Tuesday, March 27, 2012

S2444 & B5285: Inspired by Oscar de la Renta Tweed Dress

   Awhile back I was perusing the internet when I came across Jennifer Garner wearing this stunning dress.
I almost had a spell sitting right there at the computer.  I knew I had to try and do a knock-off since I could not afford the $3400 price tag.  I did some manic googling and discovered that this dress is the Oscar de la Renta Scooped Neck Tweed Dress from the Resort 2010 Collection:.  Here is how it is described:

Black and white scooped neck tweed dress. Black and silver beads trim the neckline, short sleeves and seams. A jewelled corsage sits in the centre of the neckline. A zip fastening runs down the back of the neckline. The skirt falls in box pleats to the grosgrain ribbon trimmed hemline that falls to mid thigh.
Oscar De La Renta scooped neck tweed dress is a modern take on the classic fabric using chiffon and net pieces interspersed with the wool. This fashion forward dress is a stylish and glossy look for day with towering heels and a statement bag.
37% Cotton 8% Wool 31% Polyamide 3% Flax 18% Acrylic 3% Viscose
Dry clean only
From the Resort 2010 Collection. 
Here is a runway pic.  Can you spot the difference between the runway dress and Jennifer Garner's dress?
After my maniacal search for information on this dress, I began maniacally searching for some similar fabric.  I had just about given up when I was looking at Mood Fabrics one day, and came across this pale gray/black solid tweed.  I decided it was as close to a white tweed as I was going to get.
After purchasing the fabric, I then began searching (maniacally, again) for some similar ribbon.  After spending way too much time on the internet, I finally found some that would work at the Ribbon Jar
I ordered two different sizes of the silver pinstripe ribbon here.  I must say they have very fast shipping.  It was in my mailbox within two days of ordering it.
Finally, I started constructing the dress.  I decided to use the bodice and cap sleeves from S2444.  For the skirt I used B5285, View C.  I was concerned that I might have to make some adjustments to the waist on the bodice and skirt so that they would fit together properly, but the waistlines matched up just perfectly, so they just attached together with no problem. 

I have used S2444 a couple of times before, but I have never used the sleeves.  I found that the cap sleeves had way too much ease in them.  In order to remove the ease, I used this tutorial .  You basically just trim off some of  the edge of the sleeve so that it fits into the armscye better.  Speaking of the sleeves, more on that later.  
After constructing the dress and before installing the zipper, I sewed down all the ribbon.  I trimmed the bottom of the skirt with basic black grosgrain ribbon bought at my local fabric store. Then came the task of finding a brooch to wear at the neckline.  I searched ebay because I did not want to spend alot of money and finally found an inexpensive one that I liked.  

    Here is my dress.  Notice that in the description of the dress it suggests wearing towering heels.  Well, I did. I wore my black Payless heels that are a knock off of Christian Louboutin's "Helmut".  

I don't know what the spot is on the RHS of my dress.  I think it is just the picture because the dress doesn't have a spot on it.

I am very happy with my dress except for one thing: Do you notice the front part of the sleeves of my dress?  I have little pleats forming in both of my sleeves that are almost mirror images of each other.  They are not supposed to be there.  I am not sure why they are doing that.  It does not bother me enough to keep me from wearing it, but I do wonder what is going on?  Does anyone have any idea?  I suspect it has to do with the way I removed the ease.  I was almost tempted to just gather the sleeves since they had so much ease, but I wanted as much of an exact replica of this dress as possible.  Anyway, I wore it to church this past Sunday and received several compliments on it.  No one said, "Gee, what are those little pleats in your sleeves doing there?" so maybe I shouldn't worry about.  I think as seamstresses we sometimes notice sewing issues more than those who don't sew.  I am a bit of a perfectionist, but I have tried to let some of it go in my sewing because that takes the joy and fun of it away.  However, at the same time, I do want to do things correctly. Sometimes finding the balance between those two things is hard.   Until next time, Happy Sewing!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

B5559 - Ivory Tucked Dress

I think Butterick 5559 is one of the most awesome patterns Butterick has manufactured in a long time.  It has been in my pattern stash for awhile and I finally got around to making it.
I had been debating about what color to make, but I knew that I wanted to make it in an ivory doubleknit after seeing the lovely Amanda's version of it.  I cut my normal size and the only alteration I made was to take a 3/8" seam in the sides instead of a 5/8".   I used an ivory double knit that I bought from denverfabrics.com.  It is very similar to the Sophia Doubleknit from fabric.com, but it was a little cheaper.  I would link you to it, but I don't see it there anymore.
The most difficult part of making this dress was tracing the markings for the tucks onto the pattern pieces.  I was sitting at my dining room table when it occurred to me that if I taped the pattern pieces (with fabric attached) to the window after cutting them out, the sunlight would shine through and help me see where to draw the markings.  It worked like a charm.  It may not have worked on a darker fabric, but it was great for the ivory doubleknit.
I am very pleased with this dress.  I have gotten more compliments on this dress than any piece of clothing I have ever made.  They have come from everyone at church from youth to elderly ladies. Maybe I need to make this dress in every color.
Shoes:  Oh Deer "Judy"
necklace:  Forever 21

I wouldn't leave you without a shoe closeup.

