Sunday, September 07, 2008

Butterick See & Sew 5399

...or my interpretation of this Michael Kors Dress from his Spring/Summer '08 Collection:


And on me:


I've had this picture hanging on my bulletin board since early spring - always meaning to interpret it. I thought that I would have gotten to it for spring/summer but there were so many other things vying for my attention that I am just now getting around to making it...and in tran-seasonal fabrics for early fall.

When I first saw the dress, I remembered that I had this pattern in my collection. Back in the mid-90s I made several dresses like this...different fabric bodice and skirt, with a matching jacket or a style similar to this pattern. So I just had to decide which fabrics to use to make the dress. Did I want to make a splashy colorful version or did I want to adapt the look for corporate wear? Going with the black/gray/black theme makes the dress corporate wear but sophisticated and different from what others will be wearing.

Pattern Description:
Semi-fitted, slightly tapered dress, mid-knee, has contrast middle/lower sections, back zipper/slit and above elbow elbows...copyright 1998...Out-of-Print (OOP).




Fabrics:
The bodice is from a sueded silk remnant
The center is from a lightweight twill type of gray wool crepe
The bottom is from a lightweight black wool crepe

*All of the pieces of fabric are from the collection ~ Yeah!

Notions:
Lining, 22" zipper, rayon hem tape

Pattern Alterations:
~I made my usual alteration to the sleeve bicep - slashing and spreading and adding 2" to the body of the sleeve to fit my bodacious biceps.

~I added 1" to the center front of all the pieces - doing a pivot and slide for the front top piece.

And that was all - this pattern fit with a small amount of assistance right out of the envelope.

Construction Techniques:
~I added a lining to the dress and omitted the facings that were included in the pattern. I also did the lining in two pieces - using a lighter colored lining for the white bodice and a darker shade for the body.



~I added black topstitching to the neckline and sleeves to bring some of the color to the top of the garment.



The topstitching was accomplished by using the saddle stitch on my sewing machine.



~Otherwise the only other consideration was to make sure that the side seams matched. Again this pattern went together smoothly and without any problem. I just made sure that I sewed both sides using directional stitching - sewing from the bottom of the dress to the top and making sure the side seams were pinned well before sewing.

I love the gradiation effect - light to dark. It is a perfect work dress, yet I believe it still is me! And even though its not an exact replica of the Michael Kors dress...I think that I have interpreted the spirit of the design! But mostly I can't believe that I used a pattern from 1998 to achieve this look!

32 comments:

  1. Yeah, I love the color blocking too! Beautiful dress, Carolyn! Saddle stitch! Really pretty! Great job as always!!

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  2. Great dress! I love the color blocking!

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  3. Great dress, the color blocking is wonderful. I can't believe you had the pattern, how fun.

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  4. My first reaction to the inspiration pic and pattern would've been to stay away from big horizontal stripes but the colors you chose not only work great, but they really flatter too! I think this is now one of my fav dresses you've made just because you took a rule that we plus girls have had drilled into us, saw past it, and made it fabulous! If I had occasion to wear such a dress, I'd be copying it in a NY minute (pun intended!).

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  5. I so have to agree with Debbie Cook. When I first saw the inspiration dress, I thought, "really, Carolyn, really, you're gonna put stripes across you like that? Really?"

    But then I saw what you did and thought, "wow! That's really great." Love it! g

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  6. Great work - very smart and corporate.

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  7. Just gorgeous! So dressy and chic! Do you have any black and white spectator pumps, by the way? If not, a perfect excuse...

    Sherry in Little Rock

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  8. Great dress. I think the black topstitching on the white does a good job pulling the whole thing together. I love it when these little details are included.

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  9. Super dress. Detail topstitching works perfect, and the colorblocking makes it special. Very much a "Carolyn" orginal.

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  10. Love your dress! You look lovely in it. Good job!!

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  11. Lovely dress! I really like the colors you chose too. I also like your review. Very informative!

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  12. Very pretty and very flattering!

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  13. "But mostly I can't believe that I used a pattern from 1998 to achieve this look!

    If someone told me you'd used that pattern from 1998 to make a wedding gown, I'd believe it! As usual, great results!

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  14. That looks great! I love the color blocking too.

    Susan

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  15. Beautiful dress! And the saddlestitching adds the perfect touch.

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  16. Beautiful! I saw your review on PR.

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  17. Carolyn the dress looks a million times better on you than the pattern envelope, bravo to you for seeing the potential and choosing the perfect color scheme. It is so flattering on you!

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  18. OMG I have the same pattern or one very similar. As usual you've done a wonderful job. Years and years ago (early 90s) I made the dress with red at the top, royal blue in the middle, and black at the bottom. Compliments galore I get when I wear that dress. I love color blocking, too, and I see that the Mondrian look is coming back. Dang...I remember it from the 60s.

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  19. I love it! Very nicely done with the color blocking. I think the choice of the lighter color on top and the darker color on bottom helps to slim you and place the emphasis on your smiling face. Perfect for work - elegant but a little bit different.

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  20. Great dress and like the gradiation effect.

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  21. I love this dress and it is so fabulous on you! I had been thinking about making a colour block dress, too - now I know I'm in excellent company!

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  22. Very clever of you to make the ling in 2 colors as well. Now you can use any white,gray or black jacket with it. Using stash fabrics really makes sense!

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  23. Wow, beautiful. My favorite combo of colours too :) Love the black topstitching, it really ties everything in.

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  24. I love it! Chic yet office appropriate. I was at a family function the other day and a young cousin, a graphic artist and art director, was talking about her new job. A much more corporate atmosphere than she has ever worked in before. She has always dressed in vintage thrift store kinds of things and feels the need to upgrade her wardrobe! She is looking for basics with an edge. She likes the Japanese designers and I get the impression that in this job, she can actually afford a few great pieces. But, underlying the whole conversation was the need to look 'corporate'

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  25. wow this is really awesome! Very, very nice interpretation in deed and thanks for the construction tips.

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  26. Carolyn, you are a sewing GENIOUS!!! Your dress is AWESOME!!!

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  27. Aweseome dress! Simple yet classy. I just love the neutral color combination.

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