The “I only get to choose one?” Dress

The Facts


Fabric: 2.5 yards of light-weight denim (60″ wide), 1 yard of black cotton batiste for the bodice lining
Pattern:  Bodice from Burda 02/2011, Skirt from Vogue 7345
Year: c. 2011 and c. 1951
Notions: 1 regular zipper, silk organza for neckline and zipper stabilization
Time to Complete: 9-10 hours (includes time spent on a muslin)
First Worn:
January 2012
Wear Again:
 Yes, but probably not until the spring.
Total Price: $6 (for cotton batiste), all other materials were from my stash

I had such a hard time this week picking a Make This Look outfit to recreate….not because I didn’t see anything I liked but because I saw too much that I loved!  Not only did I have too many options to pick from on Sew Weekly’s site, but I also have my own Pinterest account where I’ve kept track of all of the garments that I’ve seen and loved on the web over the last 6 months.

So you can imagine I was very overwhelmed and had a tough time picking out just one dress to make for this week’s challenge.  A matter of fact, two of the original dresses Mena chose in her Make This Look features were already ones that I had saved in my pinterest account; seen here and here.  The second link, the Lemon Liftoff Blouse was even a MTL feature that Mena posted per my request.  So I feel extra bad I didn’t make that one this week.  Eeeep!

What ultimately was the deciding factor was my fabric.  Last spring/summer after seeing the Bardot dress online at Talbots, I went out and bought some light weight denim fabric in hopes of making it myself.  My very own MTL outfit has taken the back seat to many new ideas in the course of the year, so I thought that this week’s challenge would be the perfect opportunity to revive my initial love of the Bardot Dress and to reduce down my stash as well.

Here’s the original Bardot Dress from Talbots:

On the Bardot dress, the style lines are princess seams and there are separate cap sleeves sewn onto the shoulder straps.  Despite my pattern’s lack of these details (darts and an all-in-one sleeve to the bodice), the 02/2011 Cap sleeve dress from BurdaStyle matched in the overall look that I loved from the Bardot dress.  Only one thing needed to be changed: the skirt.  I loved the sleek and swingy skirt of the original Bardot dress and the basic drindle skirt from BurdaStyle’s dress wasn’t going to do it for me.  So I took to my own pattern stash and found just the thing: Vogue 7345.  Not only did it look nice and swingy without being too full, but the style lines are quite similar to the Bardot dress.

I generally research a dress before I go to make it; so I checked out several reviews on BurdaStyle as to the fit of the bodice.  Everyone seemed to think the neckline was too low, so I ended up making a few alterations to the pattern even before I cut out my muslin.  I ended up raising the neckline by a full 2″ and I made the sleeves cappier… hmm… more cappy…?  Well, you get the gist.  I made them more like sleeves instead of wide shoulder straps so it would look more like the original.

I can’t begin to tell you how much fun I had in sewing this dress together!  I like sewing well enough, but I LOVE learning new techniques and also being able to wear the finished product.  Yet for some reason this dress was such fun to sew.

I’m not sure if it was the fact that the muslin wasn’t a headache to fit or that I learnt a new lining construction technique.  I truly enjoyed making every stitch of this garment on my sewing machine and loved pressing out every seem to examine my handiwork.  But most of all I think it may be due to the fact that I feel like I’ve successfully translated an image of a dress (as well as the image I had in my head) into something tangible using my own two hands.

This post wouldn’t be complete with out my own silly-sultry Bridget Bardot pose,  showing off my pink, lacy hem tape:

I hope you all try your hand at this week’s challenge of Made This Look!  It’s seriously a lot of fun recreating something that you’ve seen and loved only to have it for your very own.  :)

Author

zilredloh

By day Liz Holder works as a research analyst where she plays with data and charts, but by night she becomes a create-a-holic. She loves creating and learning new things which is why her favorite craft is sewing, which she’s been doing in full force after taking her first sewing class a year and a half ago. There is an endless array of skills, tricks, and techniques for her to research on any given project and at the end she's ecstatic o have created a unique garment that she can then celebrate by sharing it with the blogosphere after which she wears it to work where she crunches more numbers and starts the cycle all over again.

25 Comments

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  1. Fabulous dress! I love this challenge and I hope it or something like it will be repeated.

  2. Gorgeous Liz! I love the fabric choice and the alterations you’ve made. You’ve inspired me to do another variation.. this time like yours! I’ve used this pattern twice, once in a textured black brocade and the other in a very bright mexican print. Such a versatile pattern – once you get that fit right.

    • I felt lucky I didn’t have to do a lot to perfect the fit after seeing all of your variations already. I may monkey around a bit next time on my darts since the one at bottom of the bodice was quite wide for my liking.

  3. oh, this is so cute! I love the classic style of the dress and the versatile color paired with LEOPARD accents. Nice work!

  4. Great result. Bet you’ll find it one of your wardrobe staples.

  5. What a versatile little dress! Great practical (and pretty!) sewing.

  6. I think the change you made to the skirt has made this a great dress. It looks beautifully simple and those shoes are snazzy!

    • Thanks so much! In retrospect, I think the original Bardot looks more like a circle skirt than mine. I guess I’ll just have to make another one. heh :)

  7. Beautiful dress! You did a great job creating your own take on the Talbots dress. I love it!

  8. I love it! It is (dare I say) WAY better than the talbots dress. I especially love the hem finish.

  9. I love what you did with the shoulders, this dress is incredibly flattering and I think the fabric choice was spot on, you can change your belt and shoes to create a different look every time you wear her. Gorgeous pink lacy hem too.

    • I was highly debating wearing red accents instead of the leopard for a completly different look… but who doesn’t love leopard. heh

      Thanks so much Ms. Kazz. :)

  10. Great work. This dress looks really flattering on you and I like the pink surprise at the hem! Now you have made me into thinking to sew with lightweight denim!

    • It’s really quite comfortable, especially in the lightweight denim. I have a feeling its going to be a new staple in my wardobe come spring time.

  11. This dress is darling!

  12. I Love it! Looks wonderful on you.

  13. So cute, and love the leopard print accessories!

  14. This is a great interpretation of the Talbots dress. Adorable!

  15. That’s a beautiful dress! The fit and color are really becoming on you.

  16. @ Barbara
    @ Jennifer
    @ Lavender
    @ Stacey
    @ Christina

    Thanks for the lovely comments on my dress, ladies. :)

  17. HA! Love the pink hem tape! The dress looks stunning on you – I love the color!! I think we should get together and you show me how you do your gorgeous hair – you always look so polished and classy in your pictures! Fabulous work as always :)