This dress started as my dress for the Chicago Haute Couture Club November challenge of Modernize your Mondrian. In this challenge we needed to update the look of the original YSL Mondrian dress and give it our own spin. The only stipulation was that it had to have the black lines and these could be done by any means that we wanted.
The black version of this dress started out as the muslin. However, I loved it so much that after I made my fitting changes I recut the pieces that needed to be changed and added the orange border and sleeves and just love this dress!
Let me talk about how I decided to update the look of the original YSL Mondrian.
- update the fabrics by going with rayon blend ponte knits
- updated the color palate from the original primary colors
- color placement to flatter my figure. Darker colors around the waist and hips with brighter colors at bust and face and bottom panel.
- used narrow strips of black ponte as flat piping for updated narrow black strips.
The pattern, vogue 1336, Is a Sandra Betzina Todays Fit pattern. It already included some of the pattern pieces for the color blocking. I just took it a step further. When I made the black muslin for fitting I used HBLs or horizontal balance lines to make sure that the dress was hanging properly on my frame. As suspected, I tuck a wedge tuck from the back and added an open wedge to the front. I also adjusted the side seams. I played with the idea of adding some sort of darts to the bust area but the way the sleeves and side seams were shaped it would have meant reengineering the entire pattern and then would lose the look I liked. Some I left it alone. I also changed the overall length of the pattern. Removing a total of 5 or 6 inches. This was done by shortening the overall length of the bottom panel. It just felt too long and the proportions were off to my eye. I also removed from length to the skirt front and back panels. These changes took the dress from looking like a big sack to something fun and fashionable! The new length makes it a perfect pairing with fall/winter boots!
I used cross grain cuts of ponte cut at 1 3/4 inch strips which gave me 1/4" flat piping. The biggest challenge was how was the piping going to work with all those seams??? I did a lot of samples and tests to see if it was going to be doable.
All in all I think it worked out fairly well. The seams are ever so slightly stiff when compared to the black version but nothing terrible.
Some other ideas I played with for the black lines was to piece them. This would have required drafting an entirely new pattern. I also played with using a black jersey knit but it just felt more wonky to me. I was able to get very nice consistent seams using the ponte.
Details lightened up so you can see them!
This was a fun project and I will enjoy wearing the black version this winter. The color blocked will remain safely tucked in my closet until after the April Haute Couture Club of Chicago fashion show! With my luck I would spill something on it and ruin it and I don't want to remake it before the fashion show!
I'm looking forward to spending some time with my granddaughter this weekend! :) and maybe working on a couple of Appleton dresses... I couldn't make up my mind on which fabric, so I making two!