Friday, 15 October 2010

In homage to the Audrey dress


A couple of posts ago I mentioned having fallen in love with Johnnie Boden's Audrey Dress. Well, now I have my own sort-of-Audrey-dress made by me, that actually didn't end up looking very much like the original dress at all, apart from that it is a jersey dress.

Mine has full length arms to avoid chilly wrists, only one pocket to save me from looking like a school girl (it can be a problem when you find that your own school girl is only inches away from being the same height as you), a much shorter hemline and contrast binding on the pocket and at the neck. I bought this mustard knit last year on a day out with Lisa, Helen and Joanne and then promptly took it home and ruined it. It was my first real attempt at sewing with a very fine knit and I'm afraid my sewing machine ate parts of it, due to my not waiting until I'd bought some suitable needles or doing any preliminary reading around how one actually sews with knits. But a year on, it's pleasing to find that one's skills do improve with practice and this time around I wondered how I could have found it so troublesome as I used the strips of it that I'd salvaged (it was meant to have had a life as a waterfall cardigan, but actually, I think it may see even more fun as the binding on my Audrey dress).


I have been coveting the black jersey for a while as it is incredibly thick and beautiful quality, so when I was out with Ian's mama last last week I finally snapped it up when I saw that it had 20% off.


The dress, being black, has proved incredibly difficult to photograph, so here are a few blurry pictures. The mirror in the wardrobe is less than 10" wide and has odd distortions and age spots in it...but unfortunately it's the only full-length mirror in the house. I'm thinking of asking our local glaziers if they might make me a new one to go in it, as it would be so nice to get dressed without looking through the film of dust which somehow seems to be within the mirror.


It has darts at the bust...they look as though they're in the wrong place in this photo, but I think it's because of the angle my arm is at to hold the camera, as happily I think that they look fine in reality.


I'm actually really pleased with this dress: it feels comfortable, wearable and slips on over my head without any troublesome zips to do up. I would love to be able to write it up into a pattern (and actually several others) but I'm feeling a little stumped as to how one goes about it with such large pattern pieces - how to get them into the computer? I wonder if anyone has read any blog posts lately about how one might go about this? I have Adobe Illustrator on my computer which I (or Mr Teacakes when he eventually becomes too pained by my confusion) create my other pattern pieces in, but a whole dress feels beyond my capabilities and too much work to hand over to Mr TC, when he is so busy with other things. I've thought about the possibility of getting paper patterns printed, but then there's the problem of cost, distribution and whether the investment would pay off, as I've only ever sold PDF patterns so that feels like a big leap. Mmmm, lots of thoughts....

I'm so looking forward to the weekend: it includes extended family, babies and dinner with friends and the wearing of my new dress. All good things.

Wishing you a lovely weekend,
Florence x

29 comments:

  1. Goodness what a stunning dress, it's fits and suits you so well and how wonderful that you managed to sneak some mustard in too. Audrey would be honoured I'm sure.

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  2. Oh I love love love your new dress. And I'd buy the pattern in a minute. Though I might then need you to pop round to give me a lesson on sewing with jersey/knits!

    K x

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  3. I have no idea how you could do a pattern, but if you ever do one for this dress I'd definitely buy it as your dress is beautiful.
    I too love Boden's Audrey dress, but right now I don't have any spare pennies but would love to be able to make something similar.
    I really hope you figure out away of doing a pattern. And I agree with Kristina, I too would need a lesson on sewing with jersey!

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  4. The dress is gorgeous Florence!

    I remember seeing this on the Burda Style website a while back, not sure if it is of any use, seems to suggest you would need a scanner. But there may be some other useful articles on there...

    http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/converting-your-patterns-into-a-digital-pdf

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  5. looks sweet and i love the mustard details - very Florence! my black cats are so hard to photograph too so appreciate your problem there. As regards to creating large patterns in all the old sew mags, A4 size,('golden hands' etc) they were produced on graph paper grids so one could scale up as neccesary, though the dilema would be wether to go metric or imperial or maybe you could create two versions? i would love to know how to do pdf's - i may have to purchase illustrator and pester my 'in house techy'!
    wishing your family a wonderful weekend with those you love but remember no pig's tail jokes!!
    lots of love xx

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  6. Hi Florence ... you need this tutorial: http://www.burdastyle.com/techniques/converting-your-patterns-into-a-digital-pdf

    xxx

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  7. Thats lovely, I love the mustard binding, it really makes the dress something special. I'm the same I lust over the Boden catalogue and get inspiration from it, I'm loving their fabrics!

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  8. That dress is so gorgeous. You are so good - I have all good intentions to make myself clothes and end up either not bothering or half making something and never finishing it. Well done for overcoming the problems with the fine knit. It finishes the dress off perfectly.

