It might just be …

by Erin on May 28, 2006

B&W Duro, take 2
Okay, this is hot off the machine, unpressed, threads dangling, and I haven't hemmed or slipstitched the facings yet. But — here it is! I made that pattern, and I'm quite pleased with it!

My thrifty Scots nature won't let me make a "real" muslin — one where I just grab any old piece of fabric that's to hand, and try something out. Oh, no, I have to make something that if it works out okay, I would actually wear, but if it turns into a giant mass of frustration and bollixed seams, I won't cry bitter tears over because I wasted good fabric. So I spend so much time (probably more than it would take me to just make real muslins) finding fabric that I like, but that I don't looooooove. Remnant tables are good for this. So is letting fabric that you loooooved several years ago marinate in a big pile of other fabric, until you can't remember what you were so excited about. It's like seeing an old crush after too much time has passed. Yes, he was an okay guy, but was he really worth those hours of crushing? (Sadly, no.)

This check/plaid is from a big estate sale I went to last summer, and the Hawaiian-themed toile is from the remnant table at Vogue Fabrics. It was supposed to be a skirt, but then I couldn't think of anything clever to do with it, skirt-wise. I don't know why these Duro-clones I keep making are all in black and white — maybe it's like those red plastic thingumbobs they sell to quilters, that block out the fabric colors so you can see if the tones go well together.

Here it is up close:
B&W Duro, take 2

Of course, the next time I make this (which might be tonight, I'm pretty excited about this pattern) I don't think I'll double the sleeve facings, the way they are here. If I did it in silk, I would, but cotton is heavy enough on its own, or could be finished with just a wide bias strip. I may actually cut these short and turn them under to finish them. That way I'll have the weight without the bulk. And the vee is pretty deep — I might easestitch both the facing and the vee, instead of just the facing, to tighten it up a bit and keep it from gapping. Otherwise, it went together well, with a minimum of swearing and ripping. The sleeves, though — next time I will sew them together flat, and then join the underarm seam, because sewing tubes without a free arm is not fun (that was most of the swearing, and all of the ripping).

And as long as I'm posting versions of that McCalls pattern, Gigi (from The Sewing Divas sent me her lovely take on the short-sleeved, all-one-fabric version (and yes, the rule is that if you make this dress you have to take pictures of it in your back yard):
B&W Duro, take 2

Okay, now, when are you going to make one? And what shoes should I wear with this? I was thinking my flat black ankle-strap sandals, but it might call for a pair of heels to make the skirt look right. I'm starting to think wedge espadrilles aren't a totally sucky idea …

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Gigi May 28, 2006 at 10:06 am

Erin, I LOVE your dress! Thanks for posting mine too. :-) I cut another one out yesterday in contrasting fabrics. I think wedge espadrilles would be perfect to wear with your dress.

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bani May 28, 2006 at 10:08 am

That one was lovely, Erin. Lovely. Noticed some fabric at Ikeatoday that you might like (bad picture if you follow link, but look at the one on the far right, plaid with yellow flowers over it. And supercheap. Good experimenting stuff!

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Anonymous May 28, 2006 at 10:16 am

I’m not making this dress. Ha! I refuse to follow lockstep and stitch up an ensemble that too many people are making. I’m just a rebel in more ways than one. I like to set trends not follow them. Buy a car? Forget it – I haven’t owned one in a million years. Watch the telly? Forget that too – I get all my important news off the Internet. Look I already know that Brad and Angelina just had a baby girl and the news isn’t on Yahoo yet! Listen on an iPod or other some such device? Why do that when I can listen to 24-hour radio called What the Hell on the ME network? Ok, so I’m a hypocrite. I wear those culottes so other people despise. And I make them too. That said, Erin, I really love your Duro dress. Did you get the vintage fabric at that reallly big estate sale in the bungalow near Devon Ave. last year? I got some fabric there last year. Still haven’t sewed it!

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Tiger Feet May 28, 2006 at 10:21 am

Hey – I bought this pattern based on your reccomendation… now I’m determined to sew it! Your’s looks great. Love the B and W look…

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Gorgeous Things May 28, 2006 at 10:30 am

Love it, love it, love it! I think the black/white combo is perfect for this dress. And I saw a fabulous pair of Christian Louboutin espadrilles at Barneys that would be just perfect. Of course, ermmm, for $345 they should be perfect!

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Anonymous May 28, 2006 at 10:40 am

Erin, did you make it a size smaller? I’m not good at adjusting pattern sizes to measurements and would appreciate any advice from experience.Betsy

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Carolyn (cmarie12) May 28, 2006 at 11:26 am

Erin ~ I looooove your version of this dress! I see more in your future. The great thing about this dress is that even though it is a basic shape it can interpreted by hundreds of women using different color and print schemes in different sizes and it will never look like the same dress.

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Gidget Bananas May 28, 2006 at 12:34 pm

Ooooh. This pattern looks like it worked better than the one from Hotpatterns. I like black and white in the summer, too — it looks so cool (in both senses).

