Monday, August 6, 2012

so this is love...

That magical summer before I went away to college, I fell in love. Completely head over heels in love. An "I'm planning the wedding" kind of love--or at least the dress.

Nope, it's not some romantic boy who swept me off my feet. It's a dress. For many Titanic fans, it's the dress: what we call the "Dinner Dress".

Really, it's a love 15 years in the making. At the tender age of three, I fell for the movie (or at least with the ads I saw on TV) and I made Rose and Jack paper dolls. Back then, I wasn't allowed to touch the sewing machine because I couldn't reach the pedal and see the fabric at the same time. Otherwise, you better believe that a toddler-sized, poorly done version of Rose's "pretty dress" would have been made up faster than you could say "PG-13".

Now, I've finally got the sewing/designing abilities to start thinking about the dress in a more three-dimensional, fabric-and-sequins kind of way. So during this in-between summer, I started doing the extensive research necessary to turn a toddler's daydream into a twenty-something's reality. And I found what a lot of people have found: the same three images, inaccurate reproductions, and the lovely concept sketches. But these sites turned out to be better than the rest.'s Titanic Project: This was the first site I ever saw about how to sew the Dinner Dress. I was thirteen and still sewing my hems on the machine. But unlike my sketchy sewing abilities then, the site actually was and is sound. It has a lot of good recreations to look at and some great information for making your own. I stumbled on this site because (drumroll please) I was looking for pictures of the Dinner dress, and her reproduction is undoubtably stunning. It's not perfectly accurate (sorry, Marie!), but it is an excellent jumping off point. It's defninitely worth a poke around for all things Titanic. I was led here from Humblebee and Me.  Together with the previous site, it perfectly describes how Marie made her dress. What a pity that this woman never posted the end result of all the research and drawing! But there is nothing like her pictures. Not the Sensibility library. Not my library. Not even the Costume Designer's library. Because she has A. the left side and B. the back. You could sift through dozens of stills and watch the scenes til your eyes dry up in your sockets from lack of sleep, but you will still not get the angles that she has from a costume display exhibit.

She has pictures like this--and more!

And of course, the classic: The Costumer's Guide. It's definitely a good place to start for picture research.

I keep telling myself that someday this beautiful dress will one day be in my closet. Until then, I'm going to watch the movie until my tear ducts keel over from overuse.


  1. Thanks for visiting my sites and checking out my dinner dress! I think you may mean, though ;) I'm always amazed by how complex the wonderful costumes from Titanic are; I feel like every time I make one of them I immediately discover I've done something wrong! I recently had the opportunity to see one of the original Swim Dresses in Belfast and I learned so much from seeing it in person... guess I'll have to make it a third time now!

    1. Thanks Marie--both for the correction and for visiting my site! I'm more than a little jealous of your Belfast trip for every little Titanic bit :)


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