Updated: Jul 30
My latest creation is another Galanos, McCall’s #4046. This dress design is very similar to the Galanos #4045 pattern - they could almost pass as twins!
Upon further inspection, they are not identical, however. Here are some obvious differences: the bodice is cut differently, there isn’t a structured belt and bow, and there isn’t a massive upturned hem. Instead, this new pattern has a voluminous skirt that is finished with a ribbon at the hemline.
Still, one can see the similarities, and it remains another simple, yet challenging, Galanos recreation. Since the construction techniques were still very fresh in my mind, I felt there was no better time to make an almost identical dress.
Before buying fabric, I try to take inventory of what’s already on my fabric shelf. I found a remnant of a 4-ply silk crêpe along with an affordable and simple roll of black silk organza. Cost does play a role when we are working with over 20 yards of fabric for the skirt alone, so that’s why I chose readily available black organza.
I did consider different fabric and color combinations, but I felt that the purity and simplicity of these fabrics was the best direction for this dress. I was interested to see how the dress would look with a more upscale fabric, like silk, and the juxtaposition of the black skirt and white bodice. I felt this dress could find a voice of its own and not walk around like #m4045’s twin.
I made a slight modification right off the bat by doubling the crinoline net. I was slightly disappointed with the last dress, because I expected the 30-yard skirt to have more volume than it did. The organdie fabric was so heavy, that it was too heavy for the single layered crinoline. This time, I wanted to make sure there was enough support under the voluminous skirt.
3” horsehair braid was sewn into the bottom of the petticoat. I used a remnant corsetry net for the yoke instead of the horsehair braid suggested by the pattern.
20 large panels were cut and each thread-traced by hand. The skirt is self-faced. Thankfully, there were only 110 darts, compared to the previous Galanos 4045 which had 130 darts.
Since there were fewer darts and the silk organza was slippery and lightweight, gathering the skirt - still by hand - went faster this time. The organza was also easier to gather this time, as compared to the cotton organdie last time, although silk organza does likes to fray, as you can see below.
The bodice was a bit more complex compared to the previous dress. Another shocker: there are only two pieces. The bodice was made using silk-crepe and lined with slippery China silk, which acts like a facing. The bust is shaped with 5 brilliant darts, which is surprising, since I had originally thought they were gathers, from looking at the pattern illustration.
The bodice is lined and faced, then turned inside out.
The orientation can get confusing. After assembling the bodice, it got easier from there.
The lining that serves as a facing hid all the seams, so the seams did not need to be finished or overcasted, which saved a lot of time.
The skirt is finished with a narrow hem: The hem is turned up, then turned up again, then sewn into place.
After the narrow hem, it was time to insert the ribbon at the hem line. This is purely a design detail, since the skirt was already finished with a narrow hem.
The delicate satin ribbon had to be carefully sewn by hand to avoid any puckering from rough machine stitching.
A 26” ribbon was cut to make the bow at the waistline.
And a 15” ribbon was cut to make a bow at the hemline. The bow was sewn offset from the center front.
View of the back:
Thanks for following along, and in the next blog post, we will see what it looks like on the blogger herself!