Happy Sewing!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

B6582--Inspired by Anthropologie's "Pethshire Dress"

     About a year ago, anthropologie came out with the Perthshire dress.  I loved it, but I did not love the price tag (as usual).  It went on sale and I still didn't love the price tag.  Honestly, I have gotten to the point where I get more happiness out of sewing a knockoff or an inspired piece of clothing than being able to actually obtain the real McCoy.  Three are some things that I have found are just impossible to knock off when the fabric used in the original is really special.  In those cases, it can always be a gift for a  birthday, or Christmas, ...or Valentine's day...dare I say President's day.  Anyway, feast your eyes on the Perthshire dress:
Perthshire Dress

    I set about looking for some similar fabric.  I could not find the exact fabric like the dress is made from, but that was not of utmost importance to me.  I just wanted some that was similar.  I finally found some fabric at Mood Fabrics described as a Bright Navy/Gray/White/Red Plaid Suiting.  The navy in the fabric is actually a bluish-purple.   I would link you to the fabric, but it is now sold out.  However, I found some that is even a little closer to the Perthshire dress fabric here at Joann.com.    I looked for similar patterns and decided that Butterick 6582 -View C would work.

I wanted a sash to go with my dress like the Perthshire Dress sash, so I just cut out two long pieces of fabric, angled the ends, sewed them together, and turned them inside out.  Voila, I had a sash.  I did not have to make any fitting alterations in this pattern.  In dress patterns, I usually have to pinch out some fullness in the bodice, but that was happily not the case here.
Here is my outfit with my "Perthshire Dress".

Purple turtleneck - Old Navy
Red Tights-???
Aldo "Iavocone" Booties - Aldo

shoe  closeup

Happy Sewing!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

S2560 - Missoni-esque Cardigan

A few months ago I spotted a gorgeous sweater knit at fabric.com while I was perusing the fabric.com website.    I love sweater knits and don't sew with them nearly enough.  Part of the reason is that I live in hot, south Alabama where we have not even really had a winter this season.  When I saw this beauty, though, I had to get it.  I love Missoni prints.  I assume that many of you are familiar with them, but, if not, they are famous for their unique zig zag print clothing.  Here are some of their pieces:
 I even made a dress out of some real Missoni fabric that I got on sale about 2 years ago.  When I saw this fabric.com fabric, I just could not resist its Missoni look or its lovely pink, brown, and lime green colors.  I knew immediately that I would use S2560 - View A to make my cardigan.

The construction process was very simple.  I did make one alteration, though.  I omitted the gathering in the back of the cardigan.  I originally included it, but the sweater knit was a little to bulky for it and it looked way to poufy, so I just took it out.  Other than that change, I made it according to the instructions, and it was very easy.  



Here is my outfit below:

camisole- pattern review here (made before I started blogging)
Leather skirt - anthropologie on deep discount
belt - anthropologie on deep discount
B Markowsky "Sasha" shoes in pink - Christmas present
tights - Forever 21
necklace: JCPenney

For all you shoes lovers out there, here is a better pic of the shoes:
Happy Sewing!!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

McCall 6041 Jacket: Inspired by Chanel (and an outfit)

When I first saw this outfit on Kate Moss, you could have tipped me over with a feather.  It is STUNNING!!!  I am not a Kate Moss fan, and I don't normally love the way she dresses, but she hit it out of the park here.
Ever since I saw this photo, I have been determined to recreate this outfit (or an inspired version of it).  I already had in my possession M6041 and knew it would work to make a similar jacket.  My jacket is not exactly like the Chanel version, but it is very close.  I made View C with long sleeves.  
The fabric I used is a "Wool Suiting Texture Red" from fabric.com. This fabric has a pique-ish like texture to it and is a vibrant red.  I read some reviews of the pattern on patternreview.com and the overall consensus was that the sleeves are too wide.  I narrowed mine by taking a 7/8" seam.  The jumbo black ric rac and ribbon was purchased at my local fabric store.  It was not too tedious to attach, but it did take some maneuvering to get it to match up.  The jacket is lined in some basic red polyester lining fabric.  
I followed the instructions for the pattern exactly and made no alterations except for the narrowing of the sleeves.  


Here is my outfit that was inspired by the Kate Moss version.  I decided to wear black skinny pants instead of jeans (since I wore it to work), and heels instead of flats.  I have a pair of black flats, but I really don't like them.  
Top:  JCPenney
Pants: Gap
Shoes:  Payless

Until next time...Happy Sewing!!