Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Retro copy cat

Left: image from here. Right: my own version.
I love being inspired by ready to wear (RTW) items. I know some bloggers disagree with blatant copying, and I do too in many instances. I would never copy something and then try to sell it and I think to be 'inspired by' something is better than to copy it. However, I also think that it's probably ok for one little blogger to copy one little item from one big designer. Especially, as in this case, it's to enter the fab RTW contest on Sewing Pattern Review.

To find inspiration for this project I trawled through the websites of some of my favourite designers and then searched some more on Net-a-Porter. I kept coming back to this dress by Roksanda Ilincic. I loved the striking combination of colours and the retro lines.

Source
So, how to create it?

My starting point was to use the lovely pattern by Savage Coco for the 'Elegant Escape Dress'. I traced the front and back pattern pieces and played around adding lines where the different fabrics would join together. My French Curve ruler came in vary handy here. Once I was happy with that, I retraced each separate piece and added seam allowances. I took a lot of care with this step as I wanted the pieces to fit together very neatly.


The front pieces came together nicely. However, I wanted the navy side piece to be cut as a single piece that wrapped from the front to the back. It was here that things became more difficult. The more pattern pieces I made, the more complicated it was to work out if they would fit together properly. My brain began to strain! By the time I'd made all my paper pattern pieces, I had lost all confidence in the thing working at all. It was at that point I did the unthinkable (for me at least) and made a muslin from an old sheet! It turned out not really to have been necessary (muslin schmuslin) as everything fitted together as I had hoped.

So I began to cut my fabric. I used 'mechanical stretch polyester' from Textile Traders. You can see the single navy pattern piece at the top of the picture below.


And then I sewed it together...

...and it worked! You can see from the picture below that I kept the underarm and shoulder gussets from the original 'Elegant Escape Dress' pattern. I cut these from the navy fabric as I liked the extra flash of navy higher up the dress. I finished the neckline and armholes with bias binding I made from the red fabric.

I needed half a metre of each colour (at AU$7/m each), making a grand total cost of AU$10.50 for my dress. The inspiration dress was the equivalent of AU$1262. Quite a saving!
The verdict: I love it! It is very striking so perhaps not an everyday summer dress. Although I can see myself wearing it a lot with a coat and boots if autumn and winter ever arrive in Perth.

I am up against some very stiff competition in the RTW contest. It is well worth checking out the other gorgeous entries and I would love it if you felt like voting for me when entries close at the end of Feb 2013 :)

If you are interested my last year's Victoria Beckham-inspired entry is here. I ended up coming fifth in 2012!!
 

21 comments:

  1. You have done an outstanding job. I love the red black and orange combination.

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    1. Thank you so much :) I did try out other colour combos in the fabric shop, but I think this one was the most striking!

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  2. OH SNAP! Perfect…Outstanding! This is so darling. Yet another reason for an "Escape!"

    Savage Coco

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    1. Most definitely a reason for an escape, but only an overt one in these colours! I am so pleased you like it. Thank you again for your amazing 'elegant escape' pattern :D

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  3. Congratulations on your version of this dress. You did a great job. Good luck in the competition.

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  4. Absolutely gorgeous dress!! I love your fabric colours its looks a lot softer than the original and fits you so well. You did the matching pose perfectly hehe and you look prettier than the model too!! :) Good luck in the competition!!

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    1. Thank you. I hadn't really noticed the slight difference in colours until you pointed it out! I really appreciate your comment and your fab copycat competition :)

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  5. Fantastic! Excellent job on capturing the look of the designer dress.

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    1. It is a lot of fun copying RTW as well as a great learning experience. I'm glad you like it :)

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  6. This is stunning! I wouldn't have known this was a knock-off. I love it!

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  7. Beautiful! I'm following you via GFC. I host Fluster Creative Muster Party on Wednesdays and I would love it if you would come by and party with us. Hope to see you there!

    Hugs, Smiles, and Blessings,

    Robin
    Fluster Buster

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    1. Thank you! I will come on over and check it out :)

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  8. Very cool! I can definitely see it transitioning to fall as well. You'll have my vote! :)

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    1. Fab! Yes I think I will wear this a lot in the cooler weather. SO happy to have your vote - thank you!

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  9. Ooh, and you also have my vote (I'd forgotten about this competition; shame as it's a really good one)!

    I wish you many parties in the near future where you could show off this dress in style. Good luck in the competition too.

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  10. Wow! I LOVE your dress - I've just wizzed over to vote for you. Good luck!

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  11. Wow! I LOVE your dress - I've just wizzed over to vote for you. Good luck!

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  12. I to love Roksanda Ilincic designs and I love your interpretation of this dress. Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with "interpreting" or "knocking-off" a designer garment especially if you are doing it only for yourself and not for resale. You did a fabulous job on this!

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  13. Meg, you've had a big week.
    Congratulations on your wins. You are so talented.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I value every single one.

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