9.26.2013

new season, new dresses, new mantras, new facts.


ARGH THIS DRESS TOOK FOREVER!  i seam ripped so long, my arms went all ghostie!  at one point, i told ruggy this might be the longest i've ever spent on a dress.  really, i'm not sure, because it was started in texas and finished in new york...travel plays tricks on the mind...

i ordered this delicious denim & velvet flocked yardage from mood fabrics back in late july, as part of my MSN allowance.  it seemed totally appropriate for the middle of texas summer.  that's sarcasm.  the fabric is amazing, it has a bit of stretch to it, and the velvet looks almost CGIed.  it was meant for a maxi dress, but then my eyes fell on butterick retro 5880, and for once my heart strayed from the land of floor length.


hello legs.  isn't it odd that we want to drape our bottom halves in yards of fabric in summer, and expose them when a chill hits the air?  i even took about 6 inches off altogether.  our super stumbled upon us mid photo shoot and said woooow, i like.  don't you have black shoes?  you need longer earrings.  have a white flower at your waist.  i think it should be shorter.  




i do think i'll be taking that flower suggestion, but more billie holiday than floral belt.  wouldn't a magnolia look amazing with this outfit?  OH HEY BY THE WAY.  can i give a big ups to you vintage ladies out there?  it took me like 30 minutes to tame my hair, till i finally cried uncle and called it DID.


i love the cutouts on this...they remind me of the neckline of the blue basement dress (which i have yet to finish). 


the weight of the denim was perfect for the angular neckline, in a maxi it would have sat stiffly.  but that said, it did have plenty of flow for the draped section!  real talk, this fabric is made of magic.


per ruggy's suggestion, i "lined" the edge of the drape-- the pattern calls for it to be fully lined in fashion fabric, but that would have been One. Heavy. Drape.  i was leaning towards leaving the raw edge exposed, but he thought a little trim would finish the dress off.   he was right.  so many opinionated men in my life!!!

after thirty minutes of fondling trim in daytona (heheh) i chose three yards of tiny chain link to sandwich the edge of the drape, and hand stitched it down on either side.  you might have caught me toiling away in metal and thread on my instagram.


and now, i present to you the guts.  HA!  IT'S A CIRCUS SHOW UP IN THERE!!!  this printed cotton was meant for the back bodice of the previously intended maxi dress.  sort of a surprise when you turn around.  now it's a surprise when you take it off.

NO ONE LIKES STRANGE SURPRISES WHEN TAKING SOMETHING OFF.

maybe i'll just keep the lights dimmed when unzipping.


now here's the thing, i didn't do much unzipping, per se, of this jammie in texas.  but back with my man in NY, with the prospect of date nights quite real, did i want it to fit or did i want it to fit?  this was a mantra i repeated to myself every time i went back to the full length mirror and did the yoga zipper pose.    

speaking of new mantras, howsa bout a new little section at the end of these garment posts?  i know i tend to talk about everything but the sewing of the damn thing, so i thought it would be nice to share that with you sewists out there, whilst giving my non stitching pals the opportunity to jump over the foreign language.

the notes:

pattern: butterick retro 5880
sizing: i cut a straight size 12, shortening the pattern at both petite lines 1 inch. lopped 7 inhes off the pattern hem in the end, with a 1 inch hem allowance.  currently, i'm 35 1/2 - 28 1/2 - 39.
fabric: flocked denim & printed cotton from mood fabrics
notions: tiny chain link from daytona trimming, stash zipper
cocktails: southern gin & tonics followed by northern manhattans, garnished with ruggy's homemade soaked cherries
time: FOREVER.
pattern tips:

