Thursday, 8 August 2013

Last minute craziness: Tessuti awards dress entry

I didn't think it was going to be possible, but I managed to make a cocktail dress in 8 hours over two nights to enter in the Tessuti awards by the deadline, and it doesn't look too shabby either!

Tessuti-awards-2013-entry-dress

I hadn't planned on entering this year because I was lacking in inspiration and they usually get so many brilliant and creative entries from very talented people. But when I read their blog post last weekend pointing out that they had received only a few entries, I decided to make an entry after all. The only problem being that I was in Brisbane visiting the inlaws last weekend, and I didn't get a chance to buy the fabric for the dress until Monday at lunchtime (seriously, check out that receipt below). And I might have accidentally picked up two other pieces while I was there - I can never pass by the remnant table!


So on Monday and Tuesday nights, working from 8pm to midnight on both nights I managed to finish my dress, take some photos on Wednesday morning and upload them to the competition website in time for the lunchtime deadline. Unfortunately with such a rush to get it finished it meant that I had to take boring self photos in my loungeroom again instead of some fantastic location, so I think that like the last time I entered I haven't presented my creation in it's best light. Oh well, I'm still happy with it.

Of course by the time I uploaded my entry there were lots of other entries added too, including some really stunning and detailed entries. But I'm not in it to win it, in fact I'd rather get third prize - $500 worth of fabric from Tessuti sounds far more appealing than the first prize of a $2500 travel voucher at this point in time (travel with two small children is just not fun!).

The competition called for a knee length cocktail dress, using either a specific black or red fabric from their store. I was going to sew a simple fitted sheath dress with a deep cowl on the back neckline using Simplicity 9218, now OOP, which is exactly the type of dress I would wear to a fancy soiree. But this is a design competition afterall that will be judged on design and creativity as well as fit and technical skill, so I thought that I should try a little harder to make some different. But not so different that I wouldn't wear the end product though.

So in the end I decided I wanted something with a bit of volume using pleats and darts and tucks because the fabric has a bit of stiffness to it and I thought a dress with structure would work better than trying to get it to drape.  My dress is a combination of the bodice from a vintage 1975 Simplicity pattern that I've been wanting to sew for a while, the pleated skirt from Burda 8/09 #128 (not online unfortunately) which is one of my favourite dresses of all time and some self drafted cap sleeves.


The triangular waist panel looks a bit Wonderwoman-ish, but unfortunately my chestal region lacks Wonderwoman's impressive assets so the top is a little puffy and the keyhole opening at the front is not so va-va-voom.

Tessuti-awards-2013-entry-dress

At the back I used an invisible zip, and made a keyhole opening at the neckline - not only does this echo the front of the dress, but it also solves the problem of those rounded edges I always seem to get at the top of invisible zips:
 
Tessuti-awards-2013-entry-dress

I managed to get a very good fit at the back and I lined up the waistline panels at the sides and the centre back too. I also added a vent at the centre back to make walking in this dress possible, the original Burda pattern doesn't have one and it's so difficult to take proper walking length steps when wearing it!

Tessuti-awards-2013-entry-dress

Tessuti-awards-2013-entry-dress

I just love those waistline pleats. It seems counter intuitive that extra fabric at the waistline would be flattering, but somehow the angles of the pleats gives the skirt volume but not bulk, and they fall gracefully from the cinched in waistline so it is a flattering silhouette:

Tessuti-awards-2013-entry-dress

The sleeves turned out a bit more puffy than I wanted, I feel a bit like an American footballer with the exaggerated shoulder armour! I guess that's what happens when you self draft something and don't have time to muslin test them first....


Tessuti-awards-2013-entry-dress

If I had allowed myself enough time to make this properly I might have added some piping around the midriff band and possibly the neckline, but I think it has turned out alright for a spur of the moment, spontaneous project. I didn't prewash the fabric either, not having the time, so fingers crossed it doesn't shrink too much because it's already a very close fitting dress!

And now for a bit of a rest before I get back to my regular sewing. Although this demonstrates why I can never commit to SWAPs or capsule collections - something always comes up and I it seems I like sewing on a whim best!

