Another pattern from last Friday’s haul

by Erin on November 30, 2005

Vogue 167
I hope this is big enough that you can see the little buttons on the floral one on the right — aren't they adorable? Covered buttons. I used to hate and fear covered buttons, but then I read that if you got the fabric wet first (assuming it's a fabric that you CAN get wet, and I don't really sew or wear things that can't get wet — every once in a while it's been known to rain, right?) it makes everything go more smoothly. And I tried it out, and it is, in fact, true! Go figure.

Anyway, as dramatic as the dress on the left is, I know that collar would drive me insane within a minute or two. For one thing, it would constantly be catching my iPod earbud cords — something the original designer did not forsee, obviously. And you can't carry a shoulder bag with a dress like that, and every time I carry a short-strap bag like the one pictured I feel as if I should be hitting Benny Hill with it. Don't even get me started on clutch bags, or, as I like to call them, "Guaranteed to Be Lost" bags. I put it down to get a drink and five minutes later I have no idea where it is. I have to call my cell phone and hope I can make the bag ring. (If you hear an evening bag playing The Pixies, it's probably mine.) Making my husband hold it, while entertaining, is not really a long-term solution, either. You can't even really wear a coat over a dress with that kind of collar. It's not exactly practical.

Watch me end up making it anyway. What do you think — shantung? satin? Something really shiny that shows every spot — if you're going to make an impractical dress, might as well do it up right.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous November 30, 2005 at 8:05 am

Wow wow wow. I love it. Gorgeous pattern, with or without that collar.I never knew about that covered button trick, and I’ve been doing them for years because I’m crazy in love with covered buttons. You just made my life easier. Thanks!–Lydia

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La BellaDonna November 30, 2005 at 8:17 am

I looooove the collar on the blue; I think it’s what’s called a “portrait” collar. I have a pink linen jacket/bodice/top/thingy with said collar, and two in shantung – one burgundy embroidered with black, and one light grey embroidered with black, and it’s a constant puzzlement as to what type of coat best suits that type of collar. I’m thinking I may have to devise a cutaway neckline of some sort (but am really open to suggestion). That said, I have some reservations about the detailing below the waist; I have the uneasy feeling those seams which release well below the belt could make the wearer appear as if she has a belly where none actually exists. Have you run into that with this style?Oh, and one of each – one satin, one shantung. Silly. And the shantung should be a large watercolour floral.

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La BellaDonna November 30, 2005 at 9:52 am

Erin, I’m sending you this link to a Philly auction. The gown is a BALMAIN, in what looks like a flowered watercolour silk crepe de chine, and it has a MIDRIFF BAND! Enjoy. :) http://www.freemansauction.com/asp/fullCatalogue.asp?salelot=1238++++1026+&refno=++466331&saletype=

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Anonymous November 30, 2005 at 2:24 pm

I question the wisdom of putting one button under each breast. Although, that’s better than putting buttons ON each breast. Other than that, the dress is gorgeous.Madelene

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enc November 30, 2005 at 4:53 pm

I vote for shantung or duipioni (sp? my dictionary doesn’t have it). Sheen with texture. You have such good taste!

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Angela November 30, 2005 at 5:15 pm

Silk shantung – hopefully with that gorgeous shadow effect of 2 different colours woven together. Yum.

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Anonymous December 1, 2005 at 10:03 am

As for what kind coat to wear with the portrait collar; darling, that’s what your mink stole is for!Madelene

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La BellaDonna December 2, 2005 at 8:54 am

Hmmmm. Methinks the mink stole might be a bit much at the office, which is actually where I wear the two shantung bodice/jacket thingies, although it would indeed be perfect for a not-too-freezing social occasion. You have an acute perception and adaptive mind; now, what about a pretty coat that I can wear to the office over the portrait collars?

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Anonymous December 2, 2005 at 10:44 am

How about a collarless clutch swing coat?Madelene

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La BellaDonna December 7, 2005 at 8:44 am

Madelene, a collarless clutch swing coat would be a lovely combination. Unfortunately, it’s one which would fit someone else’s life; I’m invariably wearing a pocketbook, bandolier-style, and clutching a big honkin’ bag full of assorted stuff. Sometimes more than one bag. So I’m already clutching. And I’m a bit too busty for a swing coat to look attractive. But I appreciate the effort!

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Anonymous October 11, 2006 at 6:45 pm

hi..i love your site…in fact im inspired to learn how to sew now…only thing when i started looking for sewing machines i dont know what to look for and there are so many on the market…can you recommend a good sewing machine..basic enough for a beginner but which can be used later on too as i gain more expertise..i also want to learn quilting, so a machine that allows me to do that too..hmm, and under 200 dollars maybe!thanks!

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Anonymous December 10, 2006 at 7:26 pm

Well I sew a little. and i have this midnight blue fabric. MY god its gorgeos. Its shiny but not too much. THe name for the momment escapes me. But it would look great for that dress. And i love clutches. Thats mainly because i’m fidgety. To each his own.

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zandperl February 5, 2007 at 6:58 pm

Maybe you could put holes in the collar and thread the earbud cords through them. :)

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