Last week's Sew Weekly Challenge was Make This Look. My first attempt at another MTL was a disaster, so for my second try I figured I should probably choose a dress where I actually liked the entire look. Well, I think this is the best knock-off I've ever done. Unlike previous dresses which were merely Anthropologie inspired, this is a straight up copy, with only a few modifications.
|Medium was too big.|
|Not bad for a dressing room iPhone pic.|
|The hem of the skirt.|
The original dress has a tulle skirt with a bit of a crinoline underneath, but again, I found that scratchy. As luck would have it, my trip to the fabric district last year yielded this dusty rose chiffon with tiny silver threads running through it. At $2/lb, I doubt if it even cost me fifty cents. I didn't want a super puffy skirt, so I left out the sewn in crinoline of the original. The trimmings were a bit more tricky; I got a stretchy velvet ribbon attached to ruffled organza and pale pink grosgrain ribbon for the tie belt, as well as some pale pink silk dupioni bias binding for the neck and armholes from F&S Fabrics. My trims are all lighter than the more grayish-burgundyish colors of the original, but I think I captured the overall look pretty well.
|Silk dupioni bias tape and the belt trims.|
Besides the obvious fabric and trim differences, I also made my dress silhouette a little differently. I didn't like the crew neck, sleeveless top of the original, so I made mine a scoop neck with more cap-like kimono sleeves. The larger neck hole meant that I could also omit the keyhole detail in the back, which is good because I forgot to buy a tiny pearly button to close it.
Actually putting the dress together was pretty simple; you can totally make your own if you have fitted T-shirt to trace and a sewing machine that does a zigzag stitch. No serger or other fancy stitches needed! Apologies if this quick fake-torial is hard to understand; it was sketched very quickly.
Right click and choose "Open Link in a New Tab" to get the larger image. This assumes you know how to sew fabric to elastic and use bias binding and do a narrow hem.
|Close-up of the inside of the waist.|
|Again with the forgetting to wash out the marker.|
Fabric: 0.75 yards of 100% nylon stretch lace, dyed with tea, 1 yard of some kind of synthetic chiffon with metallic threads and a little bit of stretch, both about 54" wide
Notions: elastic for the waist, silk dupioni bias strips that I ironed into double fold binding (most annoying part of the project because it was the wrong size for my Clover bias tape maker!), stretch velvet ribbon with ruffled organza attached, grosgrain ribbon
Hours: 8? I swear, one hour was just the bias binding ironing. And then trying to pin it to the neckline and armholes was another fiddly hour.
Techniques used: Bias binding edges? zigzag stitching knits to elastic?
Will you make this again? Maybe in less fiddly fabrics? Sewing with the lace and the chiffon wasn't as bad as I was afraid of (I made sure to use a needle meant for sheers when doing the chiffon, and a ballpoint for the lace), but I'm still not in a hurry to repeat the experience. I like the general silhouette of the dress, and the elastic makes it really comfortable to wear, so maybe when I have more stable, casual knits to work with.
Total cost: The lace cost $10.47, but I used only half, and the trimmings were quite expensive at F&S ($11.51!). With the elastic and everything, the cost of this dress was probably around $20. About four times my normal, but considering that none of the fabrics were thrifted, and that I was trying to recreate a specific dress, I'd say it was not too shabby! I saved $138!
Final thoughts: I love how dreamy and floaty this dress is! It's going to be perfect to wear to one of the several spring weddings we're supposed to go to this year.
|So floaty and swishy! And I clearly need to work on holding my arms less like a robot when I walk.|
I'm also really enjoying these nude estate sale gloves that I got for $3 at F&S! Normal gloves at department stores have super long fingers, but my short stubby hobbit hands fit nicely into these vintage ones. I love the little bow at the wrists, too.