34 comments:

  1. It looks amazing. I love how you have used the structure of the fabric to make such smart skirt pleats and the completely non-footballer pleated sleeves as an echo, very clever pattern combination.

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  2. I am honestly impressed! You managed to think, redraft, sew and model in such a little time. I love the top part. The fabric is lovely too. Good luck! I hope you win

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  3. Good luck! I've seen shoulder emphasis in lots of high fashion dresses so I think you're right in with it. American football shoulder pads are much MUCH bigger anyway. LOL

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  4. Very cool dress. Hope it does well.

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  5. Stunning! I love the design! You did an awesome job combining the patterns, and I was waiting to see the final pattern where the sleeves came from, but you drafted them! They look great! Best of luck!

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    1. The sleeves are just a half oval shape - one straight edge to sew to the shoulder and one curved edge to be hemmed. Nothing fancy given the time constraints!

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  6. I love your dress! The burda pattern is on my list to make this fall....hmmm....might have to start looking for suitable fabic.

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  7. I loooove it. You would never know this was put together so fast! Good luck!

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  8. Lovely job! I'm impressed with all you accomplished in such short time.

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  9. This is so neat - a great mix of fabric style and design. Best thing about you not being 100% sure of your sleeves is that it would look cool sleeveless too. Good luck, $500 worth of fabric would be music to anyone's ears that sews!

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  10. Good luck with the competition. You have made a fabulous entry (great combo of patterns). I can't believe you completed it over two nights!

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  11. Beautiful. You look stunning. Good luck.

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  12. Gorgeous. Love the structured look of it. Looks Japanesey to me. Love it and good luck.

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    1. yay - that was the look I was trying to achieve so I'm happy you can see it in the finished dress

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  13. Good job... it does look really nice. What about bringing the sleeve pleats to a close on the sleeve hem? That would draw them in a bit? Fabric is great!

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    1. Good idea - I will do this after wearing it if it still bugs me

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  14. You picked a gorgeous style with a lovely texture fabric. It works so well. All the best with the contest.

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  15. You've made a very contemporary dress from a vintage pattern (plus a newer Burda pattern); that alone is quite an accomplishment. But oh no, not you! You did it in 8 hours! What? You must have had sewing fairies to work on it while you slept! Anyway, you look lovely in your pretty new dress, and congratulations on entering it in a competition!

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  16. It's beautiful! I really like the pleat details, and the style complements the fabric so well.

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  17. Good luck! Even if you don't get third, you have won with a great dress.

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  18. Kristy, this is a spectacular dress! The style complements the fabric perfectly. All the best in the Tessuti Awards.

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  19. Impressive! The skirt looks very flattering and I actually like the puffy sleeves. Keeping my fingers crossed for your entry - I hope you win that third prize you want :-)

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  20. That was some effort - and working with black at night must have added to the difficulty. It looks very sculptural, which I understand is quite "in" at the moment. Good luck

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    1. that's the look I was going for so I'm pleased you could see it.

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  21. Best of Luck Kristy - a gorgeous dress indeed!
    Jo

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  22. Kristy
    Last minute craziness but wow it looks great
    Good luck with winning the voucher.:)
    Wendy

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  23. The skirt with those pleats is my favourite part of the dress, too. They actually draw the eye away from the tummy and accentuate the curve of the hips. Well done on combining the patterns and adding your own touches to make a great little dress!!!

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  24. I can't believe you made that so quickly! It's fantastic, and I hope you get to go out and wear it sometime soon!

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    1. so do I - but with two little kids my social life doesn't extend much past movies at home these days!

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  25. That's gorgeous! I love the keyhole on top!

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  26. Very impressive dress, love the pleats at the waist and the keyholes are gorgeous.

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  27. Very interesting neckline and the peep at the back is stylish. I must say the fabric looks more exciting in your creation than it did in the shop!

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  28. An 8 hour cocktail dress is incredibly impressive! I love that keyhole opening in the front and back (and I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets those rounded tops of an invisible zipper--the bane of my existence!).

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  29. ithink this looks amazing! and in 8 hours 8^O! good job! so did you get 3rd place ?!
    so i love the keyhole openings front and back - lovely detail. and the tulip skirt really does give you an amazing figure. all in all , awesome success<3

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