The Jason Wu 吳季剛 Bow Dress | Adey Lim
Fabric: Edgy criss-cross border print and purple lining from stash, can't recall how much and where I got these from. The main fabric feels like cotton voile.
Pattern: Advance 3397
Year: c. 1943
Notions: Invisible zipper
Time to complete: 5 hours
First worn: July 2011
Wear again? Yes!
While going through the list of American designers, I decided to sew a dress inspired by a designer of Asian descent. I was tossed between Jason Wu and Wenlan Chia. I was mesmerized by Wu's fresh take on vintage style but I also have a copy of Twinkle Sews, Wenlan Chia's book with 25 sewing patterns out of which I have only sewed one tunic. In the end, I decided to go with Wu who might have been famous for dressing the American first lady but the pieces that wowed me were these. His bow dresses, clearly with vintage influence but made with edgy fabrics and given a new look.
Drawing from these inspirations from his works, I selected a 1943 Advance V-neck bow dress pattern and a criss-cross fabric of red, purple, grey, navy blue and pink tones to create my take on his style. The fabric print looked somewhat like plaids but it isn't. It reminded me more of American painter Jackson Pollack's work of art where paint has been dripped onto canvases.
The unique fabric comes with a single side border print so I cut the skirt pieces such that they end at the selvedge. Once in a while, I love that there is no hem to stitch! The hem of the sleeves were also cut on the selvedge so I saved time on stitching these as well. For a little bit of contrast, the yoke of the dress was cut on the border print.
I didn't read the instructions beforehand and it was only half way through the project that I realized the bow actually attached to the dress as a separate piece. Without it, the dress has a cute cowl neckline. Feels like it's pure 1940s pattern magic!