Monday, February 9, 2009

The Real Life of the Redesign

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll remember my woes regarding this ugly wadder of a project. That little mini dress "concept" though, however, did not totally escape my mind.

When I was working my my redesign of the Newport News tunic, I wanted a long-enough length to wear it as a top or a mini dress. I got what I wanted IMO. It is exactly what I had in mind for the wadder. Bear in mind, my redesign has about 0" of ease from the bust up. Just a smidge at the under bust to the skirt portion where it has front gathering. The ugly wadder project had a WOPPING 10"of ease at the bustline. Can you imagine what it would have looked like on me? It would have fit just "swimmingly"! Now, more than ever, I shake my head and wonder what I was thinking when I bought it.

Anyway, Lindsay inquired about pics wearing it (BTW, check out her Chanel Gem if you haven't already!) the other day so I decided to model all ways I might wear this tunic. Here is the redesign in real life, which IMO is really important because dress forms just don't tell all.

A casual look with jeans:

A contemporary look with boots:

A sporty/dressy look with ankle boots (like a similar look I saw in Lucky *many* months ago--yeah I'm out of fashion--what's new...) :

Just dressy:

I've modeled these outfits (embarrassingly without accessories--to know me is to know I feel naked with pretty earrings) because I've tried really hard to think of ways I can wear this top. Coordinating somewhat fashionable outfits does not come easy to me. In fact, maybe some of these styles are not that fashionable, and if they're not flattering on me, let me know. Putting together these outfits was hard because God gave my older sister a double dose of fashion sense and accidentally skipped me. On a positive note, I think my ability to determine what works and doesn't work for my figure as far as specific styles has definitely improved over the past several years. (Only took me how long???) So I've learned to play up my long arms and legs, good shoulders and full bust. Downplay my rectangular torso and minimize my never-will-be-small AND short waist.

Overall, I really like this tunic top. I chose a purplish/blueish velour knit in my stash (think it was from Spandex House from PR Weekend 2006), and while it doesn't have as much stretch as other knits I've used for my Santa Monica tee, it still works. If a nice sweater knit ever comes my way, a second top of this style will definitely be in the works. There are two other knits in my stash from Spandex House--a red and a purple--that are more for a holiday type of garment that I was thinking about using, but the velour won out.

What I've had to accept about this top:

  1. It's velour. It's drapey. I will see draglines simply due to the fabric. Kind of like panne velvet in that respect.

  2. It tends to cling to pantyhose and/or tights. The skirt portion could have been lined with Bemberg. That would necessitate putting a back horizontal seam in again--the one I removed on the pattern. Every time I stood up in church I had to casually pull down on the tunic hem. (Hence, bland, off-white beige underwear is a necessity with pantyhose and black undies are a must with black tights. Naturally, thongs are out of the question. Occasionally the back will get hung up on my jeans, too, so some type of lining might be under consideration on my second version whenever that will be.
  3. The horizontal bust darts. Truthfully, I hate horizontal bust darts, especially on my figure. Kind of a matronly look. But I needed more shaping below the bust right above the gathers. If there wasn't it, it would be a real preggo look with the bodice fabric falling more from the apex rather than the underbust. I think the pic below shows the underbust shaping rather well. IMO, this is a critical area of shaping on a dress like this. It creates a slimmer profile for a babydoll style AND it highlights a full bust well. Velour minimizes the appearance of the bust dart anyway.

  4. I didn't go as low as I wanted to with the scoopneck. For modesty sake. A short little number like this would look a bit tart-like with cleavage.

I mentioned on the back I used princess seams. Originally, on the muslin, I had back gathering. It didn't work at all. It made my backside look huge and very unflattering. Even tried tucks instead but it didn't work. So I made the switch to princess seams. Here's a pic of the back. Again, you'll see pronounced draglines as I twist around--the nature of the fabric.

So that completes my resdesign. I'll do a review on it over at PR in the next couple of days but there isn't much new to add. Will probably just link to my blog posts on the design and finished product. Also, I recently have seen some PR members lament the return of these fluid, babydoll type of styles in the over-40 group. It really depends on one's figure though (and, of course, a bit of sassy attitude ;) . Gosh, these are my fave styles. They hide a multitude of sins and with careful tweaking, they CAN work. Even my 72-year old mom can pull of a sassy short-skirted business suit and look terrific so it IS do-able. Whether I'm in this style at 60, only time will tell LOL.

In addition, I just realized I haven't shared with you the matching gold-toned leather that I purchased for my upcoming jacket. It's really lovely and a perfect match, thanks to the helpful staff of Leather Suede Skins in NYC. I'll post that soon.


Sewfast said...

Wow! That is really cute and you have so many options! Good job!

Rhoto said...

WOWY!!! You look great!! HOW do your kids handle havin' such a "hot" Mom??!! You goooo, girl!!
Soft hug,
Rhonda in Montreal (PR)

Cennetta said...

Well, Lady. I enjoyed the fashion show and the many looks one garment. You did good, very good! You don't need jewelry to show that you can pulled off the styles pictured here. Your velour top/dress is a winner.

kasizzle said...

I love it. You look great in every photo. Such a versatile top!

Kary said...

Nice! That would also look good with leggings.