Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Macy's Color Blocked Dress - Part 1

I saw this ad in the September Issue of Vogue a couple of weeks ago.


and I knew right away that I wanted to make it.  The interesting thing about this dress is that I can purchase it.  Macy's sells it in a plus size version - up to a size 24 for only $99.  However, at the time I saw the ad, I did not realize this and I got it into my head that I would make my own version during my Sewcation.

So for weeks I've been walking around working out the construction sequence.  I went over it and over it until I finally believed I would be able to construct this dress.  Then during the NYC PR Shopping Day, I found the red & black doubleknit at Metro Textiles.  The nude doubleknit was purchased from fabric.com and it's one of the Sophia knits.

Last night was the day of reckoning.  Would my plan work?  Could I actually do the pattern alterations needed to get the dress I wanted?  Would it look okay, once it was made?  Of course, I started with my TNT dress pattern.  I traced two new front pieces and then taped them together at the center front, making sure to include the darts.

If you look at the dress pictured above or even on Macy's site, can you see any darts?  I sure couldn't.  I don't know about you, but me...I have a bust...quite a large bust.  Not as big as some others but you definitely know that I have one if you saw me walking down the street.  So darts had to be incorporated into the finished dress.

The dress fronts were taped together then I needed to make some decisions about where I was going to make the sections of black, red & nude pieces.  I tried to stick to the same proportions as the dress pictured in the ad, but the dart placement definitely affected how I cut the segments of the dress.  I wish I had remembered to take a picture of the original dress pattern before I cut it apart.  Of course I didn't in the excitement of realizing that what I had imagined would actually come to be.

However, I did get a picture of the pattern pieces cut apart with the 5/8" seam allowances added to them and the pieces placed together to form an entire dress front:


After that, it was just a matter of cutting the separate sections out of the fabric.  If you noticed, I marked each piece what color it should be and I laid them on the fabric based upon how it would fit on the dress.  So no piece was just laid straight up and down or on grain on the fabric.  Each piece was laid on the fabric as it would be on the dress.


Now you know I'm anal about thead colors.  Can you imagine me serge finishing and stitching this dress together? Yeah, you know it.  I had three spools of thread (red, beige & black) along with the three matching bobbins.  Then each piece was serge finished using the color of the piece.  So yes, I changed the serger thread three times! 

I was unable to find a back view of this dress.  So I went with an all black back...maybe I should have taken a trip to Macy's to actually view the dress, but I didn't have time in the weeks proceeding my vacation.  

So without this information, I decided that I wanted all of the WOW factor to be in the front.  I'm also adding short sleeves to the dress because it's an early fall dress and I want to be able to wear it alone and/or with a cardigan or jacket.

Here is where the dress stands now.


I'm thrilled that the front view works!  I'm thrilled that what I imagined came to fruition...and after I finish up the back and assemble the dress, go through hair and make-up and one of the photographers come home, I will share finished pics and any additional construction information with you!

...as always, more later!

60 comments:

  1. Fabulous! And the excitement and joy you have sewing this project comes through in your blog post :-)

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  2. I love a great knockoff! And this is a great knockoff! Fabulous job Carolyn!

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  3. Wow Carolyn, it's looking fantastic! You are the queen of garment interpretation. I look forward to seeing the finished dress.

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  4. Wonderful Carolyn! The colors - oh yeah, nice, very nice.

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  5. As usual, amazing. Beautiful dress, can't wait to see a pic of you in it.

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  6. WOW!!! I do love your blog--you are so inspirational.

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  7. Love this dress. I also saw the pic in Vogue and tore it out to put in my inspiration folder. Can't wait to see pics of you wearing it.

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  8. Another beautiful creation - oh yeah!

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  9. Amazing! A beautiful dress! I think you are right in making the back of the dress black and having the "wow" factor in the front.

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  10. Wow! You know how to impress!

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  11. A great knock-off indeed! I really like this colour combination. Those nude shoes again are perfect!

