a year ago this week, i closed on my own little piece of paradise. it was one of the scariest and most exciting things i have ever done. it was a huge life change (but at least it was a bright one in a dark year). when i am not there, i wish i was. i love to think about it, and plan gardens, and cook meals, and work in my sewing loft.
so of course i began thinking about how this huge new thing was influencing my other work. i began taking hundreds of photos of it and created a sort of photo diary of the first year. and, obviously, i started thinking about how i might interpret these ideas in fabric.
i started with this: my first morning in the house.
i ended up with this:
it’s maybe a too-literal, too-safe choice, but it combines a few elements that have really come to dominate my mood board (greens, texture, lace) and i think it is a great jumping-off point. i’m having a major lace phase right now, and this gorgeous remnant from mood was crying out to be used. i also love the stretch green wool i scored at paron’s.
i originally planned on lining it, but as i was constructing the lining i had a major aha moment: i hate constructing linings. it was dull as dishwater, and i was doing it poorly, and it just encouraged me to be lazy in my garment construction as well as gave me an excuse to put off finishing the garment. so i threw the lining aside and dedicated the time instead to finishing the insides of the garment properly: catch-stitching the seam allowances where necessary, hand under-stitching the facings, and attaching the cap sleeves by hand with some trusty fell stitches. it’s not that i saved any time by going this route, but the time felt better-spent and overall produced a more satisfying garment.
i considered adding the flaps, which i originally planned to do in some leftover cashmere, but they were bizarre-looking — too much contrast in a color that was nowhere else on the garment. then i got a case of the clevers and decided to piece two flaps out of scraps of cashmere, leather, lace and cammo. i actually love the effect, but they don’t belong on this dress….at least for now.
i also deliberately designed this garment to match a sort of heirloom: this hermes jacket my mom and i scored together at my favorite consignment shop. although it fit her perfectly, the jacket was huge on me originally. still, given that it is such a well-constructed garment, a trip to a high-end tailor for some alterations was an easy thing to deal with (not to pay for, since it was pricey, but this is a genuine investment piece, so it was worth the time and money!).
so there it is: the first piece in my “collection.” i probably should have started with a bang instead of something so simple, but going with the ideas as they come organically is a much better process for me.
Project Runway Collection misses’ dress with sleeve variations and separate fur collar and bib neckline.
i cut a straight 10, but shortened the bodice 1″ front and back to match the back length of my moulage/sloper. this had the added bonus of adjusting the armscye princess seams (usually the bane of my existence) into something that actually fits and flatters.
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
yes, only i hemmed mine shorter and (for now) have omitted the flaps.
Were the instructions easy to follow?
i didn’t open the instructions (hubris), but maybe i should have. i had a devil of a time inserting the side princess panel into the full-front bodice. tricky, tricky!
What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
this pattern is exceptionally well-drafted, with truly interesting design details. i love the full-front bodice with the princess seams, because it gives so many options on using contrast fabric or, as i did, a lace panel. i also love the lowered back waist detail. something about it is extremely flattering and elegant and gives the dress some extra flavor. the sleeve variations are great to play with, although i sort of love the simplicity of the cap sleeve most of all.
green wool stretch from paron’s
lace remnant from mood fabrics
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
other than shortening the bodice, none.
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
yes, i will keep this dress on standby. it won’t be at the top of my sewing queue any time soon, but it’s a good one to have in the arsenal.
another winner from project runway for simplicity!