  • to get those Vs sharp,  i shortened the stitch length to teeny tiny on the points of the Vs, making it safer to cut as close as i could to the stitching line, and i understitched the lining as far as i could, everywhere i could.
  • if you need to shorten/lengthen the skirt, you'll need to do that on the drape as well...mais, there is no corresponding shorten/lengthen line on the drape.  BASTARDS.  i traced the drape out, matched drape notches up to the notches on the skirt, and added the line.  unfortunately, that line went right smack dab through the complicated pleat section.  so i traced out the pleats separately, and placed that tracing under the shortened drape, matching up with the top pleat and drawing them in from there.  you'll also have to take away from the bottom curve of the drape (or add to it, if you're lengthening).  it's a bit scary.  a manhattan helps, if you're of age.
  • want your skirt as pegged as mine? you won't get it straight out of the envelope.  i started by pegging the side seams 3 inches in and tapering 5 inches up, then pegged the three back seams a bit. rinse, rip, repeat, till you have it right.  i tacked the drape down just below the hip, and when i couldn't bear to rip out the skirt seams AGAIN, i added two small darts at front skirt hem.  i don't think i've ever heard of darts at the hem before, but those final cinches did the trick. 


for real, they did the trick.  ruggy took so many pictures, I finally asked HIM if we had enough.  let's hear it for the seam ripper!

this garment was made using my monthly fabric "allowance" as part of the Mood Sewing Network.

137 comments:

  1. This dress is Amazing on you. Maybe more vintage is in your future?

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    1. i'm thinking so :). and hoping for more reasons to wear the fancy stuff!!

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  2. It's amazing how different you look in this frock! But you rock'n'roll it!

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    1. ha, i know, i didn't even pull any weird faces in this!!! thanks lovely lady.

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  3. That's beautiful! You really make me wish my mandatory sewing break was over!

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  4. Oh my! this style is awesome on you - and I love the 'do. But do you think you'll actually manager to get out the door if you wear this on date night?

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    1. i'll just unzip it a bit in the light......

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  5. What a stunning dress- the textured fabric, the draped detail, the neckline! It really is simply stunning and you look stunning in it so perhaps the time it took to get it done was well worth it.

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    1. thank you andrea! i agree, in the end it was worth it. but i did think, quite often, if this doesn't work, i am going to be SO. angry.

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  6. HOLY CANNOLI. That is a smoking hot dress. I LOVE that it's denim!! The details are perfection, and I think the hem is marvelous - your legs look seven miles long. VA VA VOOM, love!!

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    1. megalicious! thank you! the rugster has been snapping shots of me from the ground up, it's done wonders for my height :)

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  7. Vavavoom....what a perfect dress to accentuate the beautiful girl in it! Great job on the selection of fabric and the execution!!

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    1. thank you! what a nice way to say that :)

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  8. So you know that I LOVE this on you. Hello nurse!! Remind me to buy you a drink next time I see you. The insides of the dress is so you, I think its a good surprise. You look stunning.
    Are those your measurements that I can steal?

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    1. hello back atcha sexy! yes, you may steal those measurements.... my only other important one is my short waist-- i'm about 2 inches shorter there than standard. nothing an L/S line doesn't correct!

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  9. I already have this pattern on my list thanks to you and that beautiful dress you made. Thanks for all the info on the issues you had making the dress because I will have lots of issues with it too since I am also super short and will also want a pegged skirt like yours. It will be nice to know in advance what I am dealing with. Thanks for that :)

    What a gorgeous dress. So jealous...it is really beautiful and I can already imagine like 5 events I have this year I could wear that gorgeous number to! You look amazing in that dress!!! Seriously...not so sure you should be covering those legs in the summer :)

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    1. you're welcome! peg slowly as you go-- i found it was kind of like adding spices to a sauce and tasting tasting tasting. or, you know, a cocktail.

      thanks for the leggy love :))

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  10. woooow! hey there, hottie! you're rocking this dress, it's just so damn perfect on you! yup, put a gardenia in your hair, and go on a fancy date with your man

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  11. Oonna, this is your vintage sister. Where have you been hiding this girl? On my, blown my breath away.

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    1. ha! i tried a vintage look once for sew weekly and loved it, i don't know why i waited so long!

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  12. I just love this on you, it is gorgeous and you just rock the look. Happy date night!