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  12. WOW Carolyn. When you go on sew-cation, you MEAN it!

    Awesome knockoff and I bet you look MAH-VELOUS in it.

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  13. Stunning! You really are amazing in how you interpret design and styles using your TNT pattern. I agree with you about the darts, I was wondering the same thing as I looked at the magazine image. Is the back blocked or plain? I guess all will be revealed in the photo shoot from another memorable sewcation! You have me all inspired to try a blocked dress too :-) Your version is fabulous!

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  14. Great job!!! It looks so much like the inspiration dress!

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  15. Woo Hoo, Carolyn! It's perfect! What a joyous thing that you did it yourself instead of buying the $99 version. How wonderful that you did not know it came in your size. I have no doubt that in addition to looking fantastic, the workmanship is better than what you would have purchased at Macy's. Good on Ya!!

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  16. I saw the same dress in a magazine, I tore the page out and saved it for a future project. Your version looks fabulous.

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  17. *GASP* I love it! I think you should have made the back just as fabulous as the front, that way people could marvel at your creation coming and going.

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  18. You should be thrilled, fantastic job.

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  19. Wow! You've done an amazing job so far :)

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  20. Oh that looks great! And you know its going to fit you far better than anything off the peg.

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  21. LOOOOVEEE it! I actually think your placement of the red stripes is more aesthetic than the Macy's ad, but thats just my opinion. Can't wait to see it on, it's a real stunner!

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  22. It's a stunner - love your placement of the red blocks. I bet it is going to be gorgeous when it's finished - i'm staying tuned for final photos!

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  23. Love it! Great interpretation!

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  24. Very cool! Can't wait to see it on you.

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  25. you nailed this one, I can't stop looking at it

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  26. Great project. Thanks for sharing.

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  27. It looks great! Exactly like the one at Macy's.

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  28. Now, wasn't that more fun than plopping down $99? The dress looks fantastic!

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  29. Color blocking is making a comeback. Your dress is amazing!

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  30. You are soooo cool! Way to go! You really ought to be feeling pretty good about now! And this is only the first dress! It looks great!

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  31. This looks great! I think keeping the back solid black is the way to go. BTW, I zoomed in on the Macy's dress and did see a dart. ;-)

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  32. Great job at this knock-off!

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  33. I also love this dress! I saw it in the Macy's ad and thought "I wonder if Carolyn is going to knock this off!" And lo...you have! It looks fantastic :D Can't wait to see you styled up and wearing it1 Great job!

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  34. Love the new dress! The original does have darts, visible on the tan side, if you enlarge the photo on the Macy's site. It's not real obvious though. I wonder if the red were in the right place, if the darts could be incorportated into the seams?

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  35. oh my gosh, this is GORGEOUS! So stylish, great job!!

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  36. You are rockin' and rollin' with this. Looks lovely and can't wait to see it on you.

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  37. Outstanding! Way to go, Carolyn!

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  38. This is awesome! You give me hope!

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  39. I love your version of this dress. And it will fit you better than the Macy's version ever would. You do love a challenge, though, don't you? :-)

    This is why I need a selection of TNTs. As soon as my size changes level off...I'm going to do princess and darted sheath dresses.

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  40. So cute Carolyn. Just love it. You are so fun to follow.

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  41. Wow. Better than the one in the pic.

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  42. Absolutely fabulous! One look at the photo and I knew it was going to be a Carolyn dress!

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  43. Wow this has to be one of your all time best dresses ever and you have given this one a lot of competition for that title. Great work.

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  44. WOW!!!I can't even form words right now. I'm in awe.

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  45. Love your version. Isn't sewing just the coolest thing?

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  46. That is one of the coolest dresses you have made! I love it!

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  47. How the hell did I miss this dress... I have been in cardmaking la la land. The dress is FABULOUS!!!!

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  48. WOW this dress is amazing! You did a fantastic job :)

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  49. I'm so in love with this dress :) it's pretty and chic. Color blocked clothes are fashionable even this Spring :D

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