink
    November 4, 2022 4:42 pm

    Wow! What a good mum you are! What a task! Your daughter looks great in her dress and she’s growing up so fast.

  2. November 5, 2022 8:28 pm

    great job!

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