FINISHED! Teal Butterflies

There seems to be a few pieces of fabric that take the sewing web by storm and we all snaffle it up, especially since the rise of instragram!  In 2013, it was this fabric, late last year it was pineapples and this year this amazing piece of ponti from Tessuti seems to have found its way into many many a shopping cart.  Clearly I'm a bandwagon jumper and I bought 1.75m of the fabric in late February.

I don't think the fabric is available anymore but it was Stretch butterfly teal (Italian 65% Viscose 30% Polyamide 5% Elastane digital printed ponti knit. Width:145cm).  I bought it because I was immediately reminded of Valentino and the vast array of beautiful butterfly dresses like this one below.
VALENTINO Butterfly Print Babydoll Dress

I love the work of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli for this house. If I were ever to buy a couture dress I would be hard pressed to go past Valentino. Like fashion, I can be fickle but I only loved them more with the recent surprise appearance of Ben Stiller and the Owen Wilson at their latest runway show in Paris. Anyway, I digress.
With my eyes on the Valentino dress as inspiration I revisited my Frocktails 2014. I thought this was a good shell but thought I might gather the skirt.  I used the skirt from the Moneta which I bought especially so that I could use the skirt pattern.  Honestly, I've never done so much unpicking as I did on this dress. It is ridiculous given how simple the dress is.
I retraced the original bodice pieces and removed all the seam allowance to get a tighter fit.  After attaching the skirt to the bodice I felt that it still needed slimming so I took a wedge of 1 inch off the sides. I think it could still be a better fit but it's good enough. I have minor regret on the gathered skirt as I didn't really have enough fabric to do it justice and the front is more gathered than the back. Let's call it a design feature. I also feel that sometimes it falls a bit heavy. I like my waists to sit high.  I'm not sure how to fix that. I tried a bit of elastic in the waist seam but it does feel like a waste of sewing (and unpicking!).
The neck, wrist and hem are all turned over once and finished with a twin needle.  The back is closed with an invisible zip.  Sorry, I didn't bother to pattern match at the back. I kept the hem longer than I had originally envisaged.  I'm still thinking about it, but it does provide a bit more flexibility at this length, though I do like to get the pins out.
Despite all the mumbling during this post I am happy with how it turned out. But I'm mighty glad that it's done! I've got a wedding to go to next weekend, so this will be getting a run in the wild!

Oh and while we are on the topic of fancy dresses, CBR sewing crew are hosting a wonderful Frocktails event on the 27 June. All the details can be found here.  I won't be wearing this dress but I will be making up something fab to wear. Hope to see a lot of you there!  The venue is truly stunning and shows just how much Canberra has to offer.

61 comments:

  1. Stunning dress

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  2. Amazing fabric! Looks lovely and so versatile for cooler weather. the current length is lovely for a wedding but shorter would have a lot of sass too.....

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  3. Kirsty! This is so dreamy. I kept looking at that fabric and in the end I couldn't think of what I'd do with it exactly but this, THIS is the perfect use for it. Love!

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  4. SeamsOddLouise.Blogspot.comApril 3, 2015 at 8:46 PM

    This is beautiful, well worth all that unpicking! Enjoy wearing it.

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  5. I like this frock and I'm sure it will get a lot of wear. I love ponte dresses.

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  6. This dress is quiet simply stunning! Oh my! And these are such gorgeous photos. You have the very best of smiles :) What on earth shall I make for Frocktails?? We know I don't do evening/fancy, I'm starting to sweat ;)

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  7. This looks so lovely on you! gorgeous colours and a beautiful print. You are going to look just stunning at the wedding. I hope you have lots of fun!

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  8. Wow! I did a real gasp when I saw it - it's a really beautiful dress! The simple shape showcases the fabric beautifully and those colours on you are fantastic. And I think the length is great too. It's classic and modern at the same time. Seriously love this dress!

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  9. This looks lovely - and a perfect Canberra autumn/winter dress. Such gorgeous fabric, nicely showcased, love the Valentino inspiration, and I like the streamlined back ;)
    Your Canberra frocktails sounds SO tempting...

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  10. Gorgeous dress and fabric and looks perfect to wear to your wedding.

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  11. Unbelievably fantastic, gorgeous, and more words like that!

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  12. This is amazing! Quite possibly the best winter dress ever. I love the shape and those colours on you are just stunning! And ponte rocks - I love the easy wear versatility - so cool to have a beautiful dress that is good to wear all the time too. I hear you about the waist and heavy fabrics, but I quite like the look of that lower waist. Maybe it's because the look is growing on me, from a dress I have here. I made a jersey dress with a gathered skirt, and I swear that the weight of the skirt is pulling the waistlined down more with every wear....and I used clear elastic in the waist - I'm not sure what else I could have done.

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  13. What a beautiful dress. Fun but classic enough for a wedding indeed!

    -Cory U of CUExperiments | Cory U

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  14. Fantastic use of that fabric! I think the skirt looks great, actually - it's a nice way to see more of that print. Happy frocktails!

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  15. Helen // Grosgrain GreenApril 4, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    This is beautiful and I think the length is perfect as is. Very elegant.

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  16. Nothing short of sensational, and I like the length.

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  17. So in interesting to hear your issues with the waist as well. I thought the elastic would help as well but not so much. So frustrating! Oh well. I still love the dress and if it gets super annoying I could always wear a belt with it.

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  18. Thanks so much for your very kind comment x

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  19. Thank you. It should be a lot of fun to wear.

