The Blanche Dress.

I was recently in a production of A Streetcar Named Desire. I got to play Blanche, probably the character I have most wanted to play my entire adult life. Hashtag bucket list.


I also decided it was a good opportunity to make a dress to wear as a costume, and I had the perfect pattern from pretty much exactly when the play was set – Vogue 8728. My sister had given this to me for my birthday a few years ago and I’d never made it.


I made a muslin even. (This is just the work in progress shot – clearly.)


I got some appropriate fabric swatches from The Fabric Store and the director chose this cotton with a slight bit of a stretch in it. It was lovely to sew with.

I made adjustments from my muslin, mostly taking out some of the fullness in the bust piece.

Like my slippers?

While I was pleased with the finish on the final product – I was meticulous – the fit just never really came off around the bust. I think the fabric had too much structure to it and not enough weight. As a result it never hung like it was meant to, and I felt a bit like a deflated balloon in it.

Somewhere inside here are my boobs…
Do you have a bike pump I could borrow?
Profile shot, very misleading.
Almost OK from front on.

However I do love the pattern and I think I might try it again, but this time with a more drapey fabric.

Suggestions welcomed.

31 thoughts on “The Blanche Dress.

  1. Your dress it’s lovely, it’s a shame that’s it’s not quite what you’d hoped but it looks like it fits in really well with the production. I agree that a drapier fabric might help with the balloon issues

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agree with Lynsey above- crepe fabric plus it looks like you will still to reduce the volume of gathering at bust area even eith a drapey fabric. I love that you are a thespian! Now I just picture you in my head with a deep southern sultry accent saying “I’m like a cat…a cat on a hot tin roof”. Thanks for sharing this slice of your life. X

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the tips! But yes, it does seem like crepe might be the ticket. My big one liner for this show was “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers” and yes, slow southern drawl!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think lowering the neckline might do the trick. Maybe even like two inches, to allow the gathering to present the bust instead of hiding it, and look more inviting and less demure.
    You look fantastic though, so whatever!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks – it was from 1946 I think so fit perfectly with the period. I think I needed outside assistance with the bodice piece as even when I made all the adjustments I made, it didn’t seem to quite work. I will persist however!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Naomi: LOVE it! And in the first photo I think it looks so pretty on you. I don’t think the audience would notice the smaller details you do. We are our own harshest critic sometimes but in a good way. It helps us improve.

    I agree crepe is a good choice. Perhaps consider a rayon blend, too? My suggestion is to try 1/4 yard lengths of fabric rather than a swatch. Play with the fabric on your dress form and see how it behaves. The scrap can always be turned into a drawstring bag, doll clothes, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just had the best time. I never wanted it to end – despite the fact that I was beyond exhausted from taking that journey night after night!


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