With a nod and a curtsy to Linda’s Designin’ December challenge:
“The AllSaints Poison Dress is a pure silk wrap dress with a v neck and an all-over print based on a watercolour painting, featuring humming birds in shades of red and blue.
Made from Italian silk, the dress has a heavy drape which flatters the curves of your body. The wrap attaches to the left side of the dress with a hook and eye strip fastening and an elasticated panel, and there is a waterfall frill where the wrap fastens.”
I needed a dress to wear to the Company Year-end Dinner with my husband.
I ended up using V7964 (adding the flounce from V1256), slashing and spreading and adding some body for more drape.
I would not even dare to try posting a tutorial on my pattern hack. It was a celebration of brown paper and sticky tape, green/red/black marking pens scribbling and crossing out instructions to myself:
I considered a waistline seam such as the original dress has, but I liked the unbroken flow of the print on my fabric. Making it work in the knit
was a little difficult was however wayyyy more difficult than I thought it would be.
Problem is, the print runs in the same (vertical) direction as the maximum stretch. I did not notice that when I bought the fabric as a 2.1m clearance sale remnant. Oops.
Check out my pattern layout – after considering pattern placement to avoid things like birds nesting in awkward places – I really had NO fabric to spare:
To compensate for the vertical stretch, I was going to line the dress with woven polyester lining to help keep the shape. (From the stash. Because I wanted to be frugal.) But I relented and BOUGHT *gasp!* stretch mesh lining instead.
Vogue 7964 is actually a mock wrap and one has to wiggle into it. Non-stretch lining would have stabilized the structure but made the dress impossible to get on unless I added some finicky side-fastenings. The flounce adds even more weight which makes the whole dress stretch out longer and longer – I could just imagine myself tripping over the the hem by midnight!
My daughter took these pictures this morning, after a whole evening of wear last night at the dinner – where I had hoped a decently glamorous picture would be taken, but no such luck . The dress kept its shape well and I and felt like a supermodel all evening.
Because I am CHEAP, I must emphasize: the average Allsaints Dress sells for R3500 (in my money). I made mine for under R350. Spot the missing zero!
Just a little perspective: here is my birdy dress compared to an unlined mock wrap dress I bought in December last year. That one cost R850 from Proudly South African shop Heaven-Lee. – which is about as designer-labellish as I would ever go. It is a comfortable dress without all the “engineering” I put into my new dress. But it is actually pretty disappointing on me. Not money well spent . I could have bought a lot of fabric to stash for that amount, heheheh…
Thanks for the inspiration provided by this challenge, Linda!