January 4, 2011

The 'last of 2010' dress

I made this dress literally in the last bit of 2010.
That is, I sewed it, all of it, on December 31th. If I remember correctly, I made the pattern in the evening of the 29th, finishing it and cutting the fabric on the 30th.

The basic design however, which I sketched in a soft pencil which the scanner really doesn't like (I've just added the tech drawing I made this morning), is at least half a year old. It certainly pre-dates that of the kimono-inspired retro-dress.
It had been lingering on my desk, waiting for the right season and the right fabric.

The dress has a sort of empire-line bodice with kimono sleeves and a shawl collar. The skirt is cut in 6 panels reaching up in a point at center front. It has single pleats at the bottom of both sides of the center back panel to create extra room for walking (although the stretch alone might have been enough). There's a blind zipper in the left side seam.

The fabric was bought a few months ago. I don't really know what colour to claim for it. Most of the fluffy outside fibres are black, and it's beige on the inside and some of that it visible too.
It was on sale and very cheap (0,50 euro a meter, if I remember correctly, with 2 meters left on the bolt). I wouldn't have bought this stuff otherwise. It's a very peculiar knit which only stretches lengthwise. So, I had to cut everything on the crossgrain. It is also a mystery fibre with a huge difference between the right and wrong sides. On the wrong side of the fabric, you can actually see the plastic-y filaments which I guess are the lycra threads that give the fabric its stretch. It makes the inside surface a bit rough and the fabric is a bit stiff but, made into a garment, it's surprisingly comfortable. I had planned a lining but decided I wouldn't need one.

Because of its colour, it's very difficult to photograph, so I've added these extra poses in the hope of showing at least some of what this dress is like.


  1. This is so impressive! I love how it fits you! It's impeccable and those little pleats on the back of the skirt are a great design element. Congratulations! very inspiring... got to get back to my own projects...

  2. Lauriana,
    As always, your sewing is fabulous. Your blog is a real treat. I always like coming to see what you are making.
    Happy New Year,
    :)Deb M.

  3. Hi, I have been following your blog for a while and I absolutely love it! The designs are adorable and I love your creative ideas too. My personal favorite are the little black leather jacket and your sexy strapless dress.

    I have been in love with sewing and dressmaking for many years but I have only decided to join the world of bloggers quite recently. Here is the link: Juliette's Sewing and Style Den

    I was hoping I could feature your blog on my site and you could do the same for me. Just being included on your favorite/recommended blogs will be fantastic, but if you are into banner exchange, I could give you a code of my blog's banner and I will be glad to place yours on mine.

    It will be great to hear from you soon,


  4. Love. This. Dress. It's perfect for you. I am so in awe of your drafting capability. Beautiful.

  5. Ficou lindo seu look de final de ano,já estou te seguindo te convido a me fazer uma visita ficarei feliz se me seguir tbm.

    beijos♥ Arlete

  6. This is an amazing dress, and amazing drafting, too. I saw this on Burda and knew I had to come over and check out your blog!

  7. Cute design - sort of like a built-in bolero! It fits you like a glove, and I prefer the back pleats rather than none at all.

  8. how i wish you draft for burdamagazine! i would buy this pattern in a heart beat!

  9. I love it, and it looks great on you.