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  13. Very beautiful and the dress looks great too.

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  14. Ohh la la....tres elegante! Makes me want to go banish every wimpy mystery blend thing from my wardrobe. Love the structure and shape. Really, really stunning, enjoy your date!

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    1. thank you...and i just did a whole banishing! it felt GREAT.

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  15. There are no words for how stunning you are in this dress, seriously. It was worth every inch of seam ripping, even though I doubt it felt like it at the time. The only problem will be actually making it to the date...or is that really a problem? ;-)

    Also, I really like your hair this way....it's very elegant.

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    1. it felt like it could go either way...and i was going to be VERY unhappy if it went south :)

      thanks!

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  16. Oh Gosh, this dress is perfect! It fits you so well, so elegant!! Good job :)

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  17. You look GORGEOUS! I always love your colorful look, but you're such a babe in this dress.

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    1. i guess i had to get some color in somewhere, huh? thanks lovely lady!

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  18. I absolutely love your dress. You look amazing in it. I love the chain trim, Ruggy was right...He's a keeper (LOL) I purchased that pattern a number of months ago and am considering a LBD.

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    1. that ruggy. lemme know if you go for it!

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  19. Marci, I don't think I've every seen you with your hair pulled back - I like it and it goes with this whole outfit.

    I never realized how dumb it is that we wear long dresses in the summer and short dresses in the winter.

    Thanks for all the construction/pattern tips - I like this new format! My favorite tidbit - shortening the stitch length around the "V's" - I had to do the same thing when I made my latest Japanese sewing dress (debuting next week).

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    1. yeah, the summer/winter thing hit me like a V8 commercial...

      the way you style those japanese dresses suits you so well. i'm looking forward to the reveal!

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  20. Not sure what else I could add, but it is fantastic. It is perfect for you, and I LOVE that fabric. That style is you.

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  21. Woazas!! What a great date night dress, you should definitely rock a supper club in this beauty! A magnolia would be perfect! So well executed. The inner is just as perfect as the outer. Your time was well worth it!

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    1. oooh, a supper club, i think i would want gloves....

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  22. I am envious of your talent of matching pattern to fabric; could you offer a consulting service for the rest of us? Perfect outfit; awesome styling; love your hair!

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    1. wouldn't that be LOVELY. i would wear horn rimmed glasses and sit behind a double level narrow laquered table, one level with patterns and one with fabrics....

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  23. Gorgeous and [insert British accent] Smashing!

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  24. Absolutely stunning dress! Love the denim fabric... and your super gives fab advice! :D

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  25. I absolutely love this dress, it looks amazing!

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  26. I love the pegged skirt. You also look faaaaaaaaabulous! (You hair! And the ghostie arms!)

    "NO ONE LIKES STRANGE SURPRISES WHEN TAKING SOMETHING OFF."
    I can't stop laughing.

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    1. Love, love, love. Bravo this is impeccable craftsmanship !! Thanks for the fitting and pattern tips. They are so helpful for a newbie like me!!

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    2. kat, when i stepped back to look at the lining, i couldn't stop laughing either :)

      bluesunday, you're welcome! i hope they help. if you go for a dress like this just take your time, it's difficult but enjoyable.

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  27. VaVaVaVoom. All the classic screen sirens rolled into one Oonabaloona Bamboola self detonating package. This is the way you should dress all the time!

    Seriously chic, serious style, seriously gorgeous.

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  28. That is so completely fabulous. And I love the guts. Always been a fan of surprise!patterns so count me as a fan. :)

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    1. ha, thanks laura! maybe i should change my thinking on the surprise part.

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  29. I gasped at work when I saw this.. and then pretended as if nothing even happened. I want to marry this dress.

    PS.. I giggle everytime I read ruggy.. my boyfriend's last name is pronounced that same way and it's how I refer to him when he's not around lol

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    1. i love it that you only refer to him that way when he's not around :)

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  30. Wow! You look amazing in this dress! It fits you like a dream! I love the chain on the drape.

