Tuesday, June 21, 2011

oh, what a plain dress.

  
Oh, I feel stuck.  I love this very lightweight cotton lawn  fabric and felt it was was interesting enough to carry a very simple sleeveless dress.   But, when I tried it on last night, it just seemed very, very plain and boring.   I barely have any fabric left, so I can't cut a big ruffle or collar.  (I could make a small ruffle or placket, though).   My first thought is to cut a different neckline.  Make it lower?  A V-neck?  Here is the thing, I need a bolt of inspiration because it also needs an underlining.  I will have to pick apart all these seams, cut and attach a firmer underlining and then finish up. Why go to all that trouble if I am not excited about this dress?  Ideas?  Honestly, I need a quick win right now.  I am in Baltimore, and I don't have a lot of fabric or patterns with me.  Don't tell me I should just watch TV when I get home from work at night.  sigh.  That would be even more boring than finishing this dress.

44 comments:

  1. Hmmm... I'm thinking a contrast binding? Like celery green, or navy satin or something outrageous like fuschia, or something sweet and classy like a cream. Use that for a ruffled edge at the collar? and maybe at the hem? Maybe?

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  2. Maybe a snappy belt?

    Or could you find a matching solid cotton from the print to make a ruffle or trim it in some way?

    It's so sweet I could imagine a little lace in it. Maybe insert a strip of broidery style lace down the centre or just above the bust-line or something. Not sure I know how to explain this, but I see very pretty light weight blouses where the seams are faggotted together with this sort of heavy lace.

    Good luck! I am interested to see what you come up with.

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  3. A bright red piping with a matching red belt would be my choice with a broach of the same color.
    If red is too strong for you, how about a great pumpkin yellow?

    Instead of piping you could also have an hand sewn over cast stitch with embroidery thread around the edges.

    Honestly, the world is your oyster with such a relaxed looking dress!

    I realise my suggestions may be as off as the colour on my monitor, but I like your dress!

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  4. I second the belt idea. Maybe something fresh and summery like a brown woven.

    I like the jewel neckline. If you wanted to add some interest, you could slash it down center front about 4", face it and then add a couple of pretty buttons and self-fabric loops at the top for a closure.

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  5. I think the key with "simple" dresses is perfect fit - they can look much more interesting if they fit beautifully. That said, you could also accessorize with a jacket, a big necklace, interesting shoes, whatever. :)

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  6. Shape a lowered neckline -- do a modified sweetheart, or scallop the edges of a scoop or vee neck, or use an asymmetrical shape to add interest. Don't go to the trouble of unpicking seams to add an underlining -- wear a slip. A belt in either a high contrast color, or in one of the colors in the print, would be interesting.

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  7. Robin - I would just add a belt and a great necklace. Even a ribbon belt/sash would work. Sometimes a dress or top is just the background to a great piece of jewelry. So a wonderful necklace and a great belt and you would be fine!

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  8. LOL I was going to suggest a red best and perhaps somehow incorperate red into the dress as well. I really like the alternative of pumpkin yellow.

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  9. I think I agree with the others - accessorize, accessorize. I don't think I would "fluff up" the dress with details. Do you "do" ruffles? Somehow I can't see a ruffled neckline on you, not with this dress, anyway.

    I think it will look great, esp with a nice belt!

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  10. Yes you must add a contrasting solid somewhere. I would start with a belt and a big necklace.

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  11. How about a red or brighter blue cardi over the dress with matching binding, piping. Have to agree with the others who suggested this. If you are going to line it, what about that contrasting color being added to the bottom of the lining to peek out about 1 inch or so?

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  12. Rather than underline (too much work at this point), why not make a lining identical and insert it wrong side to wrong side and then finish armholes and neckline with solid blue piping? I agree with Carolyn, a belt and nice necklace will perk this up. And it might become a favourite.

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  13. I love the simplicity of that dress and would vote for a bateau neckline, which I think is beautiful on most everyone.

    I'm not in favor of a belt or contrast piping. Keep it simple. The print is beautiful. A sexy shoe or dramatic earrings will spice it up.

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  14. A little ruffle sleeve maybe. I wonder if a little summer jacket might embolden the print a little more.

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  15. I think it looks great! Just add a belt, mathing beaded necklance and matching shoes - All in bright yellow or deep red...

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  16. Oh, no, don't underline it. I'd definitely do the double lining thing or just wear it with a slip and cardigan if it feels too sheer. Accessories will change how you feel about it as well.

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  17. Do you really need yet another opinion? Well, here's mine. I think it's lovely as is - it just needs a few accessories. Do you really need to underline? Will a full slip do the trick? I do love the print.

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  18. love you guys, thanks for the talking me down off the ledge. One thing is for sure, I am not unpicking all those seams.

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  19. Pop on a little cardi (maybe even white) and it will look just as sweet as could be! The fabric is just so pretty. If you decide you don't want it, I'll surely take it. It's a lovely little summer dress.

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  20. what about a ruffle like on the coffee date dress? It'd add a bit of something to the dress, I think.

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  21. These comments are amazing! I'm glad to hear that you are not going to underline at this point. I like the dress. If it were me, I'd go with accessories to liven it. A jacket that matches would be fabulous!