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Erin May 28, 2006 at 12:46 pm

I *did* get that fabric at the Devon Ave estate sale! And a bunch more I haven’t sewn up yet. And Betsy, I made the 8, and by the pattern’s reckoning/measurements I really should have made the 10 or even the 12, but the 8 has just the right amount of wearing ease, and I can get it over my head without a zipper. Bani, I LOVE Ikea fabric. I bought the black/green/gray triangles last time I was there. As long as I don’t stand next to a futon, I should be fine.

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enc May 28, 2006 at 12:47 pm

These are really great. I wasn’t that thrilled with this silhouette the first time I saw it, but perhaps that’s because the combo of fabrics didn’t have the appeal that these incarnations have. I love seeing the work of real people who have good ideas and make creative pairings of fabrics.

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Mary Beth May 28, 2006 at 3:16 pm

Yes, comparisons; I like! Each version is so wonderfully different. I’m not much of a good follower either but I do allow myself to be graciously inspired LOL. I might have to draft something up because I also might be too lazy to order a new pattern. Vee shall see….

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Linda May 28, 2006 at 5:45 pm

I have avoided this pattern until now!!! I love your B&W dress. Wow, I love, love, love it. Glad I visited your blog today.

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Heather May 28, 2006 at 8:49 pm

OMG — so cute!!! I remember your comments on this pattern — did you make it in a smaller size? I really, really love this pattern, and now I’m inspired to make one of my own.

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Cari May 28, 2006 at 9:47 pm

Yeah! It looks great! I bought this pattern when you last linked to it, but haven’t tried yet. I’m re-inspired. Thanks.

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Julie The Vintage Goddess May 28, 2006 at 10:45 pm

I really, really love the print combination. Looks wonderful, it makes me want to pull out the sewing machine.

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wisechick May 29, 2006 at 12:11 am

hi just found your blog. i haven’t sewn in a few years and I’m about to whip up some vintage 70s dress patterns. I’m a little rusty on my sewing skills. I looooove this dress. McCalls? Who knew? I usually turn my nose up at McCalls thinking I’m too cool for their patterns. But this is really darling. (especially your version) I’m wondering, what did you do about the neckband in the back. Did you follow the pattern or make your own neckband? I’m surprised the neck is deep. Usually it seems that necklines turn out very modest, more so than in the pattern illustration. Do you mind telling us what your actual bust measurement is vs. what the actual bust measurement is for this particular garment? (To help us figure out ease for ourselves, not because we want to know your boob size!) Thanks! I’m looking forward to wasting a few hours catching up on all your projects. Glad I found you!

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wisechick May 29, 2006 at 3:21 am

hey, here’s your dress at anthropologie.com ! and it’s on sale to boot!http://www.anthropologie.com/jump.jsp?itemID=8918&itemType=PRODUCT&iSubCat=317&iMainCat=314

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Erin May 29, 2006 at 8:03 am

Wisechick — the actual bust measurement for the size I made was 40″, I think (I’d have to go check) but that included the sleeves. I usually make a 36-38 or will fake a 34. I followed the pattern (well, except for adding pockets) and toyed with making a back neckband, but I got too lazy.

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robertajune May 29, 2006 at 2:17 pm

I love the b/w dress! Great combination of fabrics. I’d wear some red sling-back heels and maybe some red jewelry, too.

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Raven May 29, 2006 at 5:55 pm

I like the fabrics…it reminds me of thishttp://www.net-a-porter.com/product/12904I have some really cool Indian print cotton that I am making a summer dress out of, and I’m pretty sure I will have enough left to make one of these…I am totally inspired!

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Anonymous May 30, 2006 at 10:19 am

Erin, I think you just convinced me to try this pattern. I haven’t been that impressed with the pattern envelopes I’ve seen, but that ensemble on your dressform sold me. Looks absolutely charming!And I do the same thing with fabrics for my muslins. Let’s hear it for $2/yd sale tables!–Lydia

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Tailypo May 30, 2006 at 1:19 pm

Erin, I wanted to let you know that last night I dreamed I was talking with a little boy(I work with kids IRL) and he was telling that when he grows up, he wants to be Duro Olowu.

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Tipper June 4, 2006 at 3:35 pm

I keep admiring this dress in the pattern books, but my first thought was that it was too dated, in the bad way. But seeing your versions makes me rethink that, and shows me that I can indulge in a love of crazy-patterned things together. This one’s going to go on my list. (I like your latest version the best, and wish I could have an exact replica. Unlike you, I have orange shoes, but no dress to go with them.)

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M. Martinez June 13, 2006 at 2:27 pm

I love your blog! Just found it. The dresses that you made are fantastic!

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Esteemarlu July 4, 2006 at 2:03 am

Ilove your blog. I was a seamstress for many years and still have tons of patterns from the 70′s, 80′s, and 90′s. I’m so glad I kept those patterns.I love your black dress. Too cute. I’ll have to check out the butterick patterns again. Are vogue patterns going to be 75% off all the time now or was that just a sale?

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Wow July 18, 2006 at 3:09 am

I like this black’n'white soooo much! Much more than other ones.Wow! That 2 materials suits each other very good, so glamorous…

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Cristina March 7, 2008 at 2:20 am

I love the hawaiian dresses design, they are stunning!

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