Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Christine - Love Never Dies Construction Log

Christine’s aria dress

From the Australian production of the musical Love Never Dies

Fun Facts

300+ hours of work spread over 10 months (including research, learning new techniques and occasional swearing)
12 meters of silk dupioni
40 meters of organza
More than 200 organza petals on the train
200 Swarovski crystals
1.5 meters of rhinestone chain
8 pairs of earrings
Plus over 150 grams of seed beads


Made to an Edwardian pattern and altered to fit my shape.
Single layer coutil, flat felled seams, spring steel boning.
Cotton lace trim. Hand embroidered flossing.

Toile inside 

 Toile outside

 Busk inserted, bust gores

 Flat felled seams

Completed corset outer

Completed corset inner (waist tape, boning channels visible)

 Completed corset worn (front)

Completed corset worn (back)


Made from cotton with lace trim.
Socks were commissioned from a specialty Victorian sock maker in the UK who uses a period accurate Victorian/Edwardian pattern.


Photos of the shoes from the production were kindly provided to me by Steppin’ Out in Sydney, the company who made the originals. While I wasn’t able to procure the blocks and materials to create the shoes from scratch, I did manage to alter a pair of pre-existing shoes and cover them to match as closely as possible.

Originals (photo thanks to Steppin’ Out)

Shoes as purchased 

 During covering process

Completed shoes


Original from the Hamburg production


 Planning organza layout
 Planning petal layout

 Completed skirt top

Completed skirt front

 Skirt front with belt

Bodice is made from silk dupioni with cotton drill inner and lining. Spiral steel boning. Bodice was draped over a dress form and adjusted over the corset on my body before the final bodice pieces were cut. Inner, lining and outer are whip stitched together by hand.
Beaded trim was also made from a combination of Czech beads and Swarovski crystals. Each strand of beads is individually knotted to prevent breakage disasters!

 Toile worn

Creating the beaded trim

Inner layer front and back

 During a fitting, before beaded motif was added

 Prior to addition of organza wings and final sleeve adjustment. Beading was removed and re-done.

 Final bodice front

Belt train

Draped and cut from silk with pleated organza “petals” in three shades hand sewn. Fully lined.

Original Australian production train

Australian production front

Draped toile

Pleated organza petals cut and finished with heat

Beginning to place petals

Final placement of petals

Beginning to bead belt front

Belt front worn

Belt back worn


Back of hair from original Australian production

Top/side of hair from original Australian production

Front of hair from original Australian production

Ventilating fringe with additional hair

 Setting curls

 Front and back of final wig


Made from strands of rhinestones and chopped up earrings. Joined together with a combination of soldering and E6000 glue. Designed slightly smaller to accommodate my bigger bust (and the resulting higher neckline of my dress to keep my cleavage contained).

Original Australian production necklace
Necklace WIP
 Final necklace worn


Made from lycra to match the colour of the dress.