Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Winter white drop waist dress: AKA Chanel knock off

 
This dress falls squarely into the 'what was I thinking' category. It is pure white, dry-clean only, Ralph Lauren wool suiting, made up in a dress for a mother of three. Go on, tell me that isn't just a little bit crazy. However, in my defence, the fabric was already in my stash, and nothing was ever going to make it more wearable, no matter how long I left it there. I'm going to chalk this purchase up to jet lag.

 
 
 
 

Obviously, it's another drop waist dress. The pattern is my own. You've seen it before on more occasions than you'd care to remember. This time, I switched the zipper to the back, added sleeves and some little front pockets. I drafted a new set of facings and lined the bodice with silk jersey.

 
Yep,  those are darts you see facing inside out. I'm not quite sure how I managed that one. Thankfully I got the back lining right.
 
 
 
My inspiration for this dress came from a picture I found on Pinterest. The link took me to an Asian website, so using my great powers of deduction, I'm going to have a stab at guessing that this is either a Chanel dress or one that is inspired by the great fashion house. It was the only picture of this dress I could find online. Aside from the gathers in the sleeve caps, I fell in love with everything about it.
  
It was one of those rare occasions that I had the pattern (drop waist, hello!), I had the perfect fabric, and I had a pretty keen desire to put some impractical stash to good use. I would rarely copy my source of inspiration outright (she says as she gathers fabric for her Dior coat knock off), but guys, this is Chanel!
 
Should I open up a can of worms here and ask what you guys think about copying designers? My personal feelings are that if you are giving credit where credit is due and not mass producing the items for sale, then it's no big deal. I'll always reference my point of inspiration, and since there was no chance of me ever purchasing the item in the first place, I'm hardly affecting anyone's bottom line. I do still feel like a bit of a cheat though.
 
 
 
 

 

 









Sunday, October 19, 2014

Japanese corduroy culottes

My last pair of culottes are getting so much wear right now that I knew another pair wouldn't go astray. This time I played around with the design a little. I kept the length, not just because I quite like the longer hem trend, but also because it keeps my legs warm in Winter.


Once again, I started with my Esther shorts pattern. I made the same modifications as with my green culottes, but simply skipped the pleats. I also widened the waistband a smidgen, moved the zipper to the back and added side seam pockets.




 
 
 
I also tried something new in the construction of these culottes. Have you noticed that RTW pants never have waistbands like we sew at home? I've had these suit pants for about seven years now. Have a look at how beautiful their innards are.


The edge of the inside waistband is bound with pretty binding. It's so simple to do and it means that you don't have to bother with folding the edge under and painstakingly pin it to ensure you catch it all perfectly as you stitch blindly from the other side. I actually don't know why it's taken me this long to try this technique. It looks better and it's way easier. I bound the inside of my waistband with Liberty of London and stitched in the ditch from the other side. Next time I will bind the pocket edges too.


There is a lot less fabric in these culottes compared to my last version. This is just because I took out the pleats. This cord is also a lot lighter in weight. I could see this style of pant working well for Summer in either linen or cotton, at this length or just below the knee. If it weren't Fall here, I'd be making myself a slightly shorter version in denim. In fact, I might still do so...

 

Friday, October 17, 2014

The gridline drop waist dress

 
 
 
Did you really want to see another drop waist dress? Well to be completely honest, I thought I'd moved on from them myself. I'm really fickle with fashion. I love something intensely for a brief period, but if it remains in my field of vision for too long I get bored and start looking elsewhere for the next sparkly trend. My problem with the drop waist is that they are just so comfortable that I wear them every other day, to the extent that I get sick of the sight of myself. I have drop waist overload. Can you see my point?

http://lilysageandco.blogspot.com/2014/01/my-winter-malvarosa.html

And let's not forget the one that started this whole obsession...

http://lilysageandco.blogspot.com/2013/12/drop-waist-obsession.html

So now I feel like I should show you how I ended up sewing yet another drop waist. Firstly, I spotted this amazing dress on Pinterest, as worn by Olivia Palermo in the picture below. There's something about those widely spaced gridlines and the unexpected seamlines that make my heart beat a little faster. If I could get my hands on that fabric, there'd be a knock-off in my wardrobe as we speak.
Soon after, Rachel from House of Pinheiro showed off her amazing Parisian dress. This was all the confirmation I needed. The fabric I used was already in my stash and part of it was upcycled from a long, shirt dress that I made some time ago. Reckless past-Debbie didn't pre-wash the fabric and the shirt dress shrank a little too much for comfort. Needless to say, I've learned my lesson on that front.


 
 
 
 
The pattern I used was Simplicity 1366 again, a Cynthia Rowley pattern. I simply lengthened it and matched the side width with my self-drafted, drop waist pattern. The skirt is part circle and part haphazard wedge. It's quite obvious that I paid little regard to line matching. I tried to place the skirt seams in a symmetrical fashion and match the side and arm seams where I could, but I had such a small amount of fabric to work with that I just had to place the pieces where I could. I don't think they look too bad.