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SWAP Review #4: The Dress

September 20, 2012

So, despite my best intentions, I was not able to enter this year’s SWAP contest at Stitcher’s Guild. I got most of the sewing done, with some modifications to the plan but promptly got sick and wasn’t able to finish taking photos in time to submit them.

I still want to work through the items I made though. This year’s SWAP involved creating two iterations of the same article of clothing or even the same pattern when possible for several items and then creating a few other items as well.

I was supposed to make 2 dresses but I only got one done. The other version of the pattern was a definite wadder but I have managed to give it a second lease on life as a swimsuit cover up.

This dress was inspired by Diane von Furstenberg’s Maja Dress, made famous by the Duchess of Cambridge who has worn it on several occasions.

Hers was green silk but my budget was slightly smaller than would allow for that – and besides I wanted to be inspired by the dress, not to copy it outright.

The pattern I found for the basic shape was Butterick 5211. It’s a Fast & Easy dress with a straight cut and a boat neck at the front like the Maja dress.

I found navy acrylic with a vaguely Rajasthani print on it (okay I thought it reminded my of the Rajasthani prints I was shown in India but I expect it is lacking something key) and I bought flat silver buttons rather than the flat gold ones of the original.

I did a muslin in which I used the same neckline in  the front but trimmed the neckline to a point at the back and added fabric to overlap for buttons rather than the zipper in the original pattern.

I played with darts for a bit trying to recreate the slight bagginess of the original pattern but I didn’t have much luck. I could not tell if the dress had dolman sleeves or not but I suspect it does and my set in version ensured a slightly different shape.

The dress is also completely lined.

Here is the front:
And here is the back:

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