Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Michelle, my belle

Be still my beating heart!
I recently saw this picture of the beautiful Michelle Williams wearing a red lace dress by Erdem at the 54th Annual Times BFI London Film Festival "Conviction permiere. My instant reaction was that of delight and envy! It's bold, it's classy, it's refreshingly different. So naturally fashion reviews are either raving or scathing; there's just no pleasing everyone. I love a debated opinion, that's what makes fashion so interesting, the diversity of tastes and ideas!

Well I am definitely in the 'love it' category (did you notice the animal print shoes??!!) and so I started obsessing over how I could make my own version of this dress. I purchased some red lace from clegs and picked up Vogue pattern #V1230.

Ok, so I know this dress doesn't look much like Michelle Williams, but I wanted to imitate the pleats around the neckline of her red lace dress, and thought this pattern would do the trick. I also like the slightly lower neckline.

So here's my version ...

I drafted my own sleeves and cut a massive rectangle out for the skirt with just one seam at the centre back. I then gathered the skirt to fit the circumference of the waist and a dress is born.

I love this red tule and how pretty the scalloped edges are. This was my first time sewing with lace and I was pleasantly surprised at the ease of use. One word of advice to anyone thinking of giving lace a go: Lace is pretty see-through! If there are any parts of the dress that you don't want to be transparent, or you don't want to see the exposed seams of the lining on the underneath, make sure you interline the lace in those sections. I interlined and lined the bodice, but kept the sleeves unlined for extra effect.

I'm really happy with how this dress turned out, and I suspect it cost a wee-bit less than Miss Williams version.

Tessuti New York Cape

When I first heard that Tessuti Fabrics were releasing their first pattern, I knew I had to have it before I'd even seen it! I wasn't dissapointed. The pattern is called the 'New York Cape' and you can purchase it from the Tessuti online store

The pattern is printed out on a massive piece of white print paper and most pieces are cut on the fold. You need just under two metres of fabric for the coast and eight buttons. The pattern isn't lined, but instead calls for five metres of wool binding to finish the seams. I chose instead to line the hood and jacket with some funky cotton fabric that I found at spotlight.

The fabric is covered in icons from New York (oh I do love a theme)! It's so nice to wear a jacket that has something going on in the inside, and lining the jacket also eliminated the need for binding all the edges.

The pattern sizing is 'one size fits 10-16', but because the jacket is a cape and not fitted, the sizing wasn't an issue. If you were really petite you might want to think about reducing the width of the cape as I'd say it feels about a size 12 in the shoulders, and a 14-16 around the belly and hips.

I made the cape out of a delicious yellow wool/cashmere blend that I found at The Fabric Store and instantly fell in love with. I love the bright, buttery colour. I finished the cape off with some massive wooden buttons, which gives it a classic cute-ness.

All up the cape was created in one day, which was a pleasant suprise. I wore it out the same day I made it and oh boy was I toasty warm. I love my Tessuti New York Cape!