Monday, November 12, 2012

where the deer and the antelope play, although some discouraging words were heard

the not-Darling Ranges reveal!
The royal consort suggested one night that it’s as if the dress didn’t want to be made. What a depressing thought! But after all, for every thing I fixed, something else went wrong.  So many things went wrong, I don’t even have the space - or the heart! - to tell you about all of them. Still, I refused to sign the DNR.
I gave up on the Darling Ranges pattern, but I couldn’t give up on the fabric. I just love it. It’s wonderful.  Soft, beautiful and unique! It’s from the new Art Gallery voile range.  These designer voiles are wonderful to wear and they last well.
The bodice is Vogue 8409 that I made with great success last winter.  It's pretty much exactly the same as my Garnet Hill inspiration. That dress was a two-pair-of-Spanx cocktail dress, but for this I still wanted the loose fitting idea. It didn’t work for this pattern though, as you can see from my earlier post.  I finally and completely gave up the ghost on Darling Ranges and the casual dress idea. I took the sides in pretty significantly and am much more pleased with the look.
Then that skirt! The muslin skirt seemed OK on me and didn’t appear to make me too hippy, but once I added the enormous Darling Ranges pockets, it was downright frumpy. A bad shape, with the pockets just bulging out over my widest bits! To solve that problem, I reached for another pattern that has already become tried and true – the Washi dress.  Washi has a gentle A line and perfectly placed pockets.  I changed out the pleats for gathers to mimic the Garnet Hill shape.
One of my favorite features about Washi are the pockets. Rae built them right into the side of the skirt, saving you the trouble of attaching them separately and making it easier to line up all the pieces. Of course, I French seamed them, because that's what I do.  Washi's pockets are the perfect size. You can't even tell they're there. Convience without the bulk -- genius!
 One of my goals was to make a better fitting dress for less money than I’d pay retail. In the end, I’m happy with the fit, but all those mistakes meant it wasn’t as economical as I’d hoped. At least it’s gotten a lot of wear! There were numerous fall events and even a party where this worked perfectly. I even wear it occasionally just for fun.  It layers nicely with tights, sweaters and boots. In fact, I’ve almost forgotten the trials and tears. Ok, not really. Honestly, I’m burned. It will be a while before I try a new independent designer.  On the upside, I’ve learned a lot about pattern drafting and about my own skills.  Between this and K’s winter coat, I need a break from challenging projects. I’m going back TNT for a little while. Next up is a long desired, long sleeved Washi!
Between this and K’s winter coat, Many thanks again to the team at George Aubrey Photography for not only the great shots, but for all the air brushing it took to make me look like a model! 


  1. It's so frustrating when you try a new pattern and have issues with it. I'm glad that you didn't "sign the DNR" as the fabric is gorgeous! You definitely made it work...the dress and you look fabulous!

  2. Thank you so much! I've gotten a lot of wear from it this fall and lots of compliments, so I guess it is good I stuck it out.

  3. Gorgeous!!!, love your fabric

  4. Looooove this dress!!! I am now following your blog. Came here because your version of the washi dress was my favorite in the flicker pool. But I think my husband would much prefer this bodice to the washi one lol.

  5. Yes, it's a great bodice. I made it for a cocktail dress before and it's very flattering.