Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Whitney Dress - Part One

So named because while I worked on it today, I listened to Whitney Houston videos and music from my iTunes account.  I was at a loss this morning because I knew I wanted to make a dress but none of the ones remaining on my fall/winter sewing list appealed to me.  Not because I don't want to make them, but two are scheduled to be sewn next weekend during the three-day weekend and the other two just didn't push any buttons for me today.

I knew that I didn't want a regular sheath dress from my TNT pattern.  I wanted something with some seams since I've been seeing a lot of them in the street, and the seaming is slimming.  Then while watching the Whitney videos, I was inspired by the one that she wears in the video for the song for, "Inspired by the Best."

Now the dress that Whitney wears looks more like the Burda dress I made a couple of years ago and the dress I subsequently starting working on has seaming but not the same type.  Of course since I'm using an idea and no pattern, there needed to be some pattern alterations done to my TNT dress pattern.

the front with the first alterations 
made to the pattern

pattern pieces cut apart with
5/8" seam allowances added

front & back piece laying side by side
to make the back pattern alterations

Back pattern piece alterations

With 5/8" seam 
allowances added

After pre-treating a brown wool crepe to use for this version, I got down to cutting out and assembling the dress.  

The brown is pretty dark and you would only see the seaming detail if you were standing close to me, so I decided that I needed to emphasize the seaming with a bright color.  At first I was thinking about using a tan...then I decided that I wanted something bright and almost went with a spring green...but that was a little too avant for me.  

Next I decided to check the color wheel to see what color was opposite brown on the color wheel.  However, brown is not on the color wheel which I didn't realize.   Then I decided on a color that was bold but wearable to work and that I already owned a cardigan  I think this works great...

I've already started to assemble it so the next post about this dress will be the reveal.  This is a dress made from my TNT pattern so besides the additional seaming and the extra stitching, this is a run-of-the mill sew for me. always, more later!


  1. What a nice tribute to Whitney. I think it's going to be a beautiful dress. I like the topstitched seams. Very classy.

  2. Watching the video just made me so sad. I have always loved Whitney's voice. She was so gifted. I am imagining an orange cardigan worn over a brown dress that has interesting seaming topstitched in orange. And kick'n shoes of course. It is going to look great.

  3. Carolyn, I love that you are making a tribute to Whitney and can't wait to see the finished dress.

    Brown IS on the color wheel - sorta. Every color has a brown. When looking at brown, you need to determine the underlying color - is it blueish brown? reddish? greenish?

    I was recently taught this after trying to put a brown sweater with green undertones together with a top in brown with orange undertones. These did not at all look good together. When I inquired of a lady I know who is a color specialist, she taught me that brown has undertones.

    Now that I know, I see it everywhere!

  4. I like browns that have an orange base. I now cannot remember which blogger recommended this Color Scheme Designer but here is the link. Use is free, but donations appreciated.

    To get an orange based brown set the color at orange in the mono color screen, click on "Adjust Scheme", and drag the little curser down toward black. It will say saturation and brightness, until you get the shade of brown you have. Then go back to "Hues" and click on the color schemes to play with the colors. You can click and drag the solid circles to play with the color schemes a bit more. There are lots of application for this little program. I even donated.

  5. And yes, Whitney's death is a shock. I feel so sorry for her daughter, Bobbi.

  6. It may be a run of mill sewing for you, but what you do with your TNT dress pattern is always amazing. Can't wait for the reveal day.

  7. That's going to look great. Do you use special top stitching thread to get it to stand out like that?

  8. you go girl! this has shocked and saddened me so about Whitney a beautiful woman gone forever never to hear that fantastic voice.

  9. A wonderful tribute this will be. Love the topstitching color.

  10. I think the orange looks very good and very of the moment.
    It's sad that Whitney Houston died at such a young age. She must have had one of the best voices of the 20th century.

  11. I think you could have rocked the green, but I like the orange too.

    Also, there are more detailed color wheels that will give you browns and greys and such. This is a pretty good one, it's for converting printing colors but the image itself is handy.

    Can't wait to see this dress finished!

  12. Hmmm... sorry, that link was wonky. Here's the main page, the color wheel is down a little bit on the page.

  13. Thanks! That was my have a "dress" and skirt/blouse both.

    Love your "Whitney Dress" idea. What a shame she is gone...such talent...

  14. Love the contrast top stitching. Great color choice.

  15. That's a lovely way to remember Whitney by. Good colour choice too.

  16. Ms. Carolyn, You are the best. I, like you, watched and listened to Whitney Houston practically all day. It's incredible.

    The dress she wore in the video is earthy and strong. I like the seaming. You have such a great eye for designing. Thanks for sharing. You've inspired me to make something Whitney Houstonish.

  17. I admire you so much. Your commitment to your art, yes it is art; your style and most of all your resolve to refuse anything but that which is good!


Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! It is so appreciated!


Related Posts with Thumbnails