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    1. thankya! i was pretty stoked when i found that chain link.

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  31. Oh my! The drama! The sophistication! The glamour! What a wonderful dress!

    Like the facts down the bottom too, but anyone who skips your awesome write ups has no sense of humour....

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    1. teehee, thank you juliet. i do tend to ramble...

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  32. Wooowwwww! This is gorgeous. I want to fondle that fabric so badly! And Ruggy was right, that trim really sets off the dress. And love the fabric trim inside! Who knew your Super was a photoshoot director? ;)

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    1. oh god, who knows what would happen if he got behind the lens!!

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  33. It's a stunner, Ms Oona! Love the trim, lining and all the tweakings you've done, and I SO want to feel that fabric!

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  34. Oh man, that is fabulous-ness in every direction and every detail!

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  35. Holy COW - this is freakin' awesome.

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  36. Babe, YES! The time (and darts!) were worth it! This dress is amazing! I love that it's secretly denim mascarading as something fancier.

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    1. masquerading, i like it-- kinda like me:)

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  37. Your vintage style dress is GORGEOUS! The fabric is divine. I do have a question about pegging the skirt. I totally understood what you meant by pegging the side seams 3 inches in, but did not understand the part about tapering 5 inches up. Would you please explain for me???

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    1. hey faye! thank you:) okay, so the pegging: i marked a point 3 inches away from the side seamline at the hemline of the dress. and then marked a point 5 inches up on that same seam. then i connected those dots in a nice new slightly curved seamline, my new line blending into the original side seam as i went up. does that make sense? i could do a lil picture if not!

      if you happen to have gertie's book, she explains it there as well.

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  38. You look drop dead gorgeous in this dress!!!! I really love it, and how you styled it, and that your super put in his two cents ;)

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  39. This is awesome sauce! The fabric and all! Love it

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  40. Holy Peter Pan on a piece of toast! Girl, that dress is sensational and you look completely FABULOUS!!!

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  41. Your dress makes me think o Catherine Deneuve's wardrobe in "the Hunger" (with Bowie and Sarandon)! I wouldn't say it's a good film, but the eighties-going-on-forties costumes definitely are. You look superb!

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    1. i'm sorry, bowie AND sarandon?! I'M IN.

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  42. I love the neckline and the print. It looks great on you, seriously. Perfect for a date night!

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  43. Amazing dress! And velvet-flocked denim? I wouldn't have thought about using suc h a fabric, but it really looks awesome!

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    1. y'know, it's probably better that i ordered it online, in store i might have been stumped!

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  44. A very lovely, sexy, and...dangerous lady. : o

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    1. dangerous. I LIKES IT. I LIKES IT ALOT.

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  45. Your notes and pattern tips sections at the end are priceless! Love the dress too, your pictures are always very good, particularly love number 2, 3 and the last one.

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    1. all those are ruggy shots! i keep telling him he's good. he thinks i'm buttering him up.

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  46. OMG SO DIFFERENT for you but a big YES from me!

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  47. This is soooo gorgeous! That fabric is the perfect and I love the chain trim. Actually I love everything about it.

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  48. The dress is a two-hubba-with-make-other-women-jealous-sauce miracle, but you knew that. Apropos of blog formats, you seriously need a recipe section, because I'm dying to know what Ruggy soaks the cherries in...

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  49. The dress is a two-hubba-with-make-other-women-jealous-sauce miracle, but you knew that. Apropos of blog formats, you seriously need a recipe section, because I'm dying to know what Ruggy soaks the cherries in...

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  50. Yowza!! I'm doing some cartoon eye-popping over here!! You look fan-freaking-tastic! All the hard work and pattern fiddling totally paid off. And that chain on the drape... you're a genius.

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  51. This is incredible....how bloody glam do you look!?! Your fabric choice is so cool...I've never seen anything like it, but now I want some for sure! Beautiful all around!

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  52. Work it! You look ridiculously fabulous. This fabric is seriously amazing, the neckline is so cool, drape placement is perfect, and the shape is perfect for you!

