Friday, March 23, 2012

another one bites the dust


an oona does it!, a mad men character... le double entendre.  wow, have the ladies over at the sew weekly ever been rocking this challenge.  to boot, mena's brought the fab four back with phasers. set. to. stun.  

this dress, like the character it was inspired by, had issues.  you might recognize the fabric from my levine haul with the C&C Factory (clio and chutzpah. lady leah, have you used your half of this yardage yet?).  i love this fabric.  it is most definitely some sort of poly, but the weight is so nice and hefty and i kinda dig the plasticky feel.

i know.

i thought you might like to see how it evolved, one sunny poolside sewing weekend:


first i threw the fabric at the dress form, placing the center fold on the center line of the body, then started pleating.


sipping my chardonnay, i decided i could eyeball the waist and sliced across.  WAY.  too high.  in all senses of the word.  but i didn't know it at the time.


then i began the skirt in the same manner, and matched the pleats with the bodice.


draped some back pieces-- just the right half of the back, then used those pieces to cut out the left half so they would be even.


the dress, as i thought it would be.  eventually it became much more wiggly, with a 2 inch wide waistband to accommodate for the supremely high waistline.  i'm not so much into the empire waist, though my scissors say different.  

(yeah, the cut was a bit sauced, but even though i cut it higher than the marked waistline, THAT mark isn't even right.  i had just spent four hours trying to get my old "uniquely you" to fit me AGAIN, and i thought i had it close. mais, non cigar.  can i just say how much i lovehate this foam form?  i've been draping like crazy since we dragged it out of storage, so there's the love, but i hate that, at the time this was so generously gifted to me, i didn't know enough about sewing to ask for a different form.  not that i'm an expert now; i am certain there's a trained professional out there looking at these process photos in abject horror, but man.  this thing is junky.  the price tag is absolutely unjustifiable.  wobbly tinker toy stand, breasts the size of mount vesuvius, and of course there are the ever protruding shoulders.  there's a reason they make 'em collapsible.  i fondled a PGM form down in the garment district the other day, and oh.  i want.  the tag is heftier, but with good reason.  and with enough saving, possible in daydreams.  and they make custom forms!  ahem.  parenthetical rant over.)

so!  there you have it, behind the scenes.  interesting at all?  have i shattered your illusions of my amount of draping knowledge?  if the drunken process is too much to bear, you can see more of the finished product (and find out what mad men character inspired the faux tie) in my post over at the sew weekly

happy friday y'all!

41 comments:

  1. I love the tie and the print. Your added panel makes the waist look perfectly placed.

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    1. smoke and mirrors, my well tailored friend. SMOKE AND MIRRORS!

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  2. well the final product looks fantastic even if the process was a little... unorthodox.

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    1. it's true, i do lean towards the more blasphemous side of things...

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  3. OHMYGOD, you are draping by a POOL. And you cant splurge for a dressform? Where are your priorities, Ms. Oona? For shame. I know: host a pool party; charge $5 fee...only 70 people have to attend and you have your dress form.

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    1. SERIOUSLY WHAT IS THE DEAL HERE. oh wait, now i remember... it's not my pool.

      i am giving some heavy thought to that pool party. do you think i can make them bring their own alcohol too?

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  4. Mama likes! Mama likes... a LOT. A defined waistband is much cuter, in my opinion, anyway. And the necktie? Beyond chic!

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  5. nikola just said that he would totally sew if we only had a pool.. if we had a pool, and booze, sewing would be the last thing on my mind.. i would probably spend weeks doing nothing but pool diving.. drunk..

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    1. ha! well if nikola would be sewing surely you'd still be kept in new fancy frocks. he could sew you up a bathing suit for every day of the week.

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  6. Oh, let me fall at your feet and worship you, my darling friend, for your draping skills surpass those of my dreams! No, seriously, let me come visit you and lay at your feet because you are SEWING by a POOL. You are living my version of heaven, and I just love it ;)

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  7. I'm a big fan of pattern-free sewing, but I'm ABSOLUTELY LOVING the poolside, chardonnay-sipping, go-with-the-flow draping version.

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    1. i can't wait for it to get warm enough again!

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  8. The pool photo reminds me of your mad men avatar photo...just need ruggy on a diving board in his ankle socks....

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    1. can i tell you how happy i am that you got the ankle socks?! THEY'RE MY FAVORITE PART!

