If you are anything like me, you have a bunch of Pinterest Boards full of beautiful things that sit there and look pretty. I have a full board of Fashion Inspiration that I love to scroll through and get inspired by.
But sometimes, I want to take it a step further and actually do something about it. Sometimes, I actually do make that cute craft that has been taunting me for years. Sometimes I actually take the time to make those to-die-for-chocolate-chip-cookies...
...and sometimes, I try to recreate a dress that I have been dreaming about since I decided to pin it months ago... and I want you to feel comfortable doing the same!
I started by posting 3 looks from my fashion board and took a vote on which dress you thought I should try to recreate. The winner was this beautiful Lela Rose Dress from her Spring 2017 collection. I loved everything about this look, from the color to the interesting lines and the lace detail at the bottom.
So let me walk you through the steps to take when trying to recreate a look for yourself:
1. Consider the lines of the inspiration piece, and then try to find a pattern to match.
So for the Lela Rose Dress, I noticed the button down bodice, the style of the collar, the sleeve insertion, and the high waist with the band detail. Once you have made the construction observations, you can go on the hunt to find a pattern to match. When looking for patterns, pay close attention to the line drawings provided with the pattern. The line drawings show the pattern lines more clearly and you can then compare them to your inspiration piece. The closer you can get to finding a pattern to match, the better, it means less work for you in the long run! So take some time finding the right pattern.
I always look at my pattern stash before I get looking, because if I have a pattern ready to go, then that is obviously my first choice.
If I can't find a pattern to match, then I will go to Simplicity, Vogue, McCall's, Butterick, Burda etc. The big pattern companies usually have something close to what I am looking for. I just search keywords that I think will come up with results. In this case, I searched "button waist shirt dress" "midi shirt dress" "collar shirt dress"... etc.
If you can't find anything there, you can always search vintage patterns in just a standard google search, which is what I ended up doing for this dress. I eventually came up with a vintage pattern I found on Ebay, which also happened to be in my size. (Butterick 2626)
The top half of the dress matched the lines of the inspiration dress pretty well, but the band detail was missing. I had remembered seeing a dress with a band detail like that on Burda's website, so I found that dress and had my patterns ready to go.
2. Study how the fabric hangs on the inspiration piece, and then find fabric that reacts the same way.
For the Lela Rose dress, I noticed it had a nice drape and flow to the fabric. I could tell that the fabric had a bit of stretch to it, by the way it was hugging the models shoulders. I could also tell it was a mid-weight fabric by the way it hung. So I kept all of those things in mind when I went shopping at JoAnn. I ended up finding a stretch knit crepe that had the same drape as the inspiration dress.
I got the lace fabric from Fabric Mart because they were having an amazing sale on lace at the time. One quick word about Fabric Mart... I like to look at their fabric by style because if you click on a picture of one of their fabrics, they have the fabric draped on a table. I love this option because you can get a real idea of how the fabric hangs instead of a flat picture of folded fabric.
Because of the different fabrics, and the unique color of this dress, I bought the fabrics in white and then used Rit Dye to dye the fabrics yellow. I used standard all-purpose dye for the lace and piping since it had a cotton fiber content, but I had to use synthetic dye for the main fabric since it was made of a synthetic fiber content. Again the process is laid out in my stories on Instagram, it was quite a learning experience. :)
3. Assemble and cut out your pattern, always keeping the inspiration in front of you and note changes you will need to make.
When it was time for me to start putting the dress together, I had a picture of the inspiration dress on my phone that I kept referring to in the process. Although the patterns I chose where close, there were a few things I had to change as I went along.
For instance, I flared out the sleeve more than the pattern piece showed to get the effect on the inspiration dress, and I added elastic to the bottom of the sleeve.
I also used the band piece from the Burda dress, but I modified it to slope upwards more. I followed the line of the band to shorten the bodice to get it to match the inspiration dress.
For the bottom skirt of the dress, I just used two straight panels and gathered them at the waist.
It's the little details like this that will help make your design look like your inspiration.
There you have it! These are the basic guidelines I follow when trying to re-create a look that I love on Pinterest! Hopefully, you feel a little more confidence in trying this out for yourself!
PRICE BREAKDOWN OF MY DRESS: $50
Main Fabric $27
Lace Fabric $3
Rit Dye $8
INSPIRATION DRESS: $1500