Monday, 1 September 2014

Return of the yellow brick road

Dorothy returns to Oz and the gingham is bigger and badder!
Oh, don't mind me, I'm just working on taglines for the latest Wizard of Oz movie, I mean this dress is obviously straight out of its costume department! (See the original Dorothy dress here)

Let’s talk about the “Design process”. Or my lack of one. Some people are cool and considered, they carefully accumulate inspiration looking at rtw, fashion week, films, colour charts and I dunno  flowers and other stuff  to decide what to make. (… because clearly I know so much about this…) Then they seek out appropriate patterns and fabrics and cultivate a cohesive wardrobe. Smart, right?

I am not one of those people. I fall strictly into the “The fabric speaks to me” section of society (and if the stash in my room is anything to go by then I’m constantly being yelled at by a raging horde) Anyways, this tablecloth jumped out at me at TK Maxx and screamed “YOU MUST BUY ME AND USE ME TO KNOCK OFF THAT CUTE DAHLIA DRESS YOU SAW THAT ONE TIME AND LIKED!”
So that’s what I did.
Inspiration dress stolen from Skunkboy blog

Confession time: This dress is actually a toile.
Confession no.2: It’s not really.

What I mean is that I bought the fabric very specifically to make the Salme Silvia dress. In a rare moment of calm consideration actually made a toile before cutting into my precious gingham, then I had aaaaallll the fit problems outlined here. Anyways, by the time I got to making a third toile I decided I was done messing around with old sheets and risked breaking out the big guns.

Turns out the risk paid off and I was rewarded with a shiny new dress (It even cropped up in the last week of Me-Made-May, albeit strapless). Since I’m both lazy and a rebel the bodice is unlined, but the facing is understitched and topstitched, and the waistband is faced too.

The clear deviation from my inspiration dress is the lack of waist cut-outs. I did consider it, and even found this tutorial, but my left brain over-ruled trend-following right brain. Left  brain was right, cutouts would probably make the dress unwearable for me, but right brain can’t help thinking that the dress needs a little somethin’somethin' to add interest. Then left brain reminds it that we’re talking about a giiiiiiant gingham print, sweetheart mini-dress with bias-cut accents and a full gathered skirt. Sometimes right brain is dumb.

You’d think that a giant gingham dress would be impractical for everyday life, but it’s actually surprisingly versatile. (Well atleast I think so...) To prove it here are my three favourite ways to wear this dress. (Ofcourse with my signature red Dorothy shoes!)

First up: Plain and simple
Just a dress and some shoes people. Nothing fancy.

Secondly: Autumnal romp
There’s something about this cropped ponte jumper (A la Colette patterns) that just screams autumn to me, or maybe I’ve just been hit with back-to-school-fever.  Either way this is a really comfy combination and I even wore it camping with no mishaps! (Plus beaten up red converse 4eva!)

Last but not least: Winter warmer
I love layering. Like a lot. Long sleeves under dresses is my go to in winter and my grey Plantain is as cozy as they come! Although when the time comes I’ll be swapping my thick knee-socks for even thicker tights and giant wooly socks. I feel snuggly just thinking about it.

My parting shot is the exact quote of a compliment I got in this dress:
“Wow you're like really good at dressmaking! Really good. It’s like The wizard of OZ but sexier!”
See, someone else is on my wavelength!!

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