    Chain-on-drape trim, why did I not think of this before???

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  53. Gorgeous!! All that work paid off :)

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  54. Oooh, WHAT A FIT. Never knew flocked denim could be so foxy! You look amazing in this, well done!

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  55. You look completely stunning. Denim? It's an amazing use of denim.

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  56. OMG! Your dress is sooo beautiful and the fit is soo great!
    I love it!!WOW! wow! wow!

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  57. Love it! Really really love it.

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  58. You look gorgeous in retro- what a sassy cameleon of style you are!!!

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  59. Now this is vintage rock 'n roll done right! amazing job!!

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  60. jaw=floor. Wooooow great job!!

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  61. I've been lurking for awhile, but that dress requires me to comment on how stunningly beautiful it is and you are - that fabric is to die for as well!

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  62. You look stunning, and the dress is fabulous. Great job as always.

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  63. Just want to say you look triple A-mazing in this dress and it's executed perfectly. It's a little different style for you but the fabric choice is all oona. I love reading your blog, your writing is so entertaining, but I don't think I've ever commented before so just wanted to say how much I like this dress.

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  64. Holy Shiesse! I was thinking "where's the colour?" but then there it is in the inside. Absolutely yowzers. You look like a total classy babe.

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  65. Fabulous!! Would never have know what to do with that fabric. Bravo!!

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  66. This is UNBELIEVABLE-- well worth every single minute you spent on it! I absolutely love this on you. KILLER.

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  67. MEOW, dahlink! That is amazing!! And love your hair, I think you did a terrific job on it :)

    Say, I'm liking the notes on sewing att he bottom of the post...but it's up to you if you choose to keep doing this (I'm sure it can be a bit of a pain to try and either 1. remember everything you did, or 2. write everything down as you do it - major props to those that can do that all the time, they're SO much more patient than I am *LOL*)

    Lookin' FABU!! :)

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  68. I NEVER would have guessed that was denim at first glance! You're so fancy in your velvety denim dress. Gorgeous!

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  69. That fabric is amazing. That pattern is amazing, The drape is amazing in that fabric. And YOU look amazing! Amazeballs!

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  70. I don't think I have ever seen you ever look better. Wow. You look sublime in this dress. As someone who has wimpy flat hair, I love your normal 'do, but I really love what you did with it this time. Wow.

    Where I live, winters are wet or snowy. Think about having a wet dress flapping about your ankles all day. Or even worse, ice crystals stuck to the hem, and melting the moment you get inside. All together now eeuuww.

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  71. Lady, this dress is AMAZING. You look like Hollywood royalty. The fabric is awesome. The trim is awesome. The whole thing is incredible! What's your next epic project going to be? I understand there's a wrap coat that needs a-makin'!

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  72. Oh wow! Girl, you look amazing. And HOT! And AMAZING!

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  73. Oh wow! Girl, you look amazing. And HOT! And AMAZING!

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  74. So beautiful! I'm lusting after the inside finishes. I want to see this in person, yo!:)

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  75. Fabulous dress - and you look so glamorous with your hair up :)

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  76. Waouhhhh Quelle classe!!!!!! j'adoreeee

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  77. this dress is a show stopper. It is totally gorgeous and very drool worthy.
    You look fantastic!

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  78. Clever! I never would've looked twice at this pattern but you've totally reproportioned it to a much cooler style. Love the short length and the 3D velvet. And the idea to dart hems... clever clever.

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  79. This is beyond fabulous! And inspiring too - I recently got this pattern myself and appear to have nearly identical measurements to you! Thanks for adding the sewing tips at the end, I'll be sure to follow those if/when I make this up for myself so I can hope to look half as good as you in it!

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  80. You look almost illegal in this fabulous dress. Wow!

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  81. This is gorgeous. Can I please ask where you bought the material?

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    1. hi jane! there's a link in the "notes" section of the post, it was from mood fabrics.

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  82. This is gorgeous. Please can you tell me where you bought the material?

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!