Mixed Metals Dress

Pattern: Self drafted

Fabric: Rayon/poly blend

Notions: Metal zipper

Time to Complete: ?


Wow! Did I drop off the face of the earth or what? Since late June, I’ve been pounding the pavement looking for a new job. Between resumes and cover letters, school work, and my current job I didn’t even think about my blog. Sad, I know. Do you know what’s even sadder? Job hunting. It is such a demoralizing experience. I had little success and, for the time being, will be staying put. While I realize that two months isn’t a lot of time when it comes to looking for a job, this was the last week for me to give notice for the fall season at school and at work. When I received my latest rejection email, I cried all afternoon and then woke up that night with the flu. I spent four days inches from the bathroom in a delirium that can only come from a fever. It was the lowest I’ve been in a long time.

But yesterday, I woke up with a little more energy and anxious to move forward. I finally updated the Independent Pattern Designers list to add several great sites. I had neglected the page this summer (sorry!) and hopefully I didn’t miss anything. Now, I’m slowly going through my latest projects to photograph them. The first up is this lovely little number that I made as a final project at school. It also happened to be my interview dress on a number of occasions.

A simple sleeveless shift, the dress features french darts, a boat neckline (with a very subtle cowl), and an exposed zipper in the back. The zipper is my favorite little touch as I’m enamored with mixed metals. The combination of the natural and industrial is so beautiful! I think the decorative teeth on the zipper really highlights the fabric’s unique color, too. The fabric is a blend that has a slight stretch to it making it comfortable to wear all day. I was stoked to find it at the discount fabric shop in Berkeley as I’ve never had much luck shopping there before.

Even though I won’t be wearing the dress to a new office, I’m thrilled to have it in my closet. It’s a great transition piece – I can see wearing it right through winter with the right amount of layering. Right now, it’s still in the mid 90’s so unless I’m meeting with potential employers, I’m not wearing it with anything else (although I’d love to pair it with a cream oversized envelope clutch)!

I hope everything is well and I can’t wait to catch up with you all! I still owe you a tutorial on neckline and armhole bindings with knits. I’ll get to work on it as soon as I get my house back in shape – it’s a total disaster after the month I’ve had! Until then, happy sewing!


75 Responses to “Mixed Metals Dress”

  1. It looks great! Good luck job hunting.

  2. Ah, I was just there with the job hunting. Truly frustrating, humbling and incredibly time consuming. Wearing a dress like that, though, you’ll soon knock an interviewer’s socks off. Hang in there — the right thing just hasn’t come along yet. Wishing you the best!

  3. Gorgeous. Love the zipper. Sorry you’ve been down, ill and a little demoralized. I hope things perk up for you really soon.

  4. It’s such a beautiful and beautifully fitted dress! I’d have hired you (if only I had something to hire you for).

  5. When I saw the photo of you in the dress, I thought the mixed metals reference was to the colour – which I LOVE! What a killer fabric, and perfectly sublime for this elegant sheath dress. So when I scrolled down and saw the zipper… wow. Where on earth do you find notions like this?!
    There is nothing that can get you down quite as much as being in the hamster wheel of job applications. Not having closure on a current job and being stuck in limbo as to the future can wreak havoc on one’s mental stability, for sure! Here’s hoping things move upwards and onwards for you, real soon.

    • I meant to say also – I’m a big believer in ‘what’s meant to be, will be’, and that’s always been the attitude I’ve adopted when job hunting, house hunting, whatever. You might be surprised at how it all just comes together when everything is aligned πŸ˜‰

    • The zipper was such a happy accident. I was trying to find a cream metal zipper and as a last resort tried this horribly stocked craft store near my home. They didn’t have what I was searching for but something even better! The tape was optic white but nothing a little tea/coffee stain couldn’t handle!
      Thank you for the words of encouragement. I’m really trying to get out of my own despair and let things come as they will. I find that there can be a fine line between apathy and acceptance though. I just keep reminding myself that everything has worked out so far and I have no reason it won’t continue to.

  6. Job hunting might be the crummiest task ever, but it means you get to wear THAT dress loads more! That glorious, fitted, lovely, finished, so-definitely-doesn’t-look-like-something-home-made dress. RL x

  7. Just beautiful Liz!! Looks great on you and love the zipper. Good luck with the job hunting.

  8. Fabulous dress you’ve really managed to get a great fit. I love the zip!

  9. It is demoralizing looking for a job, doing the same myself and have been doing it for a lot longer lol. Anyway lovely to see you back, and don’t give up. You will get one.

