Pattern Matching: Kate Moss Topshop dress

Okay, so this dress is almost 10 years late (where has that 10 years gone!) but in 2007 Kate Moss released this gorgeous little black dress as part of one of her first Topshop collaborations.  I desperately wanted one at the time but as a student couldn't justify the expense (they're now around £60 second hand on ebay, so haven't lost their appeal with age).   It's the caged or harness style neckline that really makes this dress - so simple and chic.  Like a lot of her collections it's clearly based on a dress she'd worn when younger (see gratuitous Johnny Depp picture below) which she must have loved to then duplicate the design.  See even models make copies of clothes!  I came across this New Look NL6429 pattern (on sale at Jaycotts as well) and it's almost a perfect dupe, it wouldn't be too hard to make the neck 'straps' slimmer and move the placement of the middle one to allow for four straps rather than the three. 

Anyone going to give this a go, it's too good a match to ignore.....?


Pattern Review/Hack - McCalls M6893 Skull Lace Applique Dress

Now anyone that follows me on Instagram or Twitter would've seen my many posts about a bridesmaid dress I've been making.  The only remit for the dress was that it had to be black.  As the wedding was in October I decided that I wanted a long dress to suit our British weather.  And then, of course, I played with the idea of getting skulls into it to create an 'alternative' bridesmaid dress.  Not everyone's cup of tea I know, but I was thinking more Alexander McQueen style than teenage goth. 

I decided to start with McCall's pattern M6893, using the long full skirt and bodice D for the elbow length sleeves. 

I also had a vague plan of a black skirt and a black lace top over a nude bodice but that was as far as my planning went. 

After searching around and failing to find some black lace that I really liked I decided to look into lace applique and opened a treasure trove of possibilities, there is so much out there!

I ordered an awful lot of lace applique pieces, my main choices were butterflies, flowers and yep skulls.  I also ordered some white lace appliques - like the two doves holding wedding rings  (how appropriate, right?) and dyed them black using Dylon's fabric dye for hand use in velvet black.  The instructions on the packet are super easy to use so don't be intimidated about dying your own fabric to suit your needs.

After knocking together a quick toile of the bodice piece I set about pinning the lace pieces to my mannequin to try and build up what sort of pattern I want.  This took me a long time, I'm talking weeks here, of putting some pieces on then leaving it to see how I felt about it after a couple of days.  I actually really enjoy this sort of thing, it's kind of like a puzzle trying to get all the pieces to fit together and also to follow the natural body shape.  The large skull piece on the back meant that I had to move the placement of the zip from the back to the side seam.

Then it was on to making the actual dress.  I made the bodice out of some nude satin fabric.  I ordered multiple samples to make sure I got just the right colour to suit my skin tone. 

I made the tulle overlay using double seams rather than a French seam and trimmed close to the stitching. Then I lined both top pieces up on my mannequin and pinned them together matching the bust darts and side seams.

I hand tacked every piece of applique in place onto just the tulle not the under bodice so that the top would have some movement.  Then started the long process of hand stitch each in place.  I wanted to do it by hand to make sure it was absolutely neat, stitching around the outer edge of each piece.


I even found some gorgeous lace ribbon with skulls in it to put around the bottom of each sleeve.  So pretty!  Once everything was sewn into place a trimmed away the excess tulle and any lose threads.

I had originally planned just to have a satin skirt, but with the tulle bodice I decided to add a tulle over lay skirt to bring the whole dress together.

So the fully finished dress.  I don't have any good quality full length photos at the moment as trying to take good photos in winter light is impossible.  I'll update them when the weather is more co-operative! But you get the general idea.

This was probably the biggest project I've done so far and took me a good couple of months to get finished.  Has anyone else made a bridesmaid dress or used McCalls M6893 for a project?

Update: Got a couple of photos from the big day, gives you a proper idea of the final lace effect :)

Love F*2DIY4 x
@fashiontodiyfor #fashionDIY

Pattern Review: Vogue Pattern V9021

I've been meaning to try this Vogue V9021 pattern for a while now and when I saw it was half price over on I finally got round to buying it. It's part of their Very Easy range so as I was at a loose end this weekend I decided to give it a go.

The sewing part only took a day, which is great because my sewing projects normally take weeks.  It was nice to have a finished dress so quickly!  There only fiddly bit in this pattern is making sure that the dart lines match up on the top and skirt when you're connecting them.  The pattern tells you to baste first which allows you to make sure that everything lines up perfectly - this was especially important with my chosen tartan fabric (I do like to make things hard for myself).

The only change I made to the pattern was to use a concealed zip instead of the standard one hidden by a fold as the pattern suggests but that's just down to my personal preference. 

Overall I'm pretty happy with the result, what do you think?

The back and hem need a bit of a press but I was too excited and couldn't wait to share this with you as it is :) 

I'd definitely recommend this pattern.  Not only is it relatively quick and easy but the shape of the sleeves are both stylish and eye catching.  I'm already planning a pattern hack with this, a chiffon version with a full circle skirt perfect for summer.

Have you made this dress up?

F*2DIY4 x
@fashiontodiyfor #fashionDIY