Thursday, August 20, 2009


This dress is the first article of clothing that I've made for someone else (well, for a person--sorry to say, Barbies, you all don't count). I designed this for a friend of mine for her upcoming Day/Night dance for school. She asked for a dress that could be worn equally as well during the day as at night. Besides requesting me to use black chiffon and to incorporate white, she also really wanted a gold, silver, or yellow bow. I searched high and low at the local fabric store for her first choices of gold or silver fabric, but I couldn't find any that would properly shift the dress throughout the various alter egos of 24 hours. (It's also the first time that I realized that as fabric, gold can look like mustard and that silver can look grey. Not quite the same as true gold and silver, right? Super weird.)

The finished dress is mainly made out of black chiffon with black lining, white eyelet, and a textured, fresh yellow cotton. I really, really hope it fits! We live too far apart to have done a proper slew of fittings, and I also can't fit into the dress to try it on for size!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Dressy Vest

These fabrics might look familiar from a previous post about my upcoming projects for the summer. I dubbed them the "mango cotton" and the "grape-colored fabric"--I must have subconsciously labeled them with fruit names. Neither had any delicious, fruity name on the labels at the end of their bolts. Now that I've completed the vest, the combination of the names and the visual combination of the richly colored fabrics remind me of Indonesia and eating the native geometric, highly faceted fruits with their sweet aromas.

My initial idea was to make a dress out of the mango cotton and the grape-colored fabric, but I didn't want too many lines interrupting the continuous design of the grape fabric. I wasn't too keen on a tent-style dress either. While flipping through photos for inspiration, I firmly decided that I have been making far too many dresses. So, the dress idea turned into a vest idea, and the vest turned into a top with the mango cotton layered underneath the grape fabric.

I used McCall's 5933, but I had to make major alterations to get rid of the gap in the shoulder area. Otherwise, the whole vest front tilted awkwardly away from my chest. Bringing the two front edges together resulted with the vest's shoulder area drooping off of my back. Since I also had to reposition the darts, I can't say that this was a fantastic pattern to work with, but it was a fairly good starting block if one has other (major) plans for it. Hems were lengthened and hand-sewn to eliminate a harsh thread line. Buttons are a clear tangerine.