It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My (not so) Little (not so) Black Dress

This is probably as close as I'll ever get to the proverbial Little Black Dress, but it's simple, it's neutral (dark grey/chocolate brown almost black), it's accessorizable, and I think it should take me to a variety of places.  (Ahhh, this brings to mind some very fond memories of reading one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books "Oh, The Places You'll Go!")

The Pattern:  (I'm not sure where this model thinks she's going - she certainly appears to be ready to soar.  Or something...

Lynn Mizono's Vogue 1312.  In spite of being a declared non-dress wearer, I am warming up to the concept and keep finding more dress patterns sneaking onto my cutting table.  This is now my second made dress!   To add to the 2 (sleeveless, very casual, summer frocks) I already own.   Which makes a grand total of 4 in my closet.   I think this makes me rather the odd one out in this dress-sewing crowd!  At any rate,  this one I wanted to make from the moment I saw the pattern!   There was a bit of a drawback in that it calls for nearly 5 yards of fabric, and I didn't have anything suitable in stash of that quantity.  Even finding something I liked that fit in my frugal budget was proving a challenge!  I'm pretty sure that I used something closer to 4 yards in the end.

The Fabric:  The pattern calls for lightweight fabrics - I ended up using something I would call a "winter weight" - quite substantial, and a bit of a concern because of the possibility that it would pull the dress down.  It's a lovely stretch woven - another find from Fabrix -  a burn test was inconclusive, but the important part of it to me is that it feels quite yummy :)  And in the end  it's stable enough that I think it will hold its shape nicely.   I lined the bodice with a stretch Bemberg rayon, which has just a little less stretch than the fashion fabric, and they played well together.

The Fitting:  I muslined the bodice, and ended up doing my usual narrow/sloping/forward shoulder adjustments.  I also thought the neckline was too wide for me, so I added 1/2" all the way round the neck.  This turned out to be perfect.  The muslin (in a woven) wiggled over my head easily enough, so I eliminated the zipper.   If I make another one, in a summery woven (which is very likely!) I will probably fit the bodice a bit more snugly and add the zipper.

I used a very scientific and precise method of tissue fitting to determine the appropriate length, documented in these pictures:
Length of pattern as drawn
Carefully folded up a precise 4" -
the length I decided on
Note about lengthening or shortening the pattern:  The skirt has an upper section and a lower section; the pattern pieces are marked to "lengthen or shorten here" on BOTH the upper and lower sections.  Unless you really want the upper section to be a different length, I strongly advise simply cutting off (or adding to) the length along the hem edge of the bottom pieces.   If you try to adjust both upper and lower, you will end up with pieces that don't match up.  Trust me.  (Dorothy found the same problem in her PR review.)

I'm 5'4" (almost), and I'm happy with the length shortened by 4".

The Process:  This is a well-drafted pattern, and the instructions are clear and easy.  (Yay!)  Everything went together beautifully.    All of the pictures and instructions that one would need are right in the pattern envelope :)

I did take a little side trip when I decided to add pockets - I blogged about my method here in my previous post.

Here's a look at the partially made dress, with the upper portion of the skirt attached to the bodice.    A short skirt lover could stop right here if they wanted!  The lower skirt is simply 4 rectangles sewn together - very easy to shorten the length after it's all put together, if you wanted to wait until that point.



The Results:
The Pose.
Of Course.
One simply must do The Pose.


Because I'm also going to pose like this
on a regular basis.....

Looking Normal.



LOVE me a pocket!!!

The necklace is a creation by Don Pezzano of Urbandon - if you're not familiar with his work, check him out!  Mostly he designs and makes menswear, but his jewelry is unique and amazing!

So, where should I go with my version of the LBD?

Next up:  A 'should-probably-have-my-head-examined' project - something I made once and  sweated blood and tears over, and in the end get very little (if any) wear out of....and I'm doing it again?   Yes, yes I am.   To be revealed....

57 comments:

The Hojnackes said...

I love that you have a picture in "the pose." It looks great! The heavier fabric doesn't seem to have been a problem.

House of Pinheiro said...

Superb... This dress really suits your personally and the 'pose' just killed it.. This dress can take you anywhere i would think lunch with friends would do nicely x

Judith said...

Brilliant! Looks like you had a lot of fun at the photography stage - fun and a great fitting dress, what more could a girl want!!!

pdiddly said...

for a non-dress wearer this is perfect for you, as Rachel said suits your personality

Jilly Be said...

Well, if you didn't live 3000 miles away I would love to do lunch with you! ;-)

Jilly Be said...

So far, so good, on the fabric weight!

Jilly Be said...

Oh, I don't know....someone to go out with while wearing it? ;-D

Jilly Be said...

Thank you!

Linda T said...

FABULOUS!

Margy said...

Love the dress AND the pose! This could ALMOST convert this non-dress-wearer (I have the pattern). Great job, Jilly!

Jilly Be said...

Thank you!

Jilly Be said...

Margy I think this dress would really suit you!

Misty The Kneedler said...

It looks great, Jilly! I too am finding dress patterns mysteriously appearing in my sewing room but almost never actually wear dresses. I think I have 2 right now. But this one inspires my (but I'll leave out The Pose) :-)
Misty Youmans

Jane said...

