Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ripped from the Pages...

I can't tell you when or where I found the picture of this dress, but I fell in love with it enough to store away for a later day.  I don't have an "inspiration board", but I do have a "Little Red Notebook" where I tuck away these types of thoughts.  After I came home with my Fabric Warehouse goodies, it occured to me that the grey stretch suiting was perfect for this sheath dress.  I had even purchased the perfect black stretch cotton to trim the belt, on the same day (from Haberman's though).  Obviously, this dress was just meant to be! (But for $425? Nope... mine was about $10!)

PatternNew Look 6643, which is a variety of sleeveless sheath dresses with different necklines.  I already owned it, and had it cut for a previous project (but hadn't used it yet).  I used view A (with a small cap sleeve to produce fewer bra strap issues), and made the belt separately to be worn with or without (get more use out of the dress).
Fabric:  1 5/8 yds of 60" wide grey stretch suiting from Fabric Warehouse in Warren, MI for $4/yd.  If you live in the area and have some time to kill, wear your comfy shoes and dig in.  It really is a warehouse, and everything is below $8/yd.
Alterations:  Rather than use bias tape (as the pattern recommends) for the armholes, I drafted facings from the pattern front and back pieces.  2" wide, I used my tracing wheel and carbon paper to make facing pieces, and they fit perfectly.  Beautiful, professional finish!  Of course, you could always skip the facings, and line the whole thing, but I didn't want to make it any heavier.  If you use a wool (itchy), you may want to fully line it.  Zipper weirdness happened, too.  I got a "humpback between my shoulder blades, where the zipper was curling and the fabric was loose enough to let it.  I removed the stitches there, placed the zipper further in (taking it in along the center back there), and the problem was solved.  I've only ever had that problem on a bias cut, center back zipper, so I was really surprised to see it, but very happy that I fixed it!
Notions:  Invisible Zipper at center back.  Seriously... that's it.
Skill Level:  For the dress alone, anyone can make it! There is a kick pleat in the back, but the pattern instructions are great.   For the belt... while not difficult, it was time consuming, and I owe a special thanks to Bunny for giving me some great direction to achieve this look!  I cut a 4" wide strip of the grey (60" across), and started at one end with a 1/4" wide stitched pleat.  Then I marked 1/2" away from that line, made a fold, and stitched another 1/4" wide pleat.  I repeated this process (for a long time) until I used up the entire width of the fabric (which was just a little bit more than I needed for my front waistband).  I cut a 6" wide piece of black, placed it right sides together with the pleated belt, and stitched 1/2" seam allowance along the top and bottom, leaving the sides open. **Make sure you stitch all the pleats down in the same direction at top and bottom!** I turned it right sides out and pressed it, which left a band of black along the top and bottom.  **Here's where the magic happens: Push the pleats in the opposite direction now, and stitch along the center.  Voila! Isn't that so cool???**  At this point, I decided to make the back waistband plain, solid black (phew, that was a lot of work!), so I cut a 6" wide band (60" wide) of black, and interfaced it.  I roll hemmed the edges, and joined front to back at the right side seam.  I used hooks and eyes for closures at the left side seam.  Sorry, I didn't take any pictures while it was coming together, I was just too excited to see that it was working!
Warnings:  None on the dress, but with the pleated belt... all those pleats produce a little bit of bulk, so make sure you've got a good fit.
Future Plans:  Leaving the black off at the neckline and armholes made this dress is a wardrobe staple, and I love how I look in it. Think of all the jackets, belts, and cardigans that I can top this with!  I want more in navy, in black, in ivory, in red...
And, thanks again, Bunny.  I couldn't have done it without you!

41 comments:

alethia said...

Very nice dress, especially the belt.

marysews said...

Excellent knock-off, actually better!

A Sewn Wardrobe said...

I just loooooove a sheath dress, and this would have been perfect as is. But the belt pushes it into crazy awesome territory. It looks so great with the dress! Thanks for the helpful tips on how you made it: I've never done pleats, but this makes me want to try!

