I was on Vogue.com last week when I spied Erdem's Pre-Fall Collection 2012 and I fell in love. I loved his mix of prints and patterns but the dress that really caught my eye was the Jane Houndstooth & Crepe Dress from his Resort 2012 Collection. I'd never really looked at his line before even though I'd seen it in the list of designers at style.com. So this led to a little research. I found out that he is a young designer working out of London. I also went back through several of his collections on style.com to get a handle on what he liked to design and I loved his silhouettes. I also viewed his pieces on a few RTW sites and was thrilled when I found several on net-a-porter because then you can see the garments walked on a model.
So the Jane Dress, really caught my eye...so much so that I was drooling on my keyboard at work! *LOL* I mean this is the perfect silhouette for my body. It is made up in my favorite fabric of the moment, Houndstooth, and it would work for my professional work life. My only concern is that the back of the dress is a white crepe. That's just not happening in my life so I envisioned the dress with a few changes.
Day One - Finding the Fabric
After becoming obsessed with this awesome dress, I came home and did something I swore I wouldn't do any time soon, I opened the fabric bins and dug through them until I found the black and white Houndstooth that I purchased from Mood and the black wool crepe that is a staple in my fabric collection. Because like I stated before, the white back is not working for me...however...a black wool crepe back would be perfect!
I also decided to add a center back seam and an invisible zipper for ease of getting into and out of the dress. Finally some 3/4 length sleeves from the black wool crepe will also be added to the dress so that I can wear the dress as is...without sleeves means that I would need to wear a jacket or cardigan with it...which in my opinion would detract from the dress.
Day Two - Pretreating the Fabric
By choosing to use the wool crepe I knew I would need to pretreat the fabric to prevent all of my hard work from shrinking...so since I'm impatient and I was pretreating after work, I used Pam Erny's method (which I can't locate on her blog, Off the Cuff, right now...so if someone has the link would you kindly leave it in the comments section!) Basically Pam's method is to take a damp white towel and place it alongwith the fabric in the dryer and pretreat the fabric. So this is what I did, white towel, fabric with serged ends in the dryer for 40 minutes.
Then I set up my ironing board with the blanket beneath it (to cover the floor) and steamed the heck out of both sides of the fabric.
The machine prep was next...making a couple of black bobbins and changing the thread on my serger and that's where I left the project for the evening. Since I've been working on this in the evenings after work during Christmas week, the dress has taken shape slowly. Again something unusual for me, I usually wait for the weekend to sew but I just couldn't wait for this one...it was consuming me creatively!
Stay tuned for more on this dress...