Costume Studies, Creativity, One Night With The King

One Night With The King: Blue Chess Gown

It’s funny. . .  I started out studying this costume and thinking I wouldn’t be able to tell you much about it.  I’ve surprised myself.  It’s not the first time. 

The two really hard parts of this gown to figure out were the sleeves and the skirt. I know, I know, what could be so confusing about a skirt? And why in the world are the sleeves difficult to interpret?  You’ll see. 

Because of the surprising complexity of this gown, I have done more detail sketches than I normally do. Though they didn’t quite turn out the way I wanted them to. 


You can clearly see the princess seaming on the bodice.

The bodice is princess seamed with embroidered trim around the neckline.  There is an embroidered motif in the center front that the neckline follows.  The trim goes all the way around the neckline (what I can see of it).  The neckline dips quite low in the back.  How low I can’t tell, as we are never treated to a good view of the back of the dress.

Side/Back View of bodice shoulder.  I would say the neckline a bit below her shoulder-blades.


The sleeves took me quite a while to figure out, and I’m still not sure I quite understand them.  However, I present you with my theory.  They lap over at the top in the same way a couple of Hadassah’s other gowns do.  By the way, I absolutely love that style of sleeve.  I think these lap further over than the sleeves on her orange gown.  They are also quite, quite long.

The tricky part?  The sleeves double over on themselves at the bottom at come back up to a point that is attached just behind her shoulder.  Don’t worry, I didn’t get it at first either.  It’s crazy, and would require a ridiculous amount of fabric, but they look lovely.

The sleeves are unadorned.

Midriff (Corset)

The midriff is fashioned like a corset, and it wouldn’t surprise me to find out it was a separate piece that went over the dress and closed in the back. (Can you just imagine it done with some wide lacing up the back?)   The corset begins just under the bust and continues down over the hips. It is definitely boned, as you can see in the picture below.

It looks to be made of some lovely printed satinish fabric. (I know, but I’m terrible at knowing what fabric is what. . . )  It is embellished with embroidered trim at the top (matching the bodice) and looks to have some beads, sequins, etc. decorating the lower edge.


The skirt took a ridiculous amount of pondering as well.  At first I thought there was simply an ordinary overskirt with a plain blue underskirt.  But no, why would the plain blue underskirt be sticking out in other places than the obvious one in front. Then I thought the skirt had plain blue godets sewn into it. But that wasn’t right either, godets are generally the same length as the skirt and the pictures kept telling me the lengths didn’t match up.

Finally, I have landed on the determination that there are two skirts.  The overskirt of embroidered and embellished satiny fabric, and the underskirt of the plain blue.

This is the picture that made me determine that the light blue was a different skirt.  You can see how different the length is from the overskirt.


The underskirt is just plain blue and crafted of the same fabric as the sleeves and bodice.  Honestly, I think it likely that this more like an underdress, and is one piece with the bodice and sleeves.


This is slightly harder to define.  The overskirt is made of a lovely flower patterned satiny material. It may be a sari fabric — that would make sense.

The overskirt is split in the front, with trim running down each side of that split.  It is also split in several other places, I’m going to take a wild guess and say four or five more.   It’s just slightly longer than the underskirt.

Sorry about the quality of that. I should have just left it a sketch, instead
my paints decided to wreak their revenge on me for neglecting them so. 😀
Croquis (fashion figure) designed by Sally. C. Fink.
I’d love to hear any comments you all have on this! What’s your take on the skirt? The sleeves?

Curiously Yours,
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13 thoughts on “One Night With The King: Blue Chess Gown”

  1. Thanks for the info! I would love to see photos of the dress you make, if you care to share. 😀 I really appreciate the comment and the link to the tutorial.


  2. The sleeve pattern is based off of a petal, or tulip, sleeve pattern. I'm amazed you figured out what the sleeve pattern looks like without really knowing how to do it! I've been sewing for twenty years and I had to look it up! Anyway, here's a link to making a basic petal sleeve pattern for anyone who wants to try, although it's gonna take some thinking to get the sleeve that long. I was really glad to see your blog on it though. I'm making a Persian/Indian “princess dress” for my twin sister and was at a loss as to what I was looking for. Gorgeous, although there are some things I plan to do differently!


  3. Anonymous – Thanks for the comment!

    I take the pictures right from the movie using my laptop for the studies. As it is only for entertainment and I don't make anything from it, I believe it is legal.

    The dress that (I think) you are referring to is burgundy and blue. The one she wears when she receives the message about the plot on the Xerxes life. I will definitely do that one next! Though I don't know when I will get to it . . . but keep an eye out.

    Thanks for the request!


  4. Thank you so very much for these costume studies! I've been looking forward to you doing the blue gown for so long- it is my favorite. How do you find all these pictures? I remember this one dress, I think it was burgundy colored and she wears it when she gets the message from mordecai… I think. I remember she was surrounded by ladies in waiting. Could you do that dress next? Thanks again, and have a great day!


  5. Acacia09 — I'm so glad you stopped by and thanks for the comment!

    I will put that dress next on my list. 😀 It may take a couple weeks to get around to — things have gotten busier with Christmas coming up SO SOON! 😀 But I will start working on it and will try to have the study up before the month, and the year, is over.

    How neat. . . I know, I have thought of ways to incorporate some aspects of these dresses into a wedding dress as well.

    Thanks again for the comment!


  6. I have really enjoyed your blog about One Night with the King's costumes. I happened to find your blog after watching the movie for the first time and falling in love with one dress in particular and I was trying to find a pattern for it. I was hoping if I made a comment you could maybe share with me the dress in which she wears the night the King asks her to marry her. I honestly cannot sew at all but was maybe thinking of tying some of it into my one day wedding dress!!! Thank you so much!!


  7. Thanks for the comment, Bethany! I know, I can't imagine how much fabric it would have taken to make the gown. I wonder how much it cost to make. 😀

    So, ladies, what gown would you like to see done next?


  8. Wow, imagine how LONG the fabric must be for the sleeves! But it is gorgeous, I agree. I think you're right about the two skirts, that has always confused me but what you are saying makes perfect sense. 🙂

    As always, beautifully done!! Thanks!!


  9. Joanna, Thanks for the comment. 😀 I know, the sleeves are a little confusing. I wish I could figure out a way to make it a little more obvious. I'll be thinking about it, and maybe I can come up with a better description.


  10. Very interesting…. I'm still trying to understand your sleeve description, but everything else seems perfect. I haven't seen the movie, but this is making me want to. 🙂 I agree with your corset assumption as well…it is a pity we can't see the back, and wether or not it is laced. I have been loving your costume “dissections”. 🙂


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