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  9. Great dress. Here is a post I put on my blog some time ago http://bombardone.com/sewingprincess/2010/08/drafting-patterns-with-illustrator-and-printing-patterns-at-home-on-a4/
    If you need any tips, let me know. I'd be happy to help you

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  10. It's beautiful, especially the mustard accents, in fact I think I prefer it to the Boden Audrey dress. I have the mixed blessing of living within a five minute drive of the Boden shop. It's great as I can go and try on as much as I like without the whole rigmarole of mail order. The downside is it's extremely tempting to buy everything! x

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  11. Lovely dress Flossie.
    I prefer it to the original, it looks very wearable & if I was talented enough to make such a frock I would be wearing it all the time!

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  12. Oh thank you so much for your lovely & kind comments about my dress (and for saying that you would be interesting in the pattern too!).

    And thank you so much to Kate, Julia and Sewing Princess for the wonderful links (I've tried to leave a comment on the end of your post, Sewing Princess, but it won't seem to let me - quite a lot of the internet seems to be broken today, so hopefully it will fix itself. However, I just wanted to say what an incredibly helpful post - thank you so much for sharing how you went about it and for the fantastic links - I'm going to try and have a better look at them next week as Friday never seems the right day for diving into something that needs concentration! I've also flicked back to your most recent post and am planning to revisit when I have more time - what a wonderful library!).

    Oh to live in your part of the world, Jane! How wonderful. I wonder if you ever see Mr Boden himself pootling round looking dapper?

    x

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  13. ...or even 'interested in'...

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  14. I love that dress--it looks so warm and cozy and comfortable!
    I've seen e-patterns online for clothing--but I think they might be beastly to create, as on the sewist end they all have to be cut and taped together, making the pattern about 40 pages.
    You could take a poll of who would buy it to get a rough estimate of what to get printed....

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  15. You have put in so much groundwork that you really deserve these stunning results. Soon you will be able to make pretty much anything you like. Beautiful! I couldn't begine to imagine how to make a pattern - would you need to make up test sizes and everything too? A PDF would require the purchaser to join up the pieces wouldn't it - but the purchase would be instant and cheaper all round to do. The paper pattern would take some of the work out for the purchaser but it would be more expensive for both
    Siobhan

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  16. I would definitely buy your pattern if you managed to get it sorted!
    I actually bought the Boden dress (with various discounts but its still pricey) and love it dearly, so to be able to have a go at creating it myself would be brilliant!
    My sewing skills are nowhere as good as yours, I've only managed to make two okay-ish Amy Butler Cabo halters but I'm learning!

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  17. Your dress looks great! The mustard trim is inspired.

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  18. Stunning Florence. You look fab. I did come across a link the other day, but having looked at the other two that have been suggested I feel it is a waste of time. Have a good family weekend, we have one of those planned too....in the form of a mad exodus to Blackpool Illuminations. The children are very excited!

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  19. It is a marvellous dress. You are clever to have conquered knits so brilliantly.

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  20. wow Florence, you have a real talent here - your dress is absolutely beautiful and suits you so well - the weight of the fabric really takes the style well and the trim is just, well, the icing on the cake.... if you could make patterns I think you would make your fortune! Betty xxx

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  21. Wow Florence, you never fail to impress. The dress fits you so well, both in tailoring and style. The mustard details make it.

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  22. Congratulations on the dress! The fit is great and really flattering and I love all the small details.

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  23. Mary said...
    What a beautiful derss, i absolutely love it. If you are able to put it into a pattern i would be eternally grateful - i would purchase it immediately.

    I do have a burning question please - quite often you mention your local fabric store - can you share the name of it because where i live there is a distinct lact of a good fabric store. Thanks x

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  24. lovely dress! both this dress and the original is giving me some ideas on what to do with some green knit fabric I've got laying around :) classic, comfy and stylish, what more could you ask for?

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  25. It would be great to have that pattern Florence as I love the dress, but I have no help to offer on the how I'm afraid. hopefully some other soul will be able to help x

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  26. Oh, thank you so much for all your kindness!

    Mary, my local fabric shop is probably a little obscure being outside the capital, but Fabrics Galore are more central and sell a very similar range of fabrics - they have everything from corduroy, suiting, jersey, Liberty, old boden prints and then some regular cottons by all the usual fabric designers - really worth the trip there - it's a 10 minute walk from Clapham Junction.

    Florence x

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  27. Oh Florence you have done it again - cuter and more fabulous than ever!! I would definitely buy this pattern and I'm sure our shop would stock it too!

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  28. It's a beauty.

    I have a dress that is the same shape (but is patterned) and it is so comfy to wear, even for a jeans and t-shirt girl like me.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x