  10. Everything will come together when you expect it less! Think about each rejection as another new opportunity ahead. Oh man, I know how frustrating it can be (I’ve been job-hunting within my own company for the last 8 months) and how the situation can reflect on both physical and mental health. You possess a great strength: a hobby that keeps your mind occupied! Maybe this hobby turns into your next job if you reach the limit of endless interviews?!

    Your dress is so elegant and classy and you look beautiful in it! It should be fun accessorizing! I wish you to put this dress on when celebrating something nice (hope pretty soon)!

    • I would love to earn a living from dressmaking! Since I’ve signed on for another season at work and school, I’m looking into internships with bridal dressmakers. Hopefully something will come out of the search! Thanks for the support!

  11. Oh I love that zipper! Great dress!

  12. That zip is awesome! A gorgeous piece and it looks so perfectly made.

  13. Hey! If I was a recruiter and you told me you have drafted and made this dress, I would hire you on the spot! Hang in there.

  14. Gorgeous! I just tried a dress with a similiar neckline and I’m totally envious of our unwonky your armscyes are and how beautifully fitted this is. I know you’ll get to wear it in the right office soon.

  15. Fantastic dress and amazing zip. Good luck with the job hunting – keep wearing that dress and there will be a new job in no time, i hope!

  16. Oh, this is glorious! It is all business at the front and then party at the back. The zipper is such a great statement. Best of luck with the job hunt!!!!

  17. you look so sophisticated and professional. it looks so well made and I LOVE the zipper.

  18. Beautiful dress! Absolutely LOVE the zipper, and it’s the perfect focal point!

    And on the philosphical: always darkest just before dawn.

    Wishing you a spectacular sunrise!

  19. I was so happy to see you pop up on my reader this morning, Lizz! I’ve really missed your blog and the lovely garments you create. This dress is so perfect in its clean lines and subtle details. It really looks fantastic on you as well. I’m sorry you were so down, but glad to hear you’re doing better now. I’m hoping the new classes you take this fall will be just what you need to perk you up even more πŸ™‚

  20. I’m glad you’re black, too! This latest creation is beautiful. I love the clean lines and exposed zipper.

    Oh man, I’m sorry about the job hunt. I just went through a similar experience (why isn’t anyone calling me?!?!) and ended up having to take something that pays me pennies. ::sigh:: At least it’s something, eh? Are you going to continue with patternmaking classes this fall?

    • It’s the worst, no? I’m in that horrible spot where I don’t have the experience employers want but can’t find an entry level position with opportunities to move up in the company. This last part is something that I can’t compromise on. I’m looking at internships this fall in the hopes that at least someone will let me work for free! Ha!
      Wishing you the best in your situation – hopefully you’ll get more than just monetary gain in your position!

  21. OMG WHERE DIDYOU GET THAT ZIPPER???! What a perfect touch to such a simple, elegant dress!

  22. Beautiful dress! It looks so tailored! I’m glad you’re feeling better, I hope the right job comes along for you soon!

  23. killer dress Liz, you look fantastic! Welcome back, I’ve missed your posts. I’m sorry to hear the last month has been such a downer 😦 Hang in there, I’m sure something perfect will come along eventually.

  24. Sorry to hear about the job woes, I’ve been going through something similar and it just sucks. I hate all this online applying junk too, it was so much nicer when you would submit and be able to follow up with a call. Anyway, your dress looks ROCKIN’, the fit and finishing looks so great!!! Love the zipper, do I see riri on that pull tab? If so, can we talk about how amazing these zips are?!

    • Right? It’s so impersonal!
      Yes, it is a riri! I had no idea what I had found but after getting the zipper home, examining it, and working with it – I’m hooked! I just learned that the Sewing Place sells some. It’s such a beautifully made product – why can’t all zippers be made like this. Now I just need to justify the price – this one must have been mislabeled because I got it for $2!

      • Woah, $2 is a steal!! I haven’t heard of the Sewing Place before…going to google that! I usually pick up a few in NYC when I’m there, they make the most delicious separating zippers, not a single catch on those things. MMMMM! You’re putting so much work into each garment, you don’t want a bad zipper! Justification station.

