|Left: image from here. Right: my own version.|
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.
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!
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!!