refashionista: my very first drafted-from-scratch RTW-inspired garment


i have been working on this dress since february.  i was perusing the local fancy department store and spotted this delicious yellow number from alice & olivia.  the price was much less delicious:  an outrageous $385.  for a dress that wasn’t underlined, was nearly sheer, and had no front support AND an open back.  even for the IBTC that can be a bit of an issue, especially with nearly-sheer fabric.

this was a great design problem that actually took me a while to crack, even though for most of you it’s probably really simple.  i started with my two-dart bodice sloper, rotated the bust dart up to the shoulder, and converted both darts to gathers.

then i did the same thing on my skirt sloper, converting the darts to pleat clusters (3 pleats in each cluster) to get a nice little flare.

to get the fabric, i deconstructed a dress i made last year but never wore, because it didn’t fit quite right and i never felt quite right in it.  but the fabric was true, everlasting love, so i went straight for it when i decided to try this pattern exercise.  i underlined the cotton to give the pleats in the skirt some real body and also to give me something to attach bra cups to in the bodice.  i was even able to recycle the lining from my old dress, cutting up the thin china silk in the new pattern.  for the lining, i used the slopers as they were to save fabric and also to preserve the little bit of blousing from the gathers in the bodice.

i was very well-behaved in my construction techniques.  i hand-applied the organza underlining to all layers, i basted several of the skirt seams to check fit and alignment, and i hand-understitched the lining at the neck and armscyes.

i hope y’all aren’t clutching your pearls at that skirt length.  it is a bit daring with my 30-year-old legs and my office job, but considering i had deconstructed another dress to get the fabric, i was pretty stoked to even get that much length out of it.  (i had less than 2 yards of fashion fabric to work with.)

my “ew, it’s monday” face

The Facts:

Fabric: recycled liberty of london “honeymoon”, previously utilized in mccall 3489
Pattern: self-drafted from skirt and bodice slopers
Year: 2012
Notions: silk organza, silk thread, zipper, hook & eye closure, bra cups
Time to Complete: 8 hours
First Worn: july 23, 2012
Wear Again: pretty sure…
Total Price: ~$50
Challenge Theme: originally for the refashion challenge (february 27, 2012)

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3 Responses to refashionista: my very first drafted-from-scratch RTW-inspired garment

  1. dottiedoodle says:

    Gorgeous dress, I especially love the back slit and the pleats.

  2. That back slit is super sexy — I may have to steal that for a dress of my own! Congratulations on the making of such an awesome dress from your own pattern!

  3. Pingback: lessons learned, garments made, and all of that end-of-the-year stuff | puu's door of time

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