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  20. Oh I hope that you can come to frocktails. The venue is amazing and of course there will be all of us there.

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  21. Thanks so much Jo!! The length just felt right somehow, although I won't say never to shortening it :)

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  22. Thanks Carolyn. The fabric is so wonderfully 'out there' and I'm sure I will have a lot of fun at the wedding. It is only a casual wedding so should be ok.

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  23. OH you must wear some fancy pants and a crop top! It is such a wonderful look on you. I'm thinking of doing a pants combo thingy as well - maybe with the vintage liberty viyella that I bought from Susan on Friday... but we'll see. I don't usually like smiling in my photos - I feel all dorky but I felt like a smile might do me good!

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  24. Thanks so much. Yes, I felt it was worthwhile when it was finished - not so much during it of course :)

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  25. Thanks Sophie. I thought for sure that you would have bought some. It would have looked great in your vogue 8280. Me, I love a long sleeve though :)

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  26. I know! The shorter length is so sassy... maybe later I'll give it a chop.

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  27. Thanks Anna. So glad you will be coming up to Frocktails. I did a bit of Liberty purchasing on Friday night too inspired by you. Of course couldn't stop at one piece ....

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  28. I cant tell you how many times I've drooled over this fabric in Tessutis. Your dress is a thing of beauty.

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  29. I wish i had that fabric in my stash! A stunning dress, your very own valentino. I think the bit of extra length makes it even more elegant.

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  30. I love the combination of fabric and silhouette that you've chosen! I have a similar ponte/knit dress in my wardrobe and I opted not to go for gathering at the waist. I used the skirt portion of Simplicity 2444 because it still let me show off the fabric but falls in big pleats rather than gathers. I love pleats over gathers any day so it worked for me. I also elasticised the waist and I feel it hangs a tiny bit lower than my waist on me but not so bad that it bothers me. This dress is still such a winner even if it's not perfect and as you say you could always belt it. Enjoy your snuggly new dress!

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  31. I made a maxi dress a few years back in a lovely rayon/lycra blend, with lots of drape and stretch. I worried about the weight of the skirt (which was almost a full circle), so I lined the bodice with a less-stretchy knit - so far, it's going fine!

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  32. Gorgeous dress! I really love it!

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  33. This dress is stunning!

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  34. KB, you look simply radiant! What a gorgeous make and a lovely homage to Valentino! So glad you could work out the construction issues with this one- it was worth it :D

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  35. Loving that Blue Steel look in the first photo! I love love love this dress on you. The fabric is gorgeous (and you'll be pleased to know I resisted getting on the bandwagon this time - too much fabric in the stash to get through!) and I do love when you get a frankenpattern idea in your head. It always turns out so well!

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  36. Shell from SewEnSowApril 5, 2015 at 8:00 PM

    I love love love this dress on you, it gets my vote for make of the year, who cares its only april already!

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  37. Gosh, this is beautiful!

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  38. This is pretty! I also love Valentino, and made a dress very similar after seeing Jennifer Lopez in one. https://sewsincity.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/my-very-own-valentino-bambolina/

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  39. Oh just beautiful & so very flattering on you, Kirsty. DON'T change the length - it's perfect. Tres chic!

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  40. super cute! I agree that Pierpaolo and Maria can do no wrong. love each and every collection! and your dress does the original justice for sure! very cute and perfect just as is!

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  41. Thanks for the positive feedback on the length! I think I'll leave it :)

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  42. Your dress is great! thanks for the link. We've become hooked on the Voice in France and one of the judges wore this dress as well and looked stunning!!

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  43. Thanks Gail. The fabric is just stunning.

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  44. thanks so much! I can't wait to wear it out and about.

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  45. There is no doubt I'm working blue steel! If only they had some fabric left you could have jumped the bandwagon! Next time :)

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  46. Thanks Amanda!! It's good when it all works out :)

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  47. Such a shame as you would have looked amazing in this fabric. But you have the pineapples :)

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  48. Thanks Jodie. After unpicking the waistband I did think about pleating or just making it more of a circle -ish skirt but couldn't bear to mess around anymore with it. I'm happy with this although next time I won't gather I don't think. Good to hear you also elasticise.

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  49. Thanks Barbara - now I need to work out what I'm going to sew at social sewing next !

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  50. Thanks Gail - I take it thatyou didn't get any? What a shame. You would have done something truly beautiful with it!

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  51. Fabric EpiphaniesApril 8, 2015 at 5:53 PM

    What a lovely dress! I love the fabric!

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  52. Gorgeous dress! I love the work of Chiuri and Piccioli - a very inspired choice of creative directors to follow Valentino. You did a wonderful job reinterpreting the design (you do not need to buy couture you can definitely make couture), strangely enough longer like this reminds me more of one of the recent Michele Alessandro looks. yeah my brain works in mysterious ways ?:) I personally would show off those gorgeous pins though ;)

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  53. I'll take a Michelle Alessandro look!! I agree now that I've looked again at the show and don't think that you mind works at all strangely!. The skirt length and therefore vibe is definitely more recent Gucci.

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  54. Lurve the dress - and the butterflies. Definitely a very 'you' fabric! I have unwittingly jumped on this bandwagon - just bought something similar 2 nights ago but in a more muted colourway. I'm hoping like crazy I will be able to make it to Canberra for your Frocktails!

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  55. It will be so great to see you at Frocktails. I have no idea what i'm going to wear. Did you buy the grey colour way? It is so lovely and can't wait to see what spectacular dress you make out of it!

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