Every now and then the sewing stars align and you can make an exact replica of a ready-to-wear outfit you have seen in the newspaper for only about 30 big ones. An outfit that you had previously saved an image of in the vain hope to find a similar fabric and sewing pattern to make something inspired by what you saw. This time, I got more than inspiration, I got the same dang thing. I first spied the dress during the Spring racing carnival 2015 season. I had no idea who made it or how to find out - I just saw a picture of it and I liked it. Then in December 2016 I was wandering through The Remnant Warehouse looking for other fabrics and I spotted the Rose Garden Bonded Georgette on a bolt and thought it looked really familar. It is effectively a thick white knit with polyester georgette bonded to it. It feels quite like a scuba knit but doesn't have any stretch. Anywhoo, outside of the fact the fabric looked familar, unsurprisingly I loved it and had to have it. I bought up 2 metres of it to make a fitted shift dress and went on my way.
Meanwhile, a week later at work a colleague walked by my desk in a skirt in the EXACT SAME material. So I stalkingly followed her back to her desk and asked her where she bought it from, because I just purchased the exact material and wanted to design the same dress I had previously admired. She hooked me up, and told me she bought it from the Australian label j'aime by Yeojin Bae. A diffusion line by Yeojin Bae, whose work I have admired for many years. After a quick Instagram search - more pictures of the dress were found and I was able to check out all the pattern lines to help me find the right sewing pattern.
The inspiration for my dress.
Off to the shops to get a pattern and I landed on McCalls 7279 - a Palmer/Pletsch fit pattern. This was the perfect pattern for this dress because it had few seams, and was shaped with darts instead of princess seams at the bust. This fabric wasn't easy to work with and had little give so trying to make it fit across a whole lot of seams would have been a nightmare. This pattern is designed to be used by tissue fitting it onto the wearer to get the fit right, but I opted to just do the fit post cutting out the fabric. I cut out a size 12 for the bodice pieces and a size 14 for the skirt bottom. I'm guessing this pattern is designed with a stack of ease to complete the tissue fitting process because the fit on this once cut out was pretty all over the place when I first fitted it on myself. I ended up taking it in on the bodice sides about 2 inches, the shoulder seams about 1 inch, and I raised the waist by about 1.5cm. I also created deeper darts at the bodice under the bust also because there was excess fabric in the bust area. What would be a really easy dress to sew certainly took longer due to the fitting process.
I also took in the skirt about 1-2cm all up on the hips and about 1 inch right on the waist to match what I took out of the waist on the bodice. This fabric doesn't fray so istead of putting my overlocker through the strain of finishing the seams of this dress, I used my trusty pinking shears to finish off the seams. I tried to do the least amount of hand stitching as possible so the sleeves and hem are both machine finished. It's such a busy print you don't really notice it. It's not a lined dress and is finished with facing the neckline using the main fabric, and I didn't add interfacing to the underside because the fabric was thick enough without it. I used an invisible zipper down the back which just works with the thickness of the fabric. It's loosened up a bit with wear.
I'm pretty happy with how my copy cat version turned out. I think the only real difference is the fact that mine has a 'Handmade by Bobbin & Baste' tag on the inside. :) Another win for the home sewer!
PS - Excuse the change in the colouring of these photos. I rushed to get these photos done right before it went dark. How annoying is the end of daylight savings!? You'll notice the moon in some of the pictures!