Simply couldn't resist commenting on this one because of The Pose... simply brilliant. Oh and the second one too. I expect you to take the opportunity to revisit the first Pose in every large window you come across. You know aside from the hilarity it actually looks like a great piece of clothing... maybe you will become a converted dress wearer?

Valerie said...

Love love your dress. Pose and all.

gwensews said...

Your dress, although not the traditional LBD, is fabulous. Just fabulous! And you wear it so well.

Carolyn said...

Absolutely wonderful Jilly!! I love it! AND the pose, OF COURSE!!
I've been eyeing off this pattern for some time and I think you've just tipped me over the edge to get and make one for myself :)

poppykettle said...

It looks absolutely fabulous - and wonderfully paired with those shoes too. Looking amazing!

Awesome*Possum said...

A dress to be joyful in!

twotoast said...

The dress is great on you - good choice of fabric, it drapes really well. Love the post - very funny, and your pose . . . . . I have 'America's Top Model' running through my head - 'I want you to be fierce, but still modelling from 'head to toe''! That is what Tyra would have said!!

Great job!

Jilly Be said...

Dorothy did The Pose. I did The Pose. You can do it too! ;D

Jilly Be said...

Hee hee....oh, I can just see the photo possibilities....

Jilly Be said...

Oh I hope you do! I know yours would be GAWjuss!

Jilly Be said...

Thank you! :)

Jilly Be said...

Thank you Valerie :)

Jilly Be said...

Thank you! ::beam::: :)

Jilly Be said...

Thank you Possum! (nice to see you here) :D

Jilly Be said...

lol! :D

Camryn Forrest said...

Fabulous you are!

Love the dress, love the pockets, love the shoes, love the fascinating necklace.

Dress like that and the Universe will make plans for you. Just watch...

Jilly Be said...

:D xox

shams said...

It looks fabulous, JillyBe! I love it in that fabric!! You will get years of wear out of this one!

kbenco said...

YOu rock the pose.
What a great dress on you. I am curious, is the skirt constructed like Sham's not-the-tablecloth awesome pattern?

Jilly Be said...

Thanks shams - I hope so! :)

Jilly Be said...

Very similar construction, yes. The seaming is a bit different, but the shape is exactly the same. Shams nailed it!

RhondaBuss said...

The dress looks great and the pose is perfect but....I LOVE those shows!!!!!!!

RhondaBuss said...

That was supposed to be shoes, oh well. I'll blame it on the iPhone ;-)

Jilly Be said...

lol. Give me another year, and I should learn how to walk in them.... ;-) I've only had them for a year already!

luckylibbet said...

LOVE it! and love THE POSE! - Heather

Dilliander said...

Fabulous JillyBe! Dress and review and pose :) too much fun and such a great dress that looks even greater on you!

Gabrielle Corbett said...

What a great result - this is a fabulous but also really wearable looking dress!

ElleC said...

Oh you. Sigh. Now I have to have that pattern as well. It looks so good on you, I love it! The perfect meeting of pattern, fabric and wearer. I think you will be wearing it a lot.

Claire R. said...

You look better than a Vogue model in your LBD and your pose!!! And so clever of you to add the pockets! Now I want to get that silly pattern, too, so I can make a dress with pockets! Congratulations!

Lisa M. said...

Dang, that is a fine looking dress on you, even unadorned. Definitely a pocket-appropriate dress. You will be able to decorate yourself all kinds of ways in that dress. I might have to try out that style when I visit your dress....

Lisa from BABES

Cennetta said...

Outstanding.

puu said...

LOVE the pose. (and the dress!) :-)

Sigrid said...

Great pose. But your 'normal' pose shows it's a very nice pattern and dress. The pose didn't sell the pattern to me. Looks great on you.

Louisa said...

Now that is MY kind of not-so-L-not-so-B-D! Looks so elegant on you, Jilly. Especially with Don's great pendant.

RhondaBuss said...

You can call them sittin' shoes ;-) They're just to fabulous to spend their life in the closet. A friend of mine bought a pair of fabulous shoes when she was in her 80's. She called me over to admire them and confessed that she couldn't walk in them so she christened them sittin' shoes!

MareeAlison said...

I like it and I just love your pose - I think.

Judi Pinkham said...

Love the dress...it looks very nice on you! I was on the phone when I read your blog. Got to the "pose" and burst out laughing. Way too funny...Vogue needs to hire you!!!

Jean said...

"The Pose" is perfect! I love this dress on you -- so flattering!

Dixie said...

Love this dress on you! It looks super comfy and drapes nicely when left to itself. I'm really diggin' it!

Martha said...

Like the other 52+ people, I just love your version of this. Have the pattern, must make it now.

Audrey said...

You look great in this dress and it is perfect for wearing with statement jewelry.

soisewedthis said...

This dress is great and i LOVE that you did the pose!!!

the craftytraveller said...

Love it. Post, pose, dress, everything!

gretchen buwalda said...

Heres a funny thing. I am making this pattern up to wear to my daughters wedding. I am using the sleeveless one as it is in Summer. Today she asked me if would do a reading at the wedding. She wants me to read "Oh the places you'll go". Then I google Lynn Mizono's dress. The planets collide.
PS you look lovely. I will do my best to make it as good as yours.