Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Introducing... the Lobster Dress!

Readers! I'm back from my hiatus! And I have the Lobster Dress to make up for it!

Let me remind you of my initial inspiration: this amazing skirt from the Horrockses show at London's Fashion and Textile museum. 

I wore my dress to the races, a traditional British pastime. It was the first time I've ever been -- exciting!

At first, I felt like a walking seafood platter!  I don't usually wear such eccentric clothes. I was expecting reactions from people, such as: "Excuse me Miss! You have something on your shoulder! A lobster!"

But nothing of the sort. British people are well-mannered after all. I did get a little joke from an employee at a convenience store: "When you can't go to the sea, you bring the sea to you!"

This was one of my most challenging projects to date. As I said before, I drafted the pattern myself, which was without a doubt the most complicated and time-consuming part of the project (to give you an idea, it took 25 hours for pattern-drafting vs. 10 hours for the actual making).

For the top, I worked from my bodice block pattern, modified to create an opening for the front, as well as lapels which were a nightmare interesting to draft. I used the sleeves of my vintage McCall's 6749 which I also modified. For the skirt, I used NewLook 6872. I added extra-deep pockets to satisfy my latest obsession with big pockets! They are my favourite part of the dress.

And finally, the finishing touch. The labels, first discovered by Handmade Jane. When I first came across Jane's post on the Crafty Christmas Club, I was on the verge of paying $80 for custom-made labels. Then I discovered these for only £3.99!

In my next post, I will show you the new Beignet skirt I just finished. I am currently working on a bright green blouse. More details coming soon!

Have a nice day everyone and thanks for reading!


  1. That dress is BRILLIANT!!!!! I love the fabric - where did you get it? I am so impressed that you drafted the pattern yourself. This makes you a dress designer! Are you self-taught on drafting/what resources did you use? You are very, very clever.

  2. Adrienne it's gorgeous, the colours look amazing on you and I LOVE the style. Excellent, excellent job! The label looks fab too! x

  3. Wow! that's a V lovely dress!!! I actually just bought the exact same fabric on a whim (inspired by a dress I saw at Anthropologie a few years ago). but by the time I got the fabric home, it just seemed too loud to deal with. But your dress and the Horrockses skirt have inspired me!

    Great job with the self-drafted pattern! love it.

  4. I love your dress, the fabric is fabulous, so quirky and stylish. Just right for a day at the races (my DH and I go quite often - it's a lot of fun).

  5. I love, love, love this dress! So much so that I've asked my friend who lives in Leeds to get me some and bring it down when she visits in July!!!

    Your Beignet also looks gorgeous, can't wait to see more of it in your next post ;o)

  6. Your hard work paid off. The dress looks wonderful. And I LOVE eccentric fabric. Few people can pull it off and you definitely did.

    Your Beignet looks very pretty too.

  7. !!!! I'm (almost) speechless! I LOVE this dress. Sooooo jealous!!! I would have made it into a skirt but somehow a full dress covered in lobsters looks really chic and less mental than a skirt would. Why is that?! I want it! Can you make one for me?

    Oh and so glad you're making your Beignet!

  8. @ Karen: The fabric is from Leeds market! For drafting I basically just try something, then see how it fits with the muslin, then modify the pattern accordingly, and repeat the cycle until I'm happy! I'm sure there is a better way, but this works!

    @ Shivani & Marie: I look forward to seeing what you'll make with this fabric!

    @ Tilly: I don't know why but I felt I needed to skirt the fine line between bold and ridiculous with this fabric! All or nothing!

  9. What a great stunt dress! There is a lobster party somewhere in Canada right now just waiting for you!

  10. Gorgeous gorgeous dress! Should we call you Ms De Beauvoir from now on? (Assuming she walked out with Sartre when he had his pet on a lead!)

  11. this dres is super cute ! the style is a great match to the fabric, and I'm very impressed by the fact it's self-drafted !
    Great Job !

  12. Good job on your Lobster dress! After reading your blog casually for a few months, I had to put in my first comment :)

  13. I lived in Maine for 5 years and now am really nostalgic for ocean related items. I would love a lobster dress. It makes you look like a fun person and congrats for making it come together.

  14. I love your dress - you did a brilliant job with the drafting, and the colours and shape look really smart on you (and not home-made eccentric). Well done!

  15. Great dress!
    I'm glad I stumbled across this post in particular because I've been wanting to order labels but was not sure where to get them. Now I know and I've just ordered a pack from Woven Labels UK. Thanks Adrienne!


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