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  22. I would add a brightly-colored scarf/piece of rectangular fabric as a belt, and leave the dress as is. You could change and pick different colors in the print (teal, grey, red), or go with a "wilder" color, like magenta or pumpkin or turquoise. Here's a picture that makes this idea:
    http://pinterest.com/pin/42918418/

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  23. Take a look at the designer Milly's dresses. She takes simple shapes and does the niftiest embellishments. Good luck!

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  24. You're asking the wrong person. :-) I love classic shapes and interesting, but not necessarily overly demonstrative prints. Assuming it fits well, why not accessorize with a strand or two of blue (maybe darker blue than the print, so as not to be too matchy matchy) or pink or rose beads? Pearls would go fine too.

    Or try this summer's trend and buy either some viscose or linen in a coordinating or contrasting color and make one of those long fringed scarves that you can wrap in various ways?

    I also agree with the cardigan suggestions.

    I think this is a dress that you'll be able to wear for years.

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  25. Whack off the neckline into a bateau and maybe add cap sleeves.

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  26. The print is lovely, but I think if you ruffle it up in any way it will start to verge toward Little House on the Prairie, not a look I think you'll want. A more interesting neckline - a bateau as others have suggested, or a V would make it more sophisticated. And yes - minimal seam picking and no underlining. Keep the adjustments simple or you'll start to hate it.

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  27. A cardigan would probably be too warm for the Baltimore summer weather, but how about a little shrug? I was just looking at the stitchywitch.wordpress.com blog and saw a lovely photo where a simple shrug really perked up a simple dress. Her's was crocheted but a sewn one would also look good.

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  28. Robin. Step away from the scissors! Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to find yellow, lime green or hot pink accessories. Violet or cobalt blue would be nice as well. Necklace, belt and shoes. Not earrings though. For those, try a simple silver hoop. (Just to add that extra sparkle to your smile). Preferably at your local thrift store. Or take the dress to a store and a try it on with the aforementioned accessories. If you must do a cardi, make it white or yellow. And shrunken. At that time, you can decide if you want to permanently alter the dress. If so, go bateau.
    Angela

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  29. How about some ribbon trim at the bottom or at the waist? I also like all the cardigan, necklace suggestions. Also, what about a smaill ruffle or bit of lace showing from the hem.

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  30. I love the neckline and waist.Consider cutting into the armholes to make something more like a racerback opening in the back and more shoulder exposed in the front- say 1/2" or so in. Then you still have the option of sheer cardis, sexy shoes, and interesting earrings.

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  31. I'd add a contrasting collar and belt. As I get older I find it harder to wear prints without feeling frumpy.

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  32. I was going to suggest the same thing that Karin, a color binding. By the picture, I can't really know the exact colors, but it seems that a kind or purple appears, and it could light the dress a little.
    Good work, as allways.
    (if I made english mistakes, correct me, please!)
    A lot of kisses.

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  33. How about a darker blue binding (neck and armhole) and belt?

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  34. I think it needs a bit of contrast. A belt, contrasting bindng, a great necklace, cool shoes. Any would work well.

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  35. My suggestion doesn't invole sewing. How about wearing a bold necklace with the dress.

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  36. I like it and like the print. Maybe this is a go with dress. Think of all those simple dresses in BWF that are backdrops to accessories. This to me is a great backdrop dress - how about a jacket to compliment?

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  37. How about a sweetheart neckline and a couple of patch pockets? It would give it a very retro 50's look!

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  38. Hmm . . . yeah, does seem a bit house dress without anything to make it exciting. I'd say some contrast binding, or a neutral binding like the dark blue and then punch it up with accessories in brights.

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  39. It's gonna be all about the accessories for this one--I vote orange obi and long beaded necklace in orange, red, and green. I wouldn't mess with the dress itself--it could go too far toward gimmicky. (FWIW, I like it, though for me I'd lower the neckline just because I'm too short for a high neckline.)

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  40. Do a wide v neck and a belt with piping. Adding details will fix what ails it - if you're up for doing them, that is. Anthropologie for ideas, they're perfect for this dilemma.

    -fruitbat

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  41. It's perty! so perty! (slang our way for pretty) - I'd finish it and put a slip underneath and put a slim brown belt round the middle and a dainty necklace with a cute little whimsical charm on it.

    Now I meant to get back on your previous post because it is very interesting but I ran out of time.

    The post you wrote about the fitting with KKing stays in my mind because of how he fitted your shoulders - that 2 part slope. I have found I can fit the rest of me quite well - but because garments hang off the shoulders it all goes to bust (as it were) if the garment does not fall correctly from the shoulder. That was a revelation for me.

    I have done a Palmer Pletsch weekend workshop fit and it's easier than trying to do it by yourself. Sure the patterns are helpful with their fitting lines, but often you know something doesn't fit but you don't know exactly what it causing that wrinkle or sag. Also tissue has to be more tightly fit to allow for how much softer and pliable fabric is. If I had not had an instructor I would have made a FBA that was far too big because I would have not been taught enough with the tissue.

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  42. How about a silver chain belt? Or just a silver necklace?

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  43. A wide band of solid colour at the hemline could look good - deep purple, tangerine or black, say 4 to 6 inches deep.

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