Friday, September 06, 2013

The Chado Ralph Rucci Wool Double Knit Dress

This garment is ALL about the fabric.  This amazing Chado Ralph Rucci wool double knit fabric was posted on Moods' Instagram account a couple of weeks ago. After some discussion online, some drooling and a desire that just wouldn't go away, I went to Mood and purchased three panels or 4 3/4 yards of fabric. C'mon it's Chado Ralph Rucci fabric and you KNOW how much I love his designs!!! 

It's an awesome piece of fabric with a lot of possibility so I went through several ideas of how to use the fabric to its best advantage.  I finally settled on the idea of sewing a variation of my TNT dress pattern along with a suit comprised of a jacket & a straight skirt.  This post is all about the dress.


The Pattern ~
I started with a version of my TNT dress called The Whitney Dress. As you know, the first one was made in a brown wool crepe with an orange top stitching embellishment that I made shortly after Whitney Houston died. For this one, I made the fabric the main attraction.

Notions ~
1 - 22" purple invisible zipper
black rayon seam tape
black bemberg lining
1" black lace

Construction ~
First can I say that this fabric was easy to sew.  The thread just sunk into the seams and it pressed easily.  It is a mid to heavy weight fabric so this dress will be perfect when the temps drop.  I took photos both inside and outside ~ outside being the most miserable because I was hot, hot, hot in this dress. I've included both sets of pictures in this post because seriously if I had made the dress in season, I would have had on stockings or tights and there would have been falling leaves in the background...so imagine! *LOL*

Now one of the differences between this version and the original is that I've added bracelet length sleeves to it.  The purple sleeve bands work well with the purple inserts.  Actually this is one of my favorite features of the dress.


To effectively use the purple on the back of the dress, I added a stripe down the back of the dress.  It adds length and contrast to the back.


The thing is this is a basic black dress with purple accents - well placed purple accents - but accents just the same.  Construction details are in this post but here are a few highlights.
  • The dress is cut a little smaller than my normal TNT dress pattern because I wanted a closer fit for this dress.
  • I used the same v-neckline as the Whitney Dress.
  • The dress is lined in black bemberg and hemmed with 1" black lace trim.
  • Instead of sleeveless like the original dress, I've added bracelet length sleeves to this version so the dress can be worn without a topper.  I really don't want to hide any of the design features of the dress. Plus the dress is warm so unless the temps drop really low this winter, I won't need to layer.
  • The dress skirt front has a center front seam. I did that because I needed to get all of the pieces out of the fabric.
  • The purple accents was accomplished by careful and well thought out pattern layout and cutting.  

The neckline view

The main body of the dress is lined.
The sleeves are unlined.

Lace added to the lining hemline


A few more pictures of the dress...




Conclusion~
This is a closer fitting dress than I normally wear but I was concerned that since it is a knit that it would grow upon wearing it all day.  I had my daughter laughing because I said that I felt like Oprah in the dress.  Seriously have you seen the dresses she wore while promoting the movie, The Butler? They were v-neckline knit dresses with a close-fit and several of them had color blocking to slim her figure.

I'm really happy with the final dress. This could have gone bad very quickly.  I know y'all think I can sew anything but every time I start a new project, I do take a deep breathe.  Oh and one more thing...don't the shoes look great with the dress?!  Bows, slingbacks and purple...be still my heart! *LOL*

...as always more later!




53 comments:

  1. That is a beautiful dress! I love the sleeves. And I LOVE YOUR PURPLE SHOES!!!!!

    Sigh. Purple Shoes. You really kick it!

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  2. The dress is amazing and the shoes could are a perfect match.

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  3. I love this dress on you. The fit is really flattering. Cool shoes too.

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  4. Stunning dress on you, the purple is placed to perfection and love the shoes!

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  5. What a great dress - and I love how the waist details replicate the bows on the shoes. Great symmetry

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  6. lovely, what a great winter dress. I love anything with purple.

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  7. Awesome. You did that gorgeous fabric justice!

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  8. It is stunning. I love how you placed the purple accents. A lovely job as always :)

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  9. Great dress and I love that you found matching shoes. I really like the purple accents especially with the sleeve border being at the same level as the waist accents. Very classy!

