Monday, 4 April 2016

StyleArc Toni Designer Dress

My sewing projects usually start with the pattern, but in this case it was the fabric. I found this rather dramatic fabric at the op shop a few months ago. There was over 3m and I snapped it up excitedly. Over the ensuing months I periodically draped myself in the fabric and pranced in front of the mirror. I envisioned something long and flowy and fabulous. I wanted a dress like those gorgeous ones made by Amanda Valentine in Season 13 of Project Runway (pictures via Tom and Lorenzo):

Amanda Valentine Finale Collection
Amanda Valentine Finale Collection
I searched my pattern collection and magazines. Nothing. I scoured real-life and online pattern shops. Where were the drapey and dazzling maxi dresses? Then finally, I found this: the StyleArc Toni Designer Dress. It definitely had potential and the more I investigated it, the more I liked it. After much pondering I eventually bought the paper pattern and was very excited to see if my vision could become a reality.

If you would like to buy the PDF version of this pattern from Gumroad, you can get a 20% discount by clicking on the affiliate link above and adding the code meggipeg20 when you make your purchase.

The dress is quite unusual and reminiscent of a Japanese design with the shaped sides that drape towards the hemline. I imagine these could look quite different in a thicker fabric, or they could be left off and the sides straightened for a more conservative look. There are pockets in the side seams too.


The other lovely feature of this dress is the collar. It is interfaced to stand up and frame the face, 

or can be folded down for a more casual look.

The most difficult part of making this dress was the collar, but that really wasn't too hard. The rest was super quick and easy. 

This fabric was a bit slippery to work with, especially at the cutting-out stage. I thought about the placement of the gigantic flowers before I cut and I think they turned out to be quite well located.

So, my vision. Did I get my Amanda Valentine-esque flowy dress? I do believe I did! When I first made it I wasn't sure if I liked it, but after strutting around the house in it for a bit, I quickly changed my mind. It feels amazing to wear and I think (hope!) it would turn a few heads if I find a fitting occasion to wear it. Fancy sewing meet-up anyone?

Don't forget the 20% discount on this pattern from StyleArc with the code meggipeg20.


Funkbunny said...

WOW!! I did an intake of breath when I saw this. Just georgous.

Bronwyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bronwyn said...

You find the best fabric! It turned out magnificently. Placement just right. I always worry with large prints they are going to draw focus right where you don't want it, but you've gt it just right. Expect to see it out of the house too!

SewJillian said...

Oh now this is one fabulous dress! How on earth do people find these fabrics at opp shops?? I'm lucky to find dusty old stained tablecloths. And this is the perfect pattern to show it off. Truly stunnning :)

Megan O said...

Gosh really!? Thank you so much x

Megan O said...

Thank you Bronwyn. It could have been a massive fail with the wrong placement! I think we'd better plan a fancy outing!

Megan O said...

Thank you so much! I definitely have my favourite op shops, but often find nothing. This was one of my best finds ever!

Hélène said...

Magnifique! This dress will sure turn heads, but in a good way. You really picked out the perfect design for this stunning piece of fabric.

katherine h said...

It looks amazing! Perfect match of fabric and pattern. I can't believe you found this fabric at the op shop...that somebody would give it away. Your print placement is perfect.

marcy harriell | oonaballoona said...

well, i KNOW you're turning heads all over the interwebs! this is perfection. what a brilliant marriage of fabric & pattern!

i'm going through the same hunt for those flowy maxi dresses, i've had that first runway shot in my head for a month. i've resorted to throwing fabric at the dress from and seeing what happens...

marcy harriell | oonaballoona said...

oh and-- i was thinking of using true bias's new colfax dress to get that maxi look! the neckline is very similar, if you're still hunting for future maxi solutions ;)

Sew, Jean Margaret said...

Wow! This is stunning Megan. What a fabulous fabric find and you have chosen the perfect pattern to show it off. Perfect pattern placement too.

kbenco said...

A perfect match of pattern to fabric. I am in awe of your op-shopping skills, and also of your cleverness in selecting the right pattern for such an unusual and stunning print. You look fabulously casual and elegant in this beautiful dress.

Ann said...

wonderful megan. a fabulous result. you must be so happy with all the wonderful comments. are you in australia.

Megan O said...

Oh, I do envy you that draping ability! I'm not brave enough yet, but I do see your vision in the Colfax dress. The neckline is lovely - thank you!

Megan O said...

Merci! I'm so pleased you like it.

Megan O said...

I know, it sure was a lucky find. Thank you!

Megan O said...

Thank you. I agonised for such a long time over this fabric. I'm so happy it worked out in the end!

Megan O said...

I'm a good rummager! Thank you for the lovely comment x

Megan O said...

I am overwhelmed with all the comments. I didn't think there would be much interest to be honest! Yes, I'm in Perth, Western Australia.

Andrea F said...

Wow. This is an amazing dress Megan. I've never seen fabric so fabulous in an op shop before. Who wouldn't grab that?

Anonymous said...

Awesome dress!
Just curious, did you do a burn test on a little scrap? Is is silk?

Beth (SunnyGal Studio) said...

this is so chic! the color combo is beautiful and I love the interesting shape.


What a beautiful dress to show case a large print. I love it!

Claire said...

I adore huge dresses! It makes wonderful space around body. Colorful blurred flower makes the dress so emotional.

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Gail said...

Wise pattern choice. The fabric is stunning, but the wrong design could look like it was wearing you.

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Carolyn said...

So very very chic!! You look fabulous, and I LOVE the big flower; it's so arty and avante garde. Perfect pattern for it. You're going the affiliate link path now? I always vowed I would never go down that road myself. I'm interested to see how you find it.

Meg said...

So, so gorgeous!! The perfect pattern for that dramatic fabric!

Meg said...

So, so gorgeous!! The perfect pattern for that dramatic fabric!

Anonymous said...

This is drop-dead gorgeous Megan! Well done!
I was wondering, does the discount code have an expiration date?

Megan O said...

Hi, I think if you make a purchase within 30 days of clicking on the Gumroad link, then the code should work. If not, let me know and I'll contact StyleArc for you. Thanks so much, I'm so pleased you like it.

Sew2pro said...

This is show-stoppingly gorgeous: I hope you got to wear it lots before your winter.

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