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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,