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  9. Sublimate dress! The fabric is charming, it goes to you magnificently ;)

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  10. Love this dress- yay yellow & pleats.

    My fix for the uniquely you... "chest situation".... was a serrated bread knife. they come right off and you can pad out new ones under the canvas sloper. ;)

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    1. that was gonna be my suggestion too. Hack 'er up.

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    2. y'all, ruggy and i hacked her to pieces years ago. that wobbly bitch still ain't right.

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  11. Loverly my lady!! Your sewing improvisations always turn out so well! I ALWAYS have to lengthen the bodice of dresses. I didn't think I had a freaky long torso, but apparently I do. I have a dress form that is smaller than I am, so I haven't draped anything on it, drunk or otherwise.

    I did make a skirt worthy of our booty pose of though ;o)

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    1. AH! booty off!!!

      my problem is my waist is so high, and her boobs are so curvy, the measurements came out all wrong. bleh. i padded her out and tucked her in some more, she's marginally better. you oughta get some batting, if you can get the form close to you you're going to fall in love with it.

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  12. This may be my favorite thing you've ever made...total love! Please keep the tie, it MAKES it!

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    1. hey girl!!! :)! the tie is intact, and detachable as the occasion calls. i really wanted to make a real tie so that ruggy could wear it... but let's face it. that ain't gonna happen.

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  13. You know, you ladies who just drape away completely break my brain. I have no qualms about attempting, cold-cocked, to draft my own pattern---but doing it directly *on the fabric*? Terrifying.

    And gorgeous.

    And, well... I like the empire waists, meself. But then, if I had a waist like yours, I would probably want to show it off. Lurvely Oonalicious confection.

    And I won't go into how much snow we got here this week, as I sigh in bitter envy over your poolside sewing.

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    1. ah, but when the fabric is 2.50 a pound, it's easy to hack away. i think you would be brilliant at it.

      (i'm sorry it's snowing. so, so very sorry.)

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    2. wait, are you kidding me with your waist?!

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  14. This dress looks great, and I love the story. :) Draping is so much fun!

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    1. thanks steph! i wish i knew more about it.

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  15. Hi,
    Just love the dress. looks great and I want one too. :)

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    1. thank you! one of these days i ought to take a dress apart and try to make a pattern. what the hell, it's not like my lack of knowledge has stopped me so far...

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  16. Is that you in the shower? This is a total blast--you definitely have to keep the tie. It's cool seeing how you get from a to b so thanks for sharing some of the details... I love how intuitive you are!

    On the dress form geek front, I have a PGM form and I've been thinking for ages about a uniquely you... I'd almost rather have the fugly form if it came any closer to resembling my shape. Obviously the pgm is much sturdier, looks infinitely cooler. Despite being my measurements it ended up having a much broader chest and shoulders, which makes it nearly impossible to get some things I've made over the top of the form. I probably should've gotten their smallest size and padded it out. Or, saved more and did a custom form... now that would be awesome. I keep dreaming... so I can drape like you some day ;).

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    1. intuitive is a very nice way to put it.

      :)

      girl, DO NOT do the uniquely you. every time i stick a pin in it, it falls over. the crappy screws at the bottom meant to hold the form at a sensible height constantly come loose, i turn around and she's on her knees in a gown, silk puddled on the floor. the shoulders are a HOT MESS, and let's not even talk about the boobs that everyone has to slice off. i really think you'd be better off doing a duct tape form if you want your shape.

      a couple years ago i called PGM about a custom form, they were very sweet and the cost of a custom form seemed adjustable, depending on how much custom you need. i'm thinking about their full body small chest form, and maybe just asking for a higher waist... oh such wonderful day dreams...

      (yep, that's the shower. i love that tile!)

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  17. great job on that dress! amazing! Ihate that my form sucks too! I cant wait to get an industrial form!

    Visit www.sweetsurrenderart.com
    See you there!

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  18. I love it! So nice to see this sewn up!

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  19. I have a Uniquely You (me?) dress form, and I am mostly okay with it. It's a little smaller than me, but mostly it works. Unfortunately, I haven't taken advantage of it and used it for draping. Maybe if I had a pool...

    So impressed with your final dress! And I love me some Michael Levine Loft fabrics...8 yds of chiffon for $3 ftw!

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  20. Just loved this post- the dress and the practically-a-tutorial on draping- Thank you, so inspiring!!!!!

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