5. The Art Nouveau Dress

I’m finally posting pictures nearly two weeks after finishing this garment! The lack of light and a crammed schedule made it rather difficult to get some shots for you all but I finally succeeded.

I go back and forth on how I feel about the dress. It’s a great vehicle for color and with the right belt and accessories it can be quite cute on. However, I don’t seem to gravitate towards it and I fear it might be forgotten in my closet.  I’m hoping that once it warms up around here, I might feel more inclined to wear the dress. The sleeves are an awkward fit with coats and you can forget about a cardigan – the ease in this dress is just too bulky. I’m going to keep experimenting with styling the dress but there’s just something about it that isn’t all that flattering.

The first time I made Pattern Runway’s Kimono Dress pattern, the fabric was heavier with more drape and hugged my curves for a much more flattering look. I think the pattern either needs a lofty, ethereal fabric or one with significant heft like my 4 ply. This poly crepe from Gorgeous Fabrics doesn’t fit into either of these categories.

It’s too bad really because I was so in love with this yardage when it came in the mail a few months ago. It immediately reminded me of art nouveau posters and graphics. If I could do it all over, I would take this original inspiration further and incorporate the fashion at the turn of the century into the dress design. I’m afraid I picked the wrong fabric for the pattern and the wrong pattern for the fabric.


24 Responses to “5. The Art Nouveau Dress”

  1. I think it looks super cute and you have styled it well. Maybe it just needs to stay in the magic closet a little while for you to gain appreciation for it. That happens to me sometimes.

  2. But it looks super cute! I really like the belt you used for the styling. Here’s hoping it grows on you.

  3. It is adorable- I think warm weather will make it a great go to frock. It will be fun to try different colors with and work the acessories!

  4. I think it’s fantastic, and looks great on you. I love it with the blue. I can see why you’re having trouble styling it for winter though, with the kimono sleeves. Hopefully you’ll feel better about it when the weather warms up in spring!

  5. In the photos you included it is appears quite flattering. Perhaps having made one in 4 ply silk first is distorting it likability. Like driving the fully loaded model then getting into a budget model? I would like to see it with some shade of orange or red sash and matching makeup and nails. This is my first time commenting and I want to say I have loved reading your blog since having picked it up after seeing it on Collete’s.

    • How kind of you, Autumn! I’m so glad that you decided to comment. You may be on to something about the 4 ply vs. poly (although, in fairness, it’s a very nice poly). I’m glad that you mentioned red because it was the first accent color that I wanted to try. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much in the way of red accessories but I’ve been stalking the local consignment stores hoping that a belt (or shoes, or necklace) will appear. I’d love to try the dress with some colored tights as well!

  6. I like it and I think it looks best with the sash tied in a bow 🙂

  7. I agree, it looks like it will be much better for spring and summer. Or maybe you can layer underneath the dress?

  8. Oh, I know that feeling of a finished garment not feeling quite right, so frustrating! However from your photos I can assure you that it looks smashing on you and not a mismatch of pattern and fabric at all. I agree with you though that you may feel better about it in the summer when the idea of a less clingy dress is most appealing.

  9. It’s a cute little dress, and I definitely wouldn’t call it a lost cause. I think it will grow on you over these colder months, and warm weather will revitalize it. And if you still feel the same way in the spring, well, you’ve got the skills to rework it into something different 🙂

  10. I think it’s lovely and you’re being too hard on yourself. I made the same kimono dress in a fine cotton voile and even though I took my time with the finishing and love the look of the dress on the hanger when I put it on it feels a bit skimpy round the hips even though I fit all the measurements for the small. I have had lots of compliments on it though. I guess we’re all to hard on ourselves when it comes to sewing. I love it with the wide sash though. I may have to copy your idea.

    • Oh Sarah, it’s so true! I can be very hard on myself when it comes to clothes/sewing/outfits/etc. I’ve promised myself (and now anyone who reads this) that I’m going to be more positive on my next garment. I’d love to see your version but couldn’t find it on your blog – do you have a direct link or have you not posted about it yet?

  11. Ooh, I love your photos. Absolutely gorgeous!

  12. I love this dress! Definitely adding it to my list of patterns to order.
    Beautiful pictures, too!


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