Sunday, November 4, 2012

Titanic Costume: Rose's "Jump Dress"

For Halloween this year, I decided to go as Rose from Titanic. Did you know that it's the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking? Simplicity re-released their Titanic pattern this year that first came out after the movie in 1997, so I decided to make this red and black dress. 

It's also known as the "Jump dress" because it's the dress Rose wears at the beginning of the movie when she attempts to jump over the railing. This is when Jack and Rose first meet, and he saves her from going overboard.

Don't jump Rose!

On the top part of the dress, there is a red satin bodice with a black lace top over it that has cap sleeves. It's a little hard to see, but I also put black sequin trim on the neck and armhole edges of the red bodice.

On the bottom part of the dress, there are actually three layers. First a red satin skirt, and then a single layer of black tulle. Attached to the tulle are two rows of black fringe and two rows of lace. To give the lace a wave-like shape, I cut out along the flowers and removed the top part of the border. 

The third layer on the bottom part of the dress is made out of a fabric called point d'esprit, which is basically black tulle with small dots. This layer is cut away in the front and forms the train at the back of the dress. To finish the edges, I used fabric glue to attached some black sequins, then trimmed away the excess fabric. Let me tell you, gluing through sheer fabric isn't easy! 

Did the sequins get stuck to the newspaper? Why yes, yes they did. 

 After all the layers were assembled, I had to attached them at the empire waist seam. I had to start with the outermost layers and work in, so first I attached the train, then the tulle, then the red satin. 

And here I am wearing the finished dress! 

These pictures make it seem like it went by fast, but it actually took a fair amount of time because there were so many steps along the way. I did have a lot of fun making this dress though. I really enjoyed the chance to use so many fun fabrics: satin, tulle, lace, fringe, and sequins! 

The only major change I made to the pattern was to add a black satin sash to better define the empire waist. There was a lot of fabric gathered around the waist, so I wanted to cinch it in so it wasn't so poufy!

To complete my costume, I bought a blue sapphire necklace from ebay just like the one Rose wears in the movie. Ok, not exactly like hers because mine only cost $10! I also wore long black gloves--the ones I wore to my prom so many years ago. And my costume wouldn't be complete without Rose's better half, Jack! To make things a little more interesting for Alan, he dressed up as "Frozen Jack" with blue lips, white face paint, and gel in his hair to make it look wet.

I'll never let go Jack, I'll never let go!!


  1. Beautiful dress, Michelle! I've got that same Simplicity pattern & have used it to make both dresses, and have definitely found the volume of the skirt to be very inaccurate—if you look at exhibition photos of the Jump dress there isn't really any gathering at the waist band, it's just a nice, shaped skirt (which is part of the reason it tears when Jack pulls her back over the railing). The same holds true with the Swim Dress, though it does have a fuller skirt in the film (just not that full!). The second time I made the swim dress I trimmed the skirt down a lot, and moved all the gathers to the very back of the dress to minimize the slight maternity look the original pattern can give. It definitely helped! I made my Jump dress in a sort of dusty turquoise colour, and I find without the colour cues from the film, and with the very full skirt, it looks more like a dress from Ever After than from Titanic :P

  2. That is beautiful! I am going to do a variation of this pattern soon. I'm excited.

  3. Real nice! I have the same pattern (Simplicity 8399). After reading these comments, I kind of got discouraged. I want to make the Swim Dress and Jump Dress as FAITHFUL and AUTHENTIC to the original costumes as possible, but apparently the pattern messed some things up? Is the pattern much different from how the dresses appeared originally in the film? Because like I said, I really want to be faithful to the originals' appearances.
    If I need to alter something to make it look more like the original, will it not be too hard?

    Any info will be appreciated! :)


  4. I love your jump dress I bought the pattern my mom going to make it for me at comic con in september but i like your style. Cant wait for it to turn out.