Monday, January 16, 2012
Retro Striped Dress
Okay, I guess they are out there most of the time, but hey, I'm going to be 48 at the end of the month, and they're holding up better than quite a few other parts of me, so I'm not against a bit of display. But this dress did not require boobs; as a matter of fact, it requires one of my more minimal bras, just because I like the smoother line with this design.
This is somewhere between a self-draft and a frankenpattern. The neckline/collar came from an old Patrones pattern for a woven top. The sleeve and armhole came from the KS cowl neck pattern, because I liked the draft. The sectioning of skirt/bodice was totally me, as was the shape (such as it is) of the skirt. The front bodice curves upward from the side seams; the back seam runs straight across.
This dress came together one idea at a time. It first bubbled up (like the black gold in the Beverly Hillbillies' opener) when I was cleaning the workroom and found the black, white and red stripe. This fabric was a Marc Jacobs remnant from Jomar, just under a yard, plus there was some misprinting of the fabric, so I was really cutting it close. I left it on the table to think about it, and the next time I came in, I pulled a beefy black knit off the shelves and added that to the pile. It was obvious that I would have to use more than 1 fabric - even if I made a top, I didn't think there'd be enough.
I went in search of a solution and found 2 yards of nude knit (almost Spanx type knit) in the stash. I'd originally purchased it with the idea of making a custom cover for my dress form to cover her custom padding. There's still enough left if I ever get around to doing that. I underlined the bodice pieces with the nude knit, which gave it a nice bit of structure without making it too heavy. Then I added the contrast collar and left it on the form overnight to marinate some more.
Last but not least was the length of the skirt. I cut the fabric so that it went to mid-calf, more to give myself options than because I actually wanted the dress that long. I ended up taking it to right below the knee, because that's my most flattering length.
I do feel like it has a strong retro vibe, but not too strong. It kind of reminds me of something Claudette Colbert wore in It Happened One Night, or at least my 2012 interpretation of something she would have worn, if she'd had access to good knits.
I have other dresses brewing; hopefully, they too might qualify as Great Dresses.