Sunday, August 26, 2007

Inspired by Tory Burch

I love the September fashion magazines especially the September Vogue (which finally showed up, BTW!) To me the best part of these magazines are the advertisements. Hey, I am a sucker for pretty pictures on glossy paper! *smile* My normal manner of reading these magazines is to flip through the magazine, examine the ads and mark the pages that I want to use as inspiration for future garments. Sometimes they are cut out and added to my inspiration book and if they are really working a nerve, they are cut out and added to my bulletin board. Every once in awhile something is so pressing that I need to figure out a way to make it right away.

So I got to this ad in the September 2007 Vogue - it is a Tory Burch dress that is used in a Bloomingdales ad - and I stopped in my tracks. To me this dress would be perfect for right now if I made it in a drapey summer fabric. After a trip to the fabric closet and to the notions and trim stash, I had a concept for my version of this dress.

First let me show you what the original Tory Burch looks like, it's called the Agnes dress and its made from a knit fabric.

Here is my dress:

TNT Dress - The version and pattern pieces that I used to make the Chanel dress.

A black/green herringbone linen blend purchased from Fabric Mart for $1 a yard. This was purchased during one of Fabric Mart's semi-annual store sales (where everything is $1 a yard) and has been in my collection for at least five years.

2 yards of black satin piping
3 black glass vintage buttons - thanks Joanna!

Alterations/Changes to the Pattern to Achieve this Look:
~I added three inches to the yoke & front pieces and cut them out separately.
~I added a lightweight fusible interfacing to both fronts and folded the three inches back on the overlapping front piece.
~Piping was added to the neckline (handsewn in) and then the yoke facings were sewn down to finish the neckline opening.
~The sleeve facing was cut on the bias and added to the sleeve by folding it in half and then stitching in the ditch to secure it.
~The back zipper was omitted since there is now a button front opening.

The differences between the "Designer Dress" & "My Version":
~Mine has a yoked front opening
~My sleeves have a bias band at the end and are a little longer
~My dress has a side slit
~I omitted the pockets on the front

This is a very simple dress with just a little trim to add some spice. All of this is deliberate since I am attempting to make garments that have a more corporate slant to them and will fit in better with the atmosphere at my office. I think I finally have a fix on what garments I need to make and still be me.

However, there are a few changes that I would make to this dress in the future. Taking the back zipper out of the dress affects the fit in the back and so I will need to either add a back seam or alter the back pattern pieces for a better fit. This dress will work great for fall with a jacket or by itself with longer sleeves.

And finally - patent leather is hot, hot, hot for fall. And I bought these Anne Klein shoes last spring and they will look so good with this dress.

And that is summer dress number nine....


  1. Wow, that is great Carolyn! Love the sleeves - nice touch. And glad to hear black patent will be in. One of the pairs I purchased over the weekend are black patent, very similar to yours. Mmmm, might wear them tomorrow ;))

  2. That is a great dress, Carolyn. I am so impressed at the quick way in which you go from an inspirational picture into a finished dress for yourself.

  3. Very nice Carolyn. I love how you see a picture, then you are IN the garment!!!! LOL

  4. What a stunning dress. I love how a simple design can have such knock out power. Your inspiration dress was nice, but it was your version that took my breath away. I love it.

  5. Great new dress - another winner! Now I'm inspired by your inspiration! Also, I love the shoes,

  6. Another winner - I lvoe the piped neckline!

  7. woohoo you were busy this past weekend. Great interpretation C. I really like the details around the sleeve hem and the neck.

  8. I loved that dress when I saw it in the magazine too. I'm impressed that you've already made it!

  9. Love your new dress! Those shoes are perfect for corporate wear.

  10. Love the dress! Great homage to the original, but a better interpretation in my opinion.

  11. What a lovely dress and like the detailing. Pretty shoes, I love patent leather - its something about that high gloss

  12. Great job on this dress Carolyn! I love how you take those pics and run with them... just like the dress that Cameron Diaz was wearing.

  13. Perfect translation, Carolyn! It works for you and for the corporate job you have. I love piping detail at the neck and the bias on the sleeves.

  14. Great dress Carolyn! I am in awe of your interpretive abilities. I love the way you take an idea and transform it into something uniquely your own which pays homage to the original idea but is in no way bound to it.

  15. Carolyn, your dress looks very smart. I love the way you add variety to your TNT and just whip it up! And you can't beat the $ on this one.
    A winner all around!
    Yes, those shoes will look great on you!

  16. Hi Carolyn, I absolutely appreciate how you share your process from inspiration to interpretation. The detail on the sleeves is brilliant.

  17. Beautiful dress, I love the use of the vintage buttons, the placement of them puts them in a position where they can be seen and appreciated.

    Thanks for sharing your step by step process from inspiration to finish. Very impressive.


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