  25. I’m so sorry to hear about your state of employment and sickness! That’s horrible. I believe though, that the worst of times is always followed by the best of time. So hang in there, I have a feeling things will start to look up πŸ™‚

    This dress is stunning. It’s super simple but super sharp, especially with the exposed CB zipper!

  26. Sorry to hear about the job hunt, I know it sucks, I’ve been there! I love the dress so posh and professional looking, you did a wonderful job! Where did you find a discount fabric store in Berkeley? I only found Stone Mountain Daughter and not much else…I’d love to hear where to find cheap fabric!

    p.s. that zipper is to die for!

  27. You definitely were missed.
    Your dress looks great and the fit…. a-ma-zing.
    Try not to let the job hunting get you too down, I know how it is. It’s usually their lost and you’ll probably find something better anyways.

  28. This is absolutely gorgeous! It fits you beautifully, and I love the color (let’s not even talk about the zipper… I have no words for how AMAZING it is!)!

    Good luck with your job search– I hope it goes well. I hope you’re feeling better, too. πŸ™‚

  29. I’m so sorry about the job related blues and I can totally relate. It’s terrible here, especially for young people just out of university.
    Before reading the post I thought “that dress would be perfect for anything formal, like an interview”. Just gorgeous, and so chic! I love the French darts! And that zipper is to die for. Does the metal zipper imply that you can’t wash it, just dry cleaning, or is there a way around it?

  30. Great dress, I love the zipper

  31. I’m nuts for this dress and am in agreement w/ all that’s been said above re: how amazing that zipper is, what it does for that cool fabric, & the incredible fit (+french seams!). The whole look is very chic & modern, yet happily understated. Sorry it didn’t get you a job, though the fact that you got interviews should be seen as something of a success in this climate. Here’s hoping your internship pursuit bears fruit.

  32. I love that zipper. (I guess that’s the general consensus though!) And, I’ll be sending the best job hunting vibes that I can your way. I’m also currently networking and apply for jobs. It’s quite a roller coaster – one minute feeling absolutely invincible and the next doubting everything and wondering whether raising kittens is a real profession.

    • I laughed so hard when I read your comment! “one minute feeling absolutely invincible and the next doubting everything and wondering whether raising kittens is a real profession” – Truer words have never been spoken!

  33. Ooh so pretty and simple πŸ™‚ Welcome back to blogland, lol! And hope you get that dream job soon πŸ™‚

  34. Awww hang in there! But between you and me, I think you’re interviewers are crazy for not hiring you. You totally rock. πŸ™‚

  35. So glad to have you back. Wait a minute, I’ve been MIA off & on throughout the summer as well. So as I clicked over, I was ready to feast my eyes with all of the amazing things you’ve been making. This one super-amazing thing is brilliant! The fit, finishing, color, the little pizazz of zipper… it all screams you, Lizz. Job hunting is the absolute worst, and I’ll be going through it soon enough. Keep your head up, girl.

  36. OK first of all, I missed you, and you look gorgeous! I love the dress, and the French darts are the icing on the cake – so very very chic!! πŸ˜€

    Secondly, I can relate TOTALLY to your feelings. I am going through the same thing, only I’ve been laid off completely and for the first time in ten years am having to put myself out there and face the inevitable barrage of rejection, which is having a go with my confidence. I tell you this only because I know how horrible that is, so I am sending you virtual hugs and encouragement that it is NOT you, not personal at all, and that you’re just as fabulous as ever…. if you didn’t get a job, then there are three reasons why, and three alone:

    a) You’re TOO GOOD for the job (they probably want someone cheaper and less experienced/awesome)
    b) There’s something better out there for you and it’s not the right time yet
    c) All of the above πŸ˜€

    Take heart and know that it’s true that everything happens for a reason, and you’ll know why when it happens ^___^

  37. YOU LOOK FANTASTIC. I hope you’re feeling better and that you something good comes your way soon!

  38. Love the dress! It’s such a classic style with that zipper to bring it into the 21st century!

    Glad to see you back on your blog and hope things continue to improve for you.

    BTW, I’ve seen that zipper for sale on the internet. Don’t ask where – I don’t remember! But it was a lot more than $2! That was a terrific buy!


  39. Looks awesome, I really like the colour and fit. It’s good to hear you feel better even though you had some rough weeks.

  40. What an amazing fit on that dress. You look fantastic! So sorry you are having a rough time. Try not to look at those responses as rejections. They have no idea what talent they are turning away. Just means something far more exciting is waiting for you! πŸ™‚


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