For some reason, I really love creating paper dresses. I guess it challenges me in some way. Designing dresses is an art form that I truly admire. I have sew quite a lot of dresses for myself and for my daughter. This was often due to often not finding "the right dress" for myself, and it was easier to to make one.
Creating a lot with paper, combining crafting with paper and dressmaking, is a fantastic mix. Although creating paper dresses, often involves skills in dressmaking and knowing the difference in the material you are working with. Paper has a completely different way of folding and "behaving" when you work with it. This also depends on the paper brand, as the quality of the paper is completely different.
My first two dresses were sewn out of coffee filters. I guess coffee filters are a versatile material to work with, and a good material to choose if you want to start to create paper miniature dresses. These dresses were made without creating a paper pattern first. The dresses created from paper, were made with a crinoline and paper ruffles. One of the dresses also has a bustle. These dresses had to be designed, creating a paper pattern first (remade the patterns about 5 times before I was satisfied). The last dress has been made with cheese cloth and a fabric hardener medium. This is also a fantastic way to start to create a dress (full tutorial in my blog)
For now, I have made 5 paper dresses, but I still have a few dresses ready in my head.
Miniature wedding dress
This miniature wedding dress in a box, was created as a wedding card for the magazine Ett trykk. The box itself is 18cm tall. The dress has been sewn with a sewing machine with coffee filters. The box has been created with acetate and papers from Pion design. The flowers for the dress has been hand made.
This dress was also sewn out of coffee filters and lace. The dress itself, is sewn as a dress. It has a zip at the back, and can be taken of the dress form. Papers here are from Prima. The dress form is also hand sewn, from a pattern I found online. You can find the pattern here.
Prima Bella Rouge dress
This dress was created for Prima's design team call last year. I applied for Prima and Kaisercraft. I did not make it to the Prima design team, but I was so pleased to make it onto Kaisercraft's design team.
The dress form is hand made. You can find the dress form tutorial in my blog. The dress itself is made with an underskirt, with the long ruffles over it. Then I created a crinoline and added the ruffles. The ruffles had to be gently created to fold in just the right place. The pattern for the dress, was made about 5 times. I used about 100 hours to create the dress. All the flowers for the dress has been hand made.
The 1870s dress
This dress was created for Kaisercraft, and was shown at CHA - spring 2016. The dress has been created with the Cottage Rose collection, and it is based on historical information of how they were sewing dresses in the 1970s. The dress has been created around an underskirt. Then I created a crinoline, and fixed the ruffles to the crinoline. I also added a bustle at the back. The flowers are hand made.
Creating thing for CHA, is often difficult. This is because you have very short time to create the items and get them sent back. My papers was stuck in Melbourne, so I totally had 3 evening after work to design for CHA. I used two days to create the pattern for the dress and an evening to create the dress itself.
Prima Wedding dress
This dress was created with Fabric hardener and cheese cloth. Then I added an underskirt created with papers from the Tales of you and me from Prima.
There are also tutorials on how to decorate the dress in the blog.
Where Do I start to create paper dresses?
If you are thinking about creating paper dresses. The first thing you need is a dress form. If you don't manage to get hold of one, you may chose to create one yourself.
Creating a dress form:
I have found a good pattern for a sewn dress form over at the DIY dish
You can also create a dress form with an old bottle, news paper and wood glue:
How to create a paper dress:
Creating dresses can be an advanced task. Creating my Prima Bella Rouge dress or the Kaisercraft 1870s dress involves skills in dress design and pattern making, that you would learn while you take your specialist tailor education, and can therefore not be explained in a blog post.
Material: Coffee filter:
Creating dresses with coffee filter is often a good start, since that paper is easier to work with.
Material: Fabric hardener:
Fabric hardener and cheese cloth or lace is a good and easy way of creating dresses. I have created a tutorial on how to use fabric hardener to create a dress.
When you make a paper dress, try to first make it in copy paper. It is normal to create a pattern before the dress is being made. This is also where you make adjustments to the pattern. When you are satisfied, you use the copy paper dress as a pattern on your patterned paper. Then you create your dress out of patterned paper.
Remember that the quality of paper is very different. Some papers thick papers, and sometimes you would have to soften the paper with water to make it curve if you make large ruffles. Take care when you add water to paper, as it might dissolve if you are not careful, so take care. Some papers are very thin paper, it folds easily, but it is not very strong for 3D creations. Therefore, you might want to use card stock for support in some places (making sure the support card stock doesn't show).
I hope you enjoyed,
best of luck in creating your own paper dress.