Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Chic Expectations - Eep! We hit six months!

The problem with most people who sew is that we go for fabric like other people go for shoes, DVDs, Apple products, sexual partners or, heaven forbid, actual items of clothing. And then, when a big project comes along, we find ourselves looking at our stash piles, throw up our hands and say "but I've got nothing to sew with!". Which is where my current great problem lies, and why nothing in the stash...or in the many shops I've been to for advice have been able so demonstrate they're a good match for what I have in mind.

Just as a reminder, here's the line drawing:

I've gone through several people, suggestions and ideas for fabric, all of which are probably acceptable, but not quite right. It's all fine, but the whole point of ripping off reinterpreting this dress is to be needlessly ostentatious. It should be recklessly extravagant and almost definitely make you and those around you question why you're putting so many hours in to it. It should categorically not look like anything else out there. Take it to extremes and be tastelessly aggressive. If this dress could talk, it would sound like Brian Blessed.

I have pondered this question ever since I saw the pattern. What on earth should it look like?

Joel & Sons has just opened its online store. It would have been one place to find some exquisite print as inspiration. It was one thing to gawk at their fabrics without knowing the price. Knowing the money at stake is a very very different thing.

But now I finally have an idea. It's an irrational and wild idea. It's broadly solid colours. It's going to take time and an awful lot of effort. It's going to be a steep learning curve, but I can't get it out of my head, and it's definitely the right thing to do. Think peacocks. Think poppies. Think art nouveau. Think gobos.

I've been using all the inspiration I can find to draw these ideas together. There are a few things that seemed to be important to capturing the spirit of the dress/design: bright colours, diagonal lines, hand finishing/intricate embellishment. These are points I really want to keep.

The silhouette of this dress is fairly classic, but it's the seam lines and the straight lines in the print that makes it look modern. Digital. Jagged. Edhy. That's something I want to change.

Let's take it back in time and make it a lot more organic, soften all of the lines, tweak the colours. Let's add texture not through the layered print, but through appliqué, reverse appliqué and beading. Let's base the curves on my art nouveau calendar, the extravagant houses in Brussels and a dining chair from the Vienna Museum of Applied Art.

These are the colours we're looking at

The one concern about this design is that the seam lines might get lost under the embellishment. Is there any point making this dress if those details are hidden? Or am I just creatively making use of them in the background?

What do you think?  Now to find the fabric. I'm off for a look around Goldhawk Road. A good long look.

Until next time.


  1. This looks exciting! I meant to say (and forgot), if you're heading over to goldhawkroad, feel free to give me a shout if you're still there - I'm aiming to be there at about 11:30 or thereabouts. Didn't make it to birmingham... you can get me on dth.mueller (at) gmail.com :-)

  2. Looking forward to seeing this creation. I've nominated you for the Liebster blog award.

    1. I noticed! Thank you, will definitely have to think of some interesting answers to your questions now!

  3. I"m pretty sure thewallinna made this a few months ago. I feel weird putting links in peoples comments, but you can find a link to her page by looking at my second to last post or just googling Thewallinna and other creatures. She did it as part of a couture sewing course I think, If you want someone's take on getting those front underbust seam lines etc looking snazzy... :)

    1. Ooooh, will definitely have to check that out! Every muslin looks snazzier but any tips are more than welcome!