Monday, September 12, 2011

Designer Interpretations - Mixed Fabrications Dress

The Dries van Noten dress resonated with me from the moment I first saw it in the September 2011 issue of Elle magazine. I'm sure to some it looks like a mixture of prints that don't play well together but I saw a dialogue between fabric and silhouette...and that's what I was drawn to...

So my interpretation of that dialogue becomes Dress No. 21 for this year, Dress #50 from my TNT pattern and the third in the series of Designer Inspired Dresses.  To say that I love a dress is becoming somewhat of an understatement...



Some stats:

Pattern:
TNT dress pattern - altered to interpret the designer dress

Fabric:
Vanilla 4-ply silk crepe from the collection
Black worsted wool crepe from the collection
Silk Houndstooth purchased from Fabric Mart April 2011
Printed silk charmeuse from the collection

Notions:
beige bemberg lining
18" ivory invisible zipper

The Construction Journey:
After making the pattern alterations, I ended up with quite a few pieces...all of those pieces cut from single pieces of fabric needed to be kept separately so that they could be matched up correctly during the assembly process.  Someone referred to the Macy's Dress in the comments section that I made during last September's sewcation, and that was a simplier sew.  Simplier because I only made the interlocking pieces for the front of the dress and left the dress back uncomplicated.  The back on this dress does have a design feature...a little less design than I originally imagined but some detailing nonetheless.

The Dress Front:
There are three very distinctive fabrics used in the front of the dress.  At first glance they don't exactly coordinate...but pieced together they do speak to each other and I like the conversation they are having.  The first thing I did after cutting out the pieces was to beef up the printed silk charmeuse triangle by adding a piece of the lightweight silk used in the HeidiM inspiration dress.  I didn't want to have any difficulties with the weights of the fabric working together once the dress front was assembled.


An additional concern was where all of the fabrics came together at a point.  To insure that it laid flat, I graded some of the seams, used alot of steam while pressing and my clapper very liberally.


The other change in construction - is that my side piece is a little larger than the inspiration dress.  From what I can see in the photos, it is a slim piece with the fabric overlapping it in places.  I made my side piece a little wider (wider body/wider piece) and it works for the look I was trying to achieve...



The Back:
I used the already altered pattern pieces from The Versace Dress back so the sewing wasn't complicated.  I deliberately cut the pieces so that there was a jag around the zipper to add a little interest to the back. 


Originally I was going to add a strip of the printed charmeuse to the back hem...but as I worked on the dress, I decided against it...even though a piece of the print is on the hem of the designer dress.  Also, instead of using a 22" invisible zipper, I substituted an 18" invisible zipper.  The 18" zipper works as well for opening the dress to slide it on so it was no big deal to change that out.

The Lining:


I used a beige bemberg rayon lining instead of a white one because I wanted to mute the opaqueness that the white silk/white rayon lining combo had.  No lace was added to the hemline of the lining.

A few more pics:





I have two more dresses that I want to sew in the Designer Inspired Series.  However, they will come to fruition later in the month.  After sewing three very labor intensive dresses (even if they look simple) it made me want to sew something quick and easy as my final vacay dress which I will share with you next.

Parting Shots:

I bought these shoes earlier in the summer.  They aren't what I normally purchase but I love the AK Anne Klein line of shoes and they are slingbacks another fave...but most especially they are purple!  I think they work perfectly with this dress that pushes my corporate world boundaries a little...just like my shoes.

Shoe portrait in the mirror


Single shoe alone



...as always, more later!








52 comments:

  1. Interesting mix of fabrics and another great interpretation! You look fabulous.

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  2. Not everyone can carry off that design-style but you have done so brilliantly!

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  3. Homerun! Out of the park! Wow-beautiful and inspiring. You look fabulous (another understatement)!

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  4. WOW! I love this and it's so incredibly flattering. I can always tell when you really love a dress because your face lights up and your body language says "I know I look good!" Great job!

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  5. You know, I didn't like this at first. I think it was the wedge of fabric that turned me off. But the more I look at it, the more I like it. It's an interesting dress that demands a good look or two (or three). Way to go on another successful dress!

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  6. This dress is creative and unique and totally FAB! Love those purple shoes too!

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  7. Lovely choice of fabrics and design for a great dress!!
    Although I am a beginner sewer I really enjoy reading your blog.

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  8. I understand why you like dresses so much. Each one is so individual and it is an outfit all in one piece. This is a great addition to the collection. Cool shoes too!

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  9. #50?! I am amazed you can still keep count! Here is another winner, I think the mix of fabrics is a bit more subtle than the designer original and it really works on you.

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  10. Love it, love it! I think I'll copy this. :) You will have to come to my house and help me pick out the fabrics though! :) Great job mixing th fabrics. ~Valerie

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  11. Mixing fabrics is not my cup of tea - but you made this look great ~ and even more importantly, it looks great on you! Love the shoes with it.
    Blessings,
    Patti

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  13. Love the fabric combo you chose.

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  14. I *love* this!! And I love it on you. And, and ... lol ... I love your fabric mix more than the original. Great shoes too. :-)

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  15. Fantastic dress, the combinations of fabric, top notch. You look fabulous!

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  16. I was fascinated by the Dries Van Noten Fall 2011 collection, too, but couldn't really see how to create a dress like this that I would feel comfortable wearing. You have such an eye for color and pattern coordination and I love how you make something unique like this work for your office environment.

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  17. your placement of the waist/hip piece is genius

    smolderingwickdesigns.blogspot.com

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  18. Okay, I'm impressed! I think yours looks better than the inspiration dress.

