Saturday, 5 May 2012

Atonement Green Silk Dress

Last year (2011) a friend of mine asked me if I would create a dress for his daughter for her end of school evening dance, the dress she wanted me to make was an interpretation of the Green Silk Dress designed by Jacqueline Durran as worn by Keira Knightly in Atonement.

I started by doing the usual research, I hit Google lol, below are some of the links I found;

Sunday Couture - This is a really good explanation of the construction of the dress, a "must read" for anyone who wants to have a go at making a dress for themselves
Famous Formal Wear
Costumer's Guide
As I Said...Blog

Vogue 7365
I also had very little time and only a couple of fittings so I used Vogue pattern 7365, I would have liked to of started from an original block but as fittings and time were quite limited I found it easier using the pattern initially to get started on the basic shape and develop my own pattern from there.

Firstly I used Susannah's measurements and altered the pattern to include a waist band and allow the straps to come down the back.

In the original design custom-dyed emerald featherweight silk satin  was used to create a dress with very fluid movement in the garment, it also allowed for the detailing around the neck line to be produced by laser cutting, I obviously didn't have the luxury of time and budget ;-) one can only dream lol. If you ever read my humble blog Jacqueline the dress you created was truly beautiful and my version is in homage.

In my version I used 100% silk satin for the outer fabric and 100% habotai silk for the lining, the dress was fully lined, gathered at the back zip, plus I created a sash that was also gathered and attached at the back zip and tied at the front. Three fresh water pearls were used as buttons for the waist closure.

Vogue 7365 has no waistband so a tracing was taken from the original pattern this was then cut and adjusted so to incorporate the waistband.

I made 2 toiles before I made the final dress the first to get a general feel for the design the second to make adjustments for Susannah, each time altering the pattern so as to capture the essence of the original dress. I should have taken photos of the work in progress but hindsight is a wonderful thing, instead I have included pictures of the finished garment.

Though a lesson I've learnt from this project is to take photo's that I think I might use on the Internet without loads going on in the background, ie without showing my messy workroom and having to spend a couple of hours blurring the background lol.

Upper Back Detail
Lower Back detail




  1. My friend is trying to get hold of the Vogue 7365 pattern you used (in Size 6-8-10) for a student of mine's prom dress and is finding it difficult to find one anywhere in this country. Can you help?

    1. Hi if you follow the link below you should be able to buy direct from Vogue
      or you could try eBay, sometimes you can be lucky, I did have a look on Sew Essentials for you but I didn'tfind it but you could always give them a call,I brought my pattern direct from Vogue,
      I hope this helps
      Kindest Regards Marie

  2. My friend is trying to find the same pattern you used to make a student of mine's prom dress (Vogue 7365 - sizes 6-10). Can't seem to find anywhere outside US to get it. Can you help?

  3. This is stunning! My only question is: what did Susannah wear underneath? I find it very hard to find a proper bra to go with this kind of dress.

    1. Hi & Thank You, sorry for the slow reply I've been away.

      There are bra's available designed to be worn with low back dresses but they might not feel as comfortable as a standard bra depending on your size

      Another alternative method I have used is stitching a bra within a dress, again it my not feel as supportive as a standard bra but it feel more comfortable,

      After the first draft of the dress the front neckline was altered so sussanah felt more comfortable, also Lyndseys dress was designed with a corset top because the low back was too uncomfortable for Lyndsey

      If I can be of further assistance please let me know

      Kindest Regards Marie