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  10. You look lovely in this dress - I think the closer fit you made with this dress is really flattering on you. The slim fit combined with the purple triangles at the waistline really show off your curves

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  11. Just to die for and with purple!! The dress is extremely flattering with the purple accents.

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  12. Beautiful dress and those shoes match to perfection.

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  13. Your dress is so beautiful! It looks awesome on you and very slimming. I wish I could just pop over to Mood's!
    you are very fortunate :)

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  14. Love it! Hope you enjoy the rest of your sewcation too.

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  15. You look fantastic. It is a wonderful dress.

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  16. This is so fierce I love it! The colour contrast is spot on and I love the shapes of the purple blocks. Looks really great on you. Tres chic!

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  17. This is a WOW dress by Carolyn Designs. You look amazing!! Love the purple shoes with the dress! (The blackshoes look good also.)

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  18. This is fabulous! I love the purple accents and the fit is great on you- close fitting but not a bit tight. Very flattering.

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  19. Another stunner! The shoes are great, the triangle insets are perfectly sewn, the fit is perfect.

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  20. I have to say that I LOVE this dress. And the purple shoes are perfect for the ensemble. I love that the shoes are reminiscent of the purple shaping at the waist. Great job!!

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  21. The word that came to mind as I looked at this dress (and this dress on you)...Fabulous!

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  22. You look sharp in this dress. Great design.

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  23. The closer fit was a smart choice for this dress. It fits you well.

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  24. Tres chic!!! I LOVE the dress, Carolyn!

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  25. lovely! the purple accents really pop :)

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  26. I love the sleeves and the neckline -- so gorgeous! I look forward to seeing you wear the jacket and skirt too.

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  27. Love the dress. Sleeves are nice. You look great in the dress and of my, the shoes are perfect.

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  28. Fantastic! This might be one of my all time favorites. Seeing this just makes me want to sew something awesome.

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  29. All your CRR pieces are wonderful! But I think you really nailed it with this dress - the closer fit, the bracelet length sleeves, the accents... just beautiful!

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  30. Oh! And the right shoes! ;-)

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  31. So pretty! And the shoes are killer! What i really wanna know is... what do your coworkers say about your wardrobe? I know during my brief stints outside of the garment industry, that I was always being told "you're in the wrong profession," since people were always amazed that I would go home and sew something after work. That was my BC life... (before children).

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  32. OMG, totally awesome! And the perfect shoes, too. I love it.

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  33. I love how creative you have been with the purple placement on all of the garments - so they all match but look different. That fabric must have been amazing to feel and work with .

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  34. Another dress winner!! Love the color combo and the way you used the purple.

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  35. I absolutely love this dress and you look fabulous in it. I think you could give Oprah a real run for the money in the gorgeous in a great dress category!!

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  36. Another beautiful dress. Nice job.

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  37. Love,Love,Love the dress. Very polished. And yes the purple shoes are a perfect compliment.

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  38. I love this dress on you Carolyn!

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  39. I love this! Fabric placement, v-neck, fitted silhouette, perfection!

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  40. Gorgeous.
    I love the v neckline and the purple accents. The shoes are fabulous too!

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  41. I really like the closer fit of this!

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  42. This dress is FABULOUS! I love it. You inspire me, Lady!

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  43. Wow, this is a great dress! I love purple and black together and the purple accents really make this a flattering style.

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  44. This is AMAZING! It turned out so perfectly! You have such a great vision for how to use fabrics. Seriously stellar!

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  45. Great dress and wonderful shoes! I bet the fabric has a fabulous feel to it. Make every excuse to wear that dress as often as you can because you look mah-velous in it, dahling.

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  46. What a stunning dress, Carolyn! Love it!

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  47. Very, very classy. I like the slightly closer fit, and the way you've used the fabric really does look special. Another hit!

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  48. You did a beautiful job of sewing the purple accents on the front of the dress. I love the look. I
    may I add that you look beautiful in this dress, and the purple shoes just set it off. you go girl!

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  49. This dress is such a masterpiece. I liked a lot of your garments so far, but this is one of my all-time-favorites.

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  50. I think the more fitted look is good on you--in fact I think you could go even more fitted across the back waist for a shapelier silhouette. You have a narrow back to show off.

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