simplicity 2099: because i’ll always have paris

so there’s a bit of a story with this dress.
i’ll sit for a moment while you recover from the shock.  ;-)

a little more than two years ago, my mom was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer.  after (what turned out to be the first of several rounds of) treatment, we celebrated the end of the protocol by going for a long weekend to paris.

i’d only been sewing for a few months at the time but had spotted this gem on etsy and snatched it up, even though it was much too small for me and i had no idea how i would alter a pattern with no bust darts.  it was in my “pattern pal” etsy app when my mom and i wandered into tissus reine in montmartre on a busy saturday morning.  most people know tissus reine from the season 3 project runway paris episode, but i had barely heard of it–i think i had looked up paris fabric shops on google and come across a few good blog posts, all of which mentioned reine.

[N.B. - reine, and the other shops up in the montmartre fabric district, is decent enough, i suppose, but at the end of the day i was underwhelmed. the denim and the liberty are all i brought back from the trip.]

so there we were on a packed saturday morning in the middle of montmartre, my mom perched on what can only be called a husband’s chair by the front door of reine while i wander around the store looking for something special.  obviously the table of liberty fabrics was a problem.  i settled on some pelagia and moved on.  i kept pulling up my list of pattern photos, trying to find a combo that combined the vintage look with what i kept describing as “whimsy.”

it was my mom that picked out the denim as a crazy interpretation of simplicity 2099.  and there it sat on a hanger in my closet for over a year while i tried to figure out how i could make it fit.  i tried the threads article on grading, but was completely overwhelmed by the fractions and the math.  it took me 3 or 4 hours to redraft the pattern this way.

finally, this past august, i had a chance to make a moulage.  i knew that this would be a great test of how the moualge could work with a commercial pattern and a possibly one-time opportunity to get this pattern properly fitted.

i described to kenneth and susan what i had planned for this odd pattern and odd fabric and had the satisfaction of seeing their bemusement turn into actual excitement.  kenneth asked me, but what do you plan to do with it?  i said, “embroidered denim with leather accents.  shorten the skirt above the knee.  knee-high leather boots and a leather bomber jacket.”

even kenneth had to agree that sounded pretty hot.

photo courtesy of marina vk - kenneth doing a demo with my fabric drying in the background

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