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  19. Nice, Carolyn! Love the triangle of the charmeuse print against the black/white/houndstooth combo.

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  20. The combination of fabrics play well together. The charmuse fabric with a bit of purlple add sparkle to the dress and your choice of shoe color was the icing on the cake. I have a question for you, do you add darts to the back of you dress for shaping? if not how do you achieve shaping without darts? I cannot tell from the photos if the dress has darts or not.

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  21. Fun dress love the fabric combination.

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  22. The dress looks great. I think that the proportions of the various pieces work well on your figure. You hit it just right. Enjoy.

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  23. The fabric combination is really fun. As much as I love prints, I've been kind of afraid to mix them (outside of bags) so far, so I find your dress rather inspiring!

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  24. This mixed pattern trend is going to take some getting used to. Fun though, great interpretation.

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  25. another winner! I do love what the fabrics are having to say to each other. and shoes - fabulous. g

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  26. I love this! The dress is so unique and pretty!! Another fabulous, inspiring piece.

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  27. !!!!!! oh my god that is FABULOUS!!! I am a reader but not usually a commenter - but I love to make myself unique clothes and to me this is your greatest success to date! How perfectly did you place that triangle on the front??? Perfectly, that's how perfectly! And I don't know if it's the photo, but the back looks so curvaceously delicious.
    Awesome, awesome, awesome. I'm not much of a sheath dress wearer myself, but I can see one fabulous winter shirt inspired by you! And DVN, of course. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    fruitbat

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  28. Wowza!!! Your choice of fabrics is inspired, and the strong offset vertical line is so flattering. This dress is smashing, and with a jacket, certainly corporate appropropriate. As for your shoes, I'm in awe of anyone who can wear pointy toes; I probably would do better wearing the shoe boxes. I've got to get going on my own TNT.

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  29. Beautiful dress. I love the houndstooth silk! This is such a spectacular combination. The dress also looks great on you!

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  30. Carolyn,

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and really enjoy your perspective. You seem like a busy woman with a lot going on. I've wanted to ask you how you manage to find time to sew as much as you do.

    I know that seems like a strange question, but as badly as I want to sew, other things always seem to take precedence. So I guess the real nosy question is....when you sew your beautiful clothes, are there dishes in your sink?

    Thanks for not rolling your eyes or laughing,

    Lisa Pellegrini

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  31. That looks so very pretty on you! You GO with the purple shoes!

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  32. Good job reinterpreting DVN, Carolyn!

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  33. It looks Great Carolyn. You did a fantastic job.

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  34. I love this dress, and agree with everyone! Better than the inspiration dress! Inspired fabric choices! So flattering! And purple shoes. Great!

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  35. This is a dress that could easily be in one of those fashion magazines. Love the color combination and it looks so nice on you. Great job as usual!

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  36. That is one gorgeous dress!!!! Love the combo of fabrics....and the purple shoes!!!

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  37. Loved your fabric choices in this design of this dress! Beautiful work as always!!
    By the way.....loved your writing of the life you lived on the day of 9/11
    Left me truly touched.
    Take care!

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  38. now this is a neat dress!! :)

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  39. I love that dress - you've taken a conservative shape and made it very edgy! I esp. like the jag in the back. It commands attention and it gives a very flattering shape.

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  40. You are inspirational. This is my favorite dress to date. Thank you for sharing!

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  41. Your choice of fabrics is perfect - what a wonderful way to showcase your creativity and eye for what goes with what! The dress looks wonderful - very 'designer' and very flattering and fun. Love the purple shoes!!

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  42. Amazing! The shoes are too perfect!

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  43. Another great interpretation Carolyn! And the shoes are perfect with it!

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  44. I love this. At first glance, I thought it was more than one piece!

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  45. All of your renditions have turned out so wonderful! I'm really liking the mixed fabric's dress... it a style that I've liked for a long time... (years ago I found a cute jacket done in various wool/mixed fabric's) Great job! I do have a question about the sling backs though... Just a weird thing that happened with a pair of mine...
    Do you ever have problems with sling-backs slipping off your feet? I just took a pair into the shoe repair to have him make the back sling a bit shorter... he said, "I will do it, but just know, that people have trouble with sling-backs all the time... even after I fix them they still slip!" Just wondering. But the way.... great purple shoes too! They go great with the new purple dress!

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  46. This is such a great use of fabrics!!! You did an outstanding job and it looks fantastic on you!

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  47. Oh my goodness! I LOVE THAT! This is creativity at its best! You tried it, you did it and it worked! Very nicely done and you look HOT in it!

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  48. I love the dress you made - it's perfectly put together and the lines flatter you perfectly! I would pay big bucks for a dress that flattering! I suppose that is what experience brings - I hope to achieve your level of expertise some day! I learned to sew way back in junior high school (in the Stone Age) and sewed quite a bit into the early 1980's and then quit when clothes got so inexpensive. And now, those inexpensive clothes are awful on my plus-size body. Your blog and another I found have inspired me to go for it. I purchased an old McCalls simple woman's jumper pattern and will go fabric shopping this weekend. I've learned from reading your blog that I don't have to settle for blah, ill-fitting clothes. Making a jumper dress that is actually wearable and fits my body will be a big step toward freedom from ready-made clothing tyranny!

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  49. I kid you not! When I saw the back of the dress, I distinctively heard a sista say, "Hmph. And?!" That dress has At.Ti.Tude! Very, very nice, Carolyn!

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  50. WOW, you made the most wonderful interpretation. I love the combination. You look stunning.

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