Desiginin’ December 2021: Contender Number 2

This second project for Linda’s @nicedressthanksimadeit challenge is based on an image that has travelled from the internet via various phones to Pinterest over the course of nearly a decade. I saw this catwalk look somewhere and it just stuck in my head. The image was old when I first saw it and for a while, before I discovered the magic that is reverse image searching, I had no idea where it came from. After lots of searching, I identified the pin to be from the Burberry Prorsum show of 2010. A little hunting found an article suggesting the shearling jackets in this collection were going for around $3000. I haven’t managed to find any information on the price of the dress, the focus of this collection was outerwear.

(C) Burberry Prorsum 2010

The first challenge was the jacket, I spent ages trying to find a faux fur like this. I thought it might be a faux “poodle” (?) – it is in fact shearling (not faux) I couldn’t find anything remotely like it. Then I discovered Sirdar Alpine which is a chunky weight “ribbon” yarn that knits up like faux fur. I had just got back into knitting last year and got a bit cocky – I freestyled this jacket using just knit stitches. I’m really pleased and think the texture is a good approximation of fur.

I pored over several of the outfits before I determined that the under layer was in fact a dress, although there were several similar rouched skirts on the same runway. I began the recreation process. I originally started with plain stretch velvet and tried to rouche it to match the fabric in the picture. I couldn’t get the effect I wanted. The rouching wasn’t tight enough and it would not stay, when the fabric is held up the pleats fell out. I decided that this was a bit beyond my resources – I probably need twice as much velvet. I think it is also beyond my skills, I tried to do it with elastic thread but I think it’s gathered a bit more securely with some sort of backing to support it. Having never held this in my hands, I can’t figure out exactly how this effect is achieved. It’s something I may investigate in the future, but for this project, it was back to the drawing board.

First attempt at rouching with elastic thread

This is the point when you are trying to make a dupe of an existing garment that you have to let go of the desire for an exact replica. The ruching was beyond my knowledge and skills and I couldn’t find the exact material to be identical to the source so it now has to move from a copy to a piece “inspired by” the original.

Many months later I came across a piece of shirred velvet at Fabric Godmother and decided that it could possibly serve my purpose. The little pleats are vertical rather than horizontal and on a much smaller scale but definitely reminiscent of the original.

The final shirred fabric

I decided to use this pattern which came with my copy of Love Sewing magazine and make a simple sheath dress to go under the cardigan.

I thought it should be plain sailing but this wasn’t the end of the problems, I hadn’t realised when I bought it but this fabric seems quite narrow. Dressmaking fabric is typically 150 cm wide and I bought 2 metres based on this. Two metres would normally be more than enough for the stretch sheath dress I was intending. However, it wasn’t wide enough to cut a front and back, nevermind the sleeves. I should have checked.

There is a slight difference in nap which makes each side look different

This oversight meant that I had to do a lot of piecing to get what I needed. I cut the dress pattern piece into a skirt and bodice just under the bust. I had to split the bodice in two and cut separate halves. The front and back bodice pieces will have a centre seam. The lack of fabric meant I couldn’t match the nap and there is a hint of mismatch when you look at the front.

Moving on to the next challenge, could I get some little sleeves out of the leftover bits and bobs? I didn’t think I’d have enough but it was, in fact, sufficient and I was expecting the tiniest cap sleeves but they are actually quite a good size.

More piecing to squeeze two short sleeves out of these scraps

I hand-stitched the neckline and hem as I didn’t want to disturb the texture and that was it. The inspiration garment has zips that look ornamental, but I decided to leave those off, zips are scarce resources in my stash and I didn’t think it needed them. The Designing’ December ethos highlights that you don’t have to spend a fortune to dress amazingly. I’m estimating the Burberry outfit cost about $5000 to buy while my outfit cost about £75 to make.

So here is my Burberry Prorsum 2010 dupe – what do you think? Is this my Designin’ December entry? Plus how do you spell ruching/rouching, asking for spellcheck….?

Thanks for dropping by,

Thanks for dropping by,

About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

15 Responses

  1. I love it!! Great job persevering with the dress and squeezing it out of the fabric! The dress makes the perfect back drop for the jacket. My fabric didn’t rouch like my inspiration dress either – I should have used way more fabric I guess. Your jacket is brilliant! I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

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