Today, I’m taking a closer look at this look from Dior Spring 2013. This ankle-length dress has a black knit top half and a flowery bottom half with an overlay of shiny organza. I love the way the organza catches the light. This look has been modelled by (amongst others) Elizabeth Debicki. Debicki plays Jordan in ‘Gatsby’; she is seen here at the film’s Sydney premiere.
Very similar looks from the same collection have also been worn by Anna Wintour and Natalia Vodianova. My favourite I think here is Wintour’s – I love her necklace – though I must say I prefer Debicki’s black shoes.
To make my own version of this look I’m using… a pair of curtains (to be accurate, I’m only going to use one, actually). I got these flowery numbers from the Mind shop in Whitby and I paid £4.50.
I will also need a black t-shirt. This basic men’s shirt is size medium and cost £3.50 from the British Red Cross shop in Lewisham.
I started cutting the side hems of the curtains before giving up and just cutting the whole of the hems off at the sides, bottom and top. I was left with a large rectangle which I cut in half. Happily, the length of the original curtain was such that it was still long enough to reach my ankles, but if it hadn’t have been, I could have used the other curtain.
Next, I ran down to my local fabric shop and bought 2 metres of orange synthetic organza, very cheaply. It frays like… a very frayed thing.
I cut two rectangles of organza that were just a little bit bigger than my fabric rectangles and basted them together on all sides.
Next, I took an offcut from my stash (part of an old sheet, I think) and folded it in four. Then I drew a rough pocket shape.
I’m not going to go through the details of how to make inseam pockets because Tasia has an excellent, very clear tutorial here. I essentially followed all her steps, which culminate in sewing both side seams.
For the waistband, I cut a piece of black elastic just long enough to go around my waist when stretched, and I sewed the ends together. I totally should have used black thread.
Along the top of the skirt, I gently pulled the top thread of the basting stitch until the waist had reduced in size by about half. Thankfully the thread didn’t break.
Next I pinned my waistband to the waist of the skirt at the front, back, left side seam and right side seam. I fed the waistband and skirt through the overlocker, stretching the elastic sufficiently that there were no puckers.
When the elastic springs back, the skirt looks even more gathered!
To finish the hem, I overlocked it….
…and then I pressed it up, catching some iron-on hem glue between the layers. I blinking love that stuff. I’m using it here because I want a clean, sharp finish with no stitching visible.
And now… for the top half. A little more work was required! Cutting off the sleeves was a no-brainer.
Then I tried the shirt on and marked with pins where the side seam should be and where the armholes should finish.
I quickly cut off the excess then overlocked the sides.
To make the armhole hems, I cut the hems off the original sleeves…
…then I overlocked them into the armholes, right sides together, stretching to fit. It works reasonably well!
Here’s how it looks on. I love the way the organza catches the light!
PS. I entered the Cosmopolitan Fashion blog awards, in the craft blog category. It would be really great if you could spare a moment to head over to their site and nominate me!