Friday, August 22, 2014

Inspiration not Duplication - Modcloth Guest of Honor Dress in Balloon

It's no secret I love Modcloth.  And even though I stopped emptying my wallet buying RTW from them faster than you can say "charge it!", I still crawl the pages when I need a creative kick in the ass.  Or to buy accessories.  Accessories.......drool....
So today as I was window shopping the site, I found this dress from Effie's Heart.  Ok, let's get real.  This dress is adorable.  Super adorable.  I want.  I need.  I check the price and hit the brakes.  As lovely as this dress is, I am not excited in the slightest at the $95 price tag. 

So using this as inspiration, this is how I would make my version of the dress.

Inspiration piece from Effie's Heart

First things first -- this dress is a knit.  I love to wear knit, but I don't sew with knit because my sanity is precarious enough as it is.  So my personal take would be to use this quilting cotton, available on

I have this in the pink color and it's freaking fabulous

What I like so much about the Guest of Honor dress is the wide straps and slightly squared off neckline.  I also like the flared skirt, but that's easy enough to swap out with another pattern, so here's the pattern I would use to tackle the bodice.

Personally, I would use view C (the one with the notch), because it has the squared shape I'm after.  The other views are more of a sweetheart neckline, but if you like the attached straps, that's easy enough to change (or leave, whatever trips your trigger).  I've made up view C and cut the CF on the fold to eliminate the seam, and it's worked just fine.  So for the bodice, I would take view C, cut it on the fold to remove the CF seam and remove the notch, squaring up the neckline even more.  I would also leave off the cap sleeves (seen on the model in the hot pink dress).  The original dress has a yoke and separate straps, but I try to use as few seams as possible.  I prefer a cleaner line, especially when the goal is to showcase the fabric, and I am far too lazy to do a shit ton of pattern matching.

If I wanted to up the cost and keep the flared skirt of the Modcloth dress, I'd make the 5 gore skirt from Butterick 5882 (the cotton isn't wide enough for a 2 piece full or half circle skirt) otherwise I'd just use the gathered skirt here.  After all, it's an inspiration piece, not a copy :)  And to be perfectly honest, I'd be inclined to use the highly fabric conservative skirt from 1418, cause I <3 it.  I would also keep the cost down by not making the sash.  I'm short waisted and I don't like them anyway. 

Projected cost:
Pattern $0 (I own it but if you buy it it will run anywhere from 99 cents to $14 depending on if you can wait for a Joann's sale), fabric $23.70 (2 1/2 yards @ $9.48/yard), notions $0 - $4 (thread, bias tape, zipper if the stash is lacking) for a total of well under $30 for a new dress.  Compared to $95 to purchase a similar dress via retail, this is well worth making up at home.  Even if you up the yardage and add the cost of lining (I typically use remnants for my lining), you're still coming in well under half the cost. 

Now go forth and be inspired!

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