No…The Dress Isn’t Cerulean.

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“This… stuff’? Oh. Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select… I don’t know… that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent… wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.”

Who cares?

Who cares?

Such a great quote, right? Miranda Priestly would have had a field day with that piece of crap sad rag from her pile of stuff. With all the bullshit circling the internet, perhaps none have been as annoying as the color of that damned dress. Well, this is not that dress, thank you very much.

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I had a little fun on Facebook recently but offering up the same toile on three different models…and asking folks to vote on which lady would be modeling the final garment. Many people asked what color was the fabric being used…to which I responded, “It depends on the model chosen.” Well…kinda…I already had a fabric in mind, but knowing folks pretty much go for the redhead – Victoire was the winner with a vast lead in votes. Whew!

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After refining the pattern to a better fit, Victoire happily stepped in to be my fit model…and she was a patient, and admirable lady, indeed.

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I had so much fun with the tailoring in Montaigne, that I wanted to take it a step further. And since I was still waiting for Montaigne’s accessories to arrive before dragging out the big camera, I slipped into a new project like a well-fitting condom. I pinched, pinned and prepped the initial pattern for a stunning fit.

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The fabric was a lovely choice – a changeant (iridescent) jacquard shantung with a tiny fleur-de-lys pattern in azure and magenta…that truly played with the eye in harmony to read as turquoise and lavender hues. The lining was a coordinating China silk…not the most elegant of fabrics, but the color was right.

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During the 2nd toile, I moved fullness to the seams, improved the fit…and I received a wonderful shape.

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Each problem area smoothed out well, and I started playing with the collar shape. I just love big, dramatic collars…and was fairly well taught on how to drape them…but this one needed to be different…

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So what if it’s a little ‘Flying Nun‘…I like nuns…

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A couple of adjustments to the pattern, and voila! I was ready to start cutting…

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The collar was to be cut on the bias, and since it was self-lining, I needed some contrast that would pick up the lining. With this end in view, I added a facing using the China silk to provide that contrast. And then I remembered what a pain in the ass China silk was to sew…

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China silk is not a luxury fabric, but it is very useful as a lining – the weave is very, very loose, and the yarns are not tightly spun – so it’s easy – even with a fine needle – to pull the threads when running through a machine. Not even a stabilizer will help this. I stitched, pressed, steamed – all in an attempt to keep the evolving moiré pattern from becoming too much of a distraction.

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Sewing the lining was a marvelous foxtrot of expletives thrown over my sewing machine. This fabric is very lightweight – not unlike sewing air. I was beginning to miss charmeuse and tulle with each annoying stitch.

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But it did seam beautifully…and served the proper weight to turn the shantung. I would frequently marvel at the colors under the work light…this was going to be lovely…and it was…

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I did lose some of the gorgeous fit that was tailored into the princess seams by adding the collar. As a result, the décolletage was damn deep – and despite my love for a nice rack – this was a bit too much…but we’ll get to that later…

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Normally, I would do my beaded embellishment before attaching the lining – but in this instance, I needed to see how the inverted ‘lapels’ would drape across the leg – so the lining had to be installed. Picking up the triangular motif of the fleur-de-lys, I opted for a trio of monochromatic beads that would add sparkle, but in a random, haphazard way – not unlike ice, really. I couldn’t help thinking about Elsa in Frozen during this process…but after a while, I did let it go (sorry…couldn’t resist)…

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I am hoping through the purchase of a new tambour hook, that I can add a new level of sophistication to my beading…so chant with me for loads of practice soon…

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When I made the last adjustments to the pattern, the idea was that the ‘lapels’ would both be open – but after beading one side, it was too heavy for both sides…and I loved the juxtaposition of the asymmetrical embellishment colliding with the symmetry of the design – however, it needed something added to the collar to balance…

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Now about those boobs

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I toyed with the idea of a bustier…but then I thought of the play factor – why not make a mini-dress, thereby giving two looks in one? Anyone could add her own statement bib necklace if they so wished to keep her headlights glaring on high beams…

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With the wing tip collar addition hand-stitched in place on both lining and shell sides, I could add the buttons and hook/eye closure for the front – this would tell me what the mini-dress needed to look like…

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Yeah…okay…so the buttons are remarkably similar to that made for Montaigne…what the fuck, if it works – it works. What this also did was tell me exactly what I needed the mini-dress contrast to be…

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Instead of the accursed China silk – I chose a French silk taffeta, used in my IT Con Competition gown, Cirque. It had much more body…but was the polar opposite of the flimsy China silk…these yarns were twisted so tightly, and in a much denser weave…even a hair-thin beading needle had difficulty passing through it easily. That’s where pliers always help…

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And that’s when Poppy had had enough. Stepping into picture, and relieving the ‘fit model’ – our darling diminutive Diva was ready for the glam. Problem was – the mini-dress was much too long…

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Ugh…well, cutting that off erased about an hour of bead work…not to worry, we’ll make a little purse to go with it before we hit the big camera…

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It’s all so ‘girdle‘ looking…but paired with a hot pair of capris and the right accessories…bitch would be styling all the way down the boulevard. Besides, it adds a depth to the finished look that just isn’t accomplished with her ta-ta’s leading the way – amarite?

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And so, I am happy to present, Jetson – a sarcastic nod toward the futuristic glam our gal has going on – besides, it was mentioned by a Facebook friend…and I couldn’t get that name out of my head. IMAGES ARE POSTED WITH THE BIG CAMERA – CLICK HERE – and it’s all eye candy for you!!!

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6 thoughts on “No…The Dress Isn’t Cerulean.

  1. Thank you so much for this warm and witty walk-through! I’ve really enjoyed (and been in awe) of how you put this outfit together and how its fabulous tailoring shows off her curves. And china silk is evil, beautiful and evil like a soap opera queen.

  2. My goodness, you’re good. Forgive my indiscretion, but where did you learn to cut & sew like that? (Don’t name names–internet is full of trolls.) Just from the looks of how you pin, tells me you’ve studied somewhere like the Chambre Synicale de Couture somewhere similar(?) Please don’t tell me you’re self taught.

    • Sorry…I am self-taught…been sewing for over 30 years…time at Tonner helped me to understand miniature sewing…but lots of hands-on, reading and sharing techniques over the years…

My blog is satire, but your thoughts are welcome!

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