Red Carpet Copycat is an occasional series in which I use recycled materials to imitate red carpet looks.
Next up is this look. This is Cheryl Cole at the premiere of ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’, in which she apparently has a cameo.
She is wearing Victoria Beckham Spring 2012. Here it is on the catwalk:
It has a flowing full length pleated skirt which starts below the waist, almost at the hip. This was the first picture we’ve seen of Cheryl in a while, so it was everywhere. It even made it onto the front of Grazia.
I’m going to make my own movie-premiere-worthy version of the dress using this:
Now, this light pink pleated skirt cost me £4.75 from the Cancer Research Shop in Whitby. I don’t know how much the Victoria Beckham dress costs, but I think it’s safe to say it’s more than £4.75.
Net a Porter carries this mini-length version for £1875, on sale for £750 at the time of writing. So if I can pull this off, I can save £745.25. [What do you mean, it doesn’t work like that?!]
For the top of the dress, I drafted a quick pattern based on my bodice block plus some notes from the (neon) racer front dress I made here, plus the top 25cm of a fitted skirt pattern I already had (Burda 08/11 #126). I ran into the usual problem; what does the back of the dress look like? Luckily there were so many paps present they got a shot of Cheryl’s back (and Cameron’s inadequately hemmed, and unflattering, jumpsuit).
The thing about this back is, well, I don’t like it, so I’m going to make up my own version instead. Here’s a quick diagram. I won’t draw the skirt because it was entirely the same as the Burda skirt pattern.
Compared to the neon racer front dress, I lifted the armscye 2cm, reduced the bust 4cm overall, moved the strap further down the shoulder by 3cm and lowered the neckline 1.5cm. The neckline is round, but the armscye is pointed. For the back piece I mirrored the pointy armscye of the front and added a bit to the strap at the shoulder to form the overlap (where the buttons go). Note that on the original, the front overlaps the back, but on mine, the back overlaps the front. I can live with that.
Here’s the toile, front (left) and back (right):
Not a bad fit. I made a couple of adjustments at this stage. Firstly, I moved the zip to the centre back, in order to accommodate a Victoria Beckham trademark exposed zip. Secondly, I rotated the front waist dart outwards a bit, so that it would meet the waist at the same point as the skirt dart. It just looks neater that way!
Material-wise, I used an offcut from stash of creamy white fabric that I’d used for making a blouse, lined with bits of recycled white sheet (of course – same sheet also seen here, here, here, here and here). Here are a few in-progress shots…
For the zip, I used the only suitable one I could find. It’s a white plastic zip intended for a coat or something. I think it originally came from Walthamstow market.
To make a neat finish I unpicked about 2cm of the seam holding the lining to the outer, inserted the zip tape into it, and sewed it shut again. Lovely.
For the shoulders, I tried it on and then made some stitches through the front and back straps to keep everything in the right place.
I added a couple of small silver buttons that were lying around.
For safety, I catch-stitched the inside of the two straps together (just visible below – this is inside out).
And now… for the pink skirt! First thing to do, as always, was cut off the elasticated waistband. I overlocked the pleats shut just to hold them in place.
I cut all the way up the back of the pink skirt, unzipped my top half and sewed the two right sides together. There was a bit of excess pink, so I cut it off before sewing a centre back seam. Then I topstitched in pink thread around 1cm from the seam. It looks peachy!
Here’s how it looks on.
I think overall I could have done with a few more inches of length on the skirt. I rarely wear maxi length skirts or dresses so wasn’t sure what the correct length should be. If I wear this again, I may cut it off above the knee… or would that ruin it?