A while back (pre-Covid), I wanted a new dress for a special event at a botanical garden which combined flowers and fashion.
Looking though my pattern stash, I settled on Vogue 1348, a design by Tom and Linda Platt. Purchased ages ago in case I would need the perfect dress for something, the femininity of the pattern’s fit and flair attracted me. The princess seamed design has six deep pleats making an elegant flared silhouette. The bateau neckline finishes the look. Pockets are hidden within the side pleats.
The dress is fully lined with some underlining which I left out (more on that later) and finished off with an invisible zipper. The original design ends above knee but I thought mid knee was more elegant and added some length.
There weren’t any special techniques needed for this dress. I would rate it as an advanced beginner project.
An event at Kansas City’s premier botanical garden needed a flower print. Also, this design needed a crisp fabric to give it the elegant flair that I wanted. I chose fabric from my stash that I found on clearance at JoAnne’s Fabric, a Nicole Miller design, Petal Power. I think it was a perfect match for this Vogue pattern.
This 100 % polyester fabric consists of two layers: a bottom printed solid layer, and a sheer printed layer on top. As the two printed layers move against each other, they give off a somewhat three-dimensional feel.
Sewing with double layered fabric was a bit tricky. As a precaution, I sewed a stay stitch around all fabric pieces after cutting them out. The two layers are attached at intervals but still can slip a bit without that edge stitch.
Having the sheer layer gave me the option of a hem detail that was not in the original sewing instructions. Cutting lengths of sheer fabric apart from the solid layer, I was able to create binding for the bottom hem.
The lining included two sections of gathered flounces at the bottom. The pattern called for an organza lining (to add volume) but my fabric already came with a top layer of organza and didn’t need the extra support. I decided to use a polyester cream lining and edged it with 7″ wide lace that lengthened the lining just a tad shorter than my dress, my little elegant secret that I’m sharing with you.
Uh..oh! The weather forecast indicated that it might be too chilly for a sleeveless dress. I needed to come up with a wrap.
Going to my pattern stash again, I picked Vogue 8721, a Elizabeth Gillett design (below). This pattern is out of print but one can still pick it up on ETSY. I bought it originally for view B but view A with a bow was the style I decided upon for this look.
A nude colored chiffon from Joann’s Casa Collection seemed to go well with my dress colors. But the chiffon fabric is not at all stiff or good for making bows. The bow was too floppy. Hmm…
For the main body of the wrap, I used a double layer of fabric and spent some time creating a scalloped edge. Why? I just wanted something different–okay, it’s simple to do while watching Netflix.
But mainly the scallops helped me solve the floppy bow problem. I was able to run 28 gauge silver art wire inside the scallops of the bow which helped to give the bow some body and life.
With all the different colors and shapes going on in this abstract floral design, I felt neutrals and golds were needed. The double strapped nude with hint of pink pumps were spot on for the dress. They were a pre-loved purchase from Poshmark.
The jewelry had to be gold. Only gold could have stood up against the dress’s colors. Even the textured, vintage Rodo purse sports gold on the interior handle.
My gold necklace by MCK Designs is based on a seed motif, perhaps appropriate for a garden event. I dithered on the gold cuff (also MCK) but I love it so much I just went with it. There’s always room for my multi-strand gold and pearl bracelet, picked up at the Kansas City Symphony’s boutique some time back.
Fashion and Flora at Powell Gardens
It would be a shame not to share some of our evening. I was hoping that the official event photos would be on line by the time I published so I could include a photo of Michael and I. It’s so much more fun when he goes to these things with me. He managed to get the director of Powell Gardens to let him in the gift shop so he could look at seed packets (she later mailed him the ones he wanted).
With some of my favorite women…
Finally, I would like to share a bit about the designers of my dress. Tom and Linda Platt met in Art School at Pratt Institute. They fell in love making a dress together for their first date. They collaborate on creating timeless clothes that are at home in “Peoria to Paris”.
Platt silhouettes are streamlined with daring color combinations and bold details. Above all, their garments are beautifully made.
The problem for the average shopper is finding their gorgeous designs. Their address and showroom is 55 West 39 Street, 17th Floor, New York, 10018. Occasionally they have sample sales.
The duo also host trunk shows at various boutiques throughout the United States.
I have found a few of their designs on Poshmark and eBay, but just a few. I think once a women buys a Platt, she hangs on to it because it is so timeless. Their clothes are an investment, even pre-loved can be pricey.
Thank goodness, I sew because they are also regular contributors to Vogue Patterns. Sometimes, when a designer does a line for a store, say Target, I can’t even relate to what is in the store to work I’ve seen attributed to the designer. But the Platt’s aesthetic very much shines through their creations for Vogue.
Below is an example. I found a photo from one of their current trunk shows. There is my dress but with a bubble skirt rather than a straight.
Sewing this dress was so much fun. It was as though I collaborated with these incredibly talented designers! As I get back to sewing more and more, this blog will reflect it. Adding something of yourself–choosing fabric, colors–and then bringing the pattern to life is a wonderful feeling. (Sometimes one even gets compliments!) I truly believe that with a little help and inspiration, we all can create.
Michael reminds me of a quote he picked up somewhere: Human beings tend to be at their best when they are creative.
A Review of Today’s Links-they did add up!
I link up with some great blogs every week. To see who they are go HERE.
Thank you for stopping by. I’ll have another blog bit next week for the 2nd Loved 1st Friday Linkup. You are certainly welcome to leave a comment or two or three. I love to hear from you.
Michael gets credit for the photos of me and does a bit of editing from time to time.
Again, thanks for stopping by. Take care……..