Nancy from Oliver!

Based on the Broadway versions, but with some requested modifications, I bring to you this Nancy gown! This gown is a two-piece. The skirt is a dual-layer circle skirt. Each layer forms a full circle! It sounds heavy, but is very light. The bodice is the focus of this piece. It’s moderately boned and does constrict like a corset. Our Nancy received the bosom of doom in this.

While it appears to be two pieces, it is in fact one. The main body is a lovely soft velvet, and the sleeves and inset are of the same red as the skirt’s top layer. The sleeve cuffs are made from scraps of the Whore Madame’s corset from Les Mis. The buttons on the front are decorative only, but the grommets in back and lacing is real. On our girl, this bodice closes entirely. Once again, look on the dress form is affected by dress forms being rigid whereas bodies fill them out.

See more photos of this gown in its Facebook album.

Bet from Oliver!

This was another gown was for Metropolitan Performing Arts’s production of Oliver! in 2014. This was for Bet, Nancy’s younger sister. This gown is three pieces. It starts with a vintage chemise with a couple alterations. The sleeves were shortened and the neckline ribbon was replaced with a light purple instead of the original red. This neckline is more square. The bodice on this one is just so pretty. The rich purple with the gold trim is just so rich! Keep that in mind. Like Nancy’s gown, this one laces in the back and can lace tightly. Unlike Nancy’s, this one is lightly boned.

The skirt on this one is where this gown shines. It has the look of a petticoat and two layers of a skirt, but is two layers. The top layer is corduroy and is a full circle. The pleated edging was several long strips of corduroy hand-pleated, but not sewn end to end. The rest is all one layer. The top of the bottom layer is a gorgeous lilac brocade, and there wasn’t enough to do the ruffle in that as well. So I used left-over corduroy. I hand-pleated it in the same manner as the other, but with the addition of a layer of a slightly off white voile. On the seams between the circles and the pleated edged I sewed gold gimp trim. I knew I wasn’t going to have enough, but no matter.

See, these are not rich characters. They are wearing cast-offs from the rich, and these dresses were distressed further before show time. So I cut the trim into several pieces, left spaces between then, and tattered the edges to give the appearance of trim falling or being ripped off.

See more photos of this gown in this Facebook album.