Adrienne said...

Lov eit!! I love the belt!

Sewfast said...

Great dress and the belt is amazing!

b4thedoor.com said...

Great technique on the belt! What a great idea ripped from the pages!

Rebecca said...

Great dress! Love the belt!

Amy said...

Wow! You're on a roll lately. That's a great dress and the belt is a fantastic piece of work.

Patty said...

What a fabulous interpretation, and it looks great on you! The belt just makes this dress even more spectacular. Love.it.
And I enjoy digging through the rolls of fabric at the Warehouse, you never know what you might find!

angie.a said...

Ooh beautiful!

heh, as soon as I saw your post title in my feed I automatically heard the "dun dun" from Law & Order...Ripped from the Headlines. HA!

Amanda S. said...

You certainly got a perfect fit on this dress. Great job!

Julia said...

You look amazing and the dress is perfect on your svelt figure!

Pammie said...

I know I posted this on PR - but fantastic fit! And, I can almost smell the newly cut grass here in California:)

~Sherry~ said...

Your new dress looks really nice - lovely fit, and the belt is a great idea!

Nóra said...

You're so slim and so pretty in this dress. The belt is amazing.

magdamagda said...

great fit and the belt is really magic!

Capitol Sew and Sew said...

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!!

Shannon said...

That dress is a.w.e.s.o.m.e!!! You knocked off that puppy perfectly - for over $400 less!! Wow.

Gail said...

Great dress, fabulous belt. Please post a tutorial on the belt. I must say, you are looking fabulous!

KID, MD said...

It looks amazing! I like your version much better than the original. It looks much sleeker without the black bindings at arm and neck. Nice work!

Lori said...

Very pretty dress, the belt is great.

BeeBee said...

LOVE the dress! It turned out wonderfully and is a great replica. The belt is great, I want to do this, now. How interesting the belt would be in a print or stripe after the pleating.

SuBoo said...

Wow this looks fantastic, especially with the pic of the original to compare to!

Bonnie D. said...

Fantastic replication. The belt is wonderful. You look terrific in the ensemble!

Karin van D. said...

Gorgeous dress and that belt is wonderful. The fit is so great on you, good job!

Claudine said...

That belt is fantastic! It makes e dress look like a whole different garment.

Michelle said...

Oh, wow! That dress turned out fantastic! And that belt, wow! Love it.

Bunny said...

You are welcome! Kristine, you knocked this one out of the ballpark. It looks fabulous on your new figure and the belt is perfectly wonderful. You did a great job. I can see where this could be a real staple pattern that will give you many interpretations.

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Beautiful! But I have to tell you that a sheath dress looks so different on you than on me! *LOL* Now do you understand my obsession with them?! I must have 20 pieces of fabric just designated for sheath dresses. You should definitely make more because this is such a great look on you!

lsaspacey said...

Great job!

meredithp said...

Spectacular job. Thanks for posting all the details. I love anything gray, and that belt is to die for!

Gorgeous Things said...

That is beyond fabulous!!!!

gwensews said...

That's a knockout dress! I love the "Mexican Tucks" on the belt. Nice job!

Nancy K said...

The belt really makes this dress. Great knockoff. You also look fabulous!

Lindsay T said...

You are rockin' the you-know-what out of this dress! I just love it all. Great job!

Omega said...

Love your dress and the belt is really cute!

meredithp said...

And I forgot to mention the shoes. Love them too!

Angela said...

Gorgeous dress!! You look fantastic in it! What a great idea for the belt~!

Summerset said...

Fabu-less!!! What a great knock-off! I love the belt and the fact that this dress will so versatile this fall.

Kathi said...

Very pretty -- the belt is amazing!!!!

amber said...

Oh yeah, you definitely need more of this dress in your closet. It fits you like a glove - you look fabulous!! That belt, indeed, brings it to a whole other place of awesome! Fantastic work. :)