Haute Coture Vintage Paper Dress


I started out with the title of my post being… “It all started with…” Completely accurate…but a tad bit obscure. It did start with the most dreamy mocha colored crepe paper streamer. Having no idea where my project would lead…I happily rolled out long strips and applied silvery glitter. I thought to myself that it was an odd color crepe…never seen it at any parties I’ve been to anyway. But wouldn’t make the most beautiful ruffles on a dress??? Light bulb moment!!! I should warn you that I am neither a fashion designer or a seamstress. I have barely mastered sewing straight lines! No problem there…I’ll just hot glue LOL. : ) I should also warn you that I should never use the glue gun…or glitter unless under the supervision of another more responsible adult. The shop is a big sparkly mess, and I’ve burned every single finger. Oh well…we all suffer to be creative right?

See I told ya it was great crepe paper! I actually doodled out my design before I started and I’m happy to announce it looks nothing like my drawing! I cut and pieced together pretty paper from Graphic 45 to make a base.

The sheet music ruffles were made with an image from Graphics Fairy. I cut them into strips…then ran them all through the crimper. Once I had them all ruffly I glued on the layers…starting from the bottom. Each layer got a bit smaller up to the waist. Lot’s of twisting and gluing…gives her skirt fullness. I used the glittered crepe here…but only on every 3rd layer. So she wouldn’t look like a Las Vegas showgirl. Personal note…I don’t have anything against showgirls or Las Vegas…just not in a vintage inspired dress : )

Her bodice has the paper base showing…then I added twisted strips of the crepe and hand inked paper roses. I wanted the bust to look like rousing (spell check says that’s right) I only know of the rousing from the many episodes of” Say Yes to The Dress.”  Please someone leave me a comment if I have the right word and spelling so I can correct it before I look like a big idiot. I gave her some bling…and a pretty little ornamental necklace.

Here is the back of the skirt. This was a lot…I repeat…a lot of work but well worth it : ) I have one more of these wire dress forms…maybe I’ll work on the other one tomorrow…or wait til my fingers have healed up : )

37 responses »

  1. OH my goodness, this is incredible. I love the detailing and I too have never seen crepe paper in this colour. Wow….Is the dress on a full wire dress form? How incredible this turned out.
    Hey keep a cool water bowl close by for those burnt glue fingers. I feel your pain but hey it was worth it in the end right? This is a keeper. If not I would love it. tee hee

  2. Oh wow it’s just fabulousl Love it love it. Wonder where I can buy a frame to have a go, the ideas colours etc are endless. Thanks so much for sharing

  3. So So cute… I have a styrofoam dress form and this would be a nice idea to use for it. She has been sitting on my shelf saying Please dress me!!! LOL Thanks for sharing, Stephanie

  4. this is AMAZING!! i love your site. it’s beautiful. i totally want to try this paper dress thing.
    thanks for sharing!
    {love} lauryn @ lovenotesbylauryn.blogspot.com

  5. What an inspiring piece of art!!! This dress is so lovely, it must have been a lot of hard work, I believe the correct spelling is ruching 🙂 Thanks for sharing !!!

  6. The dress bodice has ‘ ruching’ – very creative dress and display!

    I’m motivated to use my crimper like you have with the musical notes from The Graphic’s Fairy!

    Mary in Oregon

  7. Wow! Your work is incredible! Darling dress – you should be on Project Runway… if only they worked in paper! lol. I think the term you were looking for was rouching? Where fabric is gathered or has elastic up the front or sides? Is that it??? Any way, this looks so elegant! Beautiful work!

  8. I love it when a good idea turns out wayyyy better than its initial concept on paper!
    Gorgeous piece! I may have to copy your idea, but apply it a little differently.
    Love the way you chose to display it–with the lovely frame. All of it fits together nicely.

  9. Wow, wow, WOW! Your dress is amazing, and a true masterpiece! I adore it, and I’ve never seen anything like it! Of course I love anything with glitter:) A big congrats on being featured over at The Graphics Fairy!!!

  10. I also found your dress on The Graphic Fairy’s blogsite. (Lucky me!) How big is the dress? It looks like something that could be displayed in a dollhouse-sized dress shop, but for that I guess it should only be about four inches top to bottom (four inches = four feet in a dollhouse). Or is it more “Barbie” size?

    • Hi Sharon. Thanks for the kind comments. The dress is actually about 16 inches tall : ) I gave her to my very good friend who owns the lovely quilt shop here in town. She creates beautiful displays with her quilts and other antique and shabby chic treasures. Jennifer added her to a beautiful vignette atop a vanity and she looks right at home there. I will get an updated picture as soon as I can.

  11. WOW! That’s just plain old freakin’ GORGEOUS!!!!! Makes me want to try doing that! But mine would turn out like a gunny sack – LOL! – so I think I’ll just admire YOURS!

  12. Your paper dress is gorgeous!! I remember many years ago when i was in the first grade. My teacher sewed all the girls in the room a crepe paper skirted ruffled dress. It was so cute. I had it for many years, I don’t know what happened to it. I wish I had kept track of it!

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