I’ve been in a bit of a mood lately to challenge myself to make more complicated things than I have done in the past, so I decided to scour my 1000s of Pinterest ideas for some inspiration. I stumbled across this Proenza Schouler dress (I actually came across an edited version first where I thought it was just a top) and wanted to try my hand at draping it to fit me.
Even though this style looks pretty easy, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. The model is very flat-chested and I have a much larger breastfeeding bust right now, which means that the coverage will be different, as well as the size of the ties
2. I wasn’t exactly sure how to sew it… the order of operations for something like this can be super tricky, so that you don’t accidentally sew the whole thing inside out.
3. I am a lousy draper… so this was a test for me!
As for fabrics, I designed a ton of coordinating prints over a year ago and bought a yard of most of them, never making anything with the blue set. They can be ordered on any fabric that Spoonflower sells, but I decided to order them on the Poly Crepe de Chine, so that I could make a lot of different projects. I actually used some of the prints to make these coordinating bangles, which I didn’t realize until after I came home from shooting this dress- I wish I had worn them for the shoot!
You can watch my draping process in time-lapse on my instagram stories, in my ‘Blue Mix Dress’ category. I padded up my mannequin to fit my new bod, and began draping. The top 2 panels were draped on the bias for extra stretch, which I knew would be a great way to use variation in the prints as well. The lowest portion was draped on the cross-grain, so that the stripes would be going along my body, not up and down.
I used a soft pink bias binding as a trim, enveloping it into the seams of the ties, instead of over the top. It made it a bit tricky to sew, but the added stiffness helps the ties hold shape. However, if I could do it again I would have interfaced the inside of the ties, and made them each 1″ shorter. I was worried I wouldn’t have enough room to tie the knots when it was on me, but it turns out I could actually knot them 3 times!
I carefully cut out the pattern pieces and when I sewed tried to match up the prints as much as possible, which is very obvious on the back. I used an invisible zipper to close the back of the top starting from the bottom up, since it was so fitted at the waist. To get my head through, I just untie the top neck tie on the front, keeping the others knotted. I hand sewed the bottom edge of the lowest tie and the inside of the linings, so to keep topstitching at a minimum.
I really really loved the way the details and the mixed prints came out on the top, but once I tried it on, it looked incredibly scandalous! As I said before I didn’t know the original inspiration was a dress, but I realized that if I made something high-waisted (and quickly- I was planning to wear this outfit out that night!) that it would balance out all the skin showing. I whipped up this pencil skirt in under 2 hours, which is why the zipper is a bit wonky (but I just need a little hand sewing to fix that). The length hits around my lower calf, and the demure shape of the bottom is the perfect compliment to the edgy top. Even with all that skin and boob showing, somehow the look is very 1940’s elegant, don’t you think?
In the end, although it’s 2 pieces, it looks like one mixed print tie dress, which I love. But then I really think I could layer the top over a turtleneck in the winter, and wear the skirt with a graphic tee and shake the whole look up again.
I finished the look with a few choice accessories. First, a polka dot denim jacket from Zara which added a cool factor but also some coverage for dinner! Then these perfect sparkly drop earrings (under $13) added a bit of glam. My purse was actually a velvet reversible clutch that I made with the same set of fabrics about 6 months ago actually, so I had to whip that out! And lastly, and most hilariously for me, was that I wore my sparkly silver low heels… which I wore with ANOTHER dress that I made, with the SAME fabric mix but in green, in the SAME location! I guess subliminally I thought it would look good because… I had already done it?
What do you think? Do you like this dress?
For the other DIYs with these Prints, check out:
And shop the Geometric Collection and the Ikat Collection in my Spoonflower shop!