Time to Vote: The Little Black Dress Challenge!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wahoo!!! The day has come and Season 2 of Project Sewn is here.  We have been going crazy here behind the scenes as each look has come in and now we finally are hitting publish so that you can have a peek (or two or three or ten) at all the little details that each one of our designers put into their Little Black Dresses.  They are going to blow you away!!!!
 
The voting begins today and lasts until Thursday evening at 8 pm (MDT).  If you aren't familiar with Project Sewn, the reader's poll (so VOTE!) accounts for 50% of the scoring and the other 50% comes from the designers ranking their favorite looks for the week (they can't vote for their own ;).  We then add up each scoring avenue, make them jive (apples to apples) and we will have the results for you on Friday morning.  Be sure to scroll down to see all the looks and then find the reader's poll at the bottom of the final look.  It will only allow 1 vote per computer/mobile device so make your decisions carefully.
 
And now I will quit blathering....because you all want to really see the designs!!!  But not before one big HUGE thank you to each of our designers---you are all fantastically talented.  Thanks for inspiring us this week....really.
 
The Polka Dot Chair--Tie Front Little Black Dress
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Hi! I'm Melissa Mortenson from polkadotchair.com. When I found out that our first challenge was a Little Black Dress my first instinct was to make something fancy. Then I changed my mind. What I want in a LBD is something that I can throw on quickly but would still help me look pulled together. I also LOVE to accessorize so I wanted to start with a pretty neutral palate. I imagined this dress as the perfect thing to wear to church on days that I'm running late (as I am every Sunday).
 
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The pattern is Vogue 1317 and the dress is made from 100% wool gabardine. The fabric is dreamy and has a very nice drape to it. When I saw this pattern, I was first drawn to the bow on the front of this dress. I think it gives a nice flattering shape to the dress. I will say, this pattern was not easy to sew. All of the seams are top stitched and there are a lot of Y seams. I spent a lot of time unpicking. The only change I made to the pattern was to add 3'' to the skirt length, and taper the shoulder seam in a bit (the original pattern had a more squared off shoulder).

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Julia Bobbin--Black is the New Black
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In July my family and I had the amazing experience of visiting Italy for the first time. It was impossible not to be inspired by the endless beauty and elegance of the country where my dad's family came from. I purchased this stunning black lace in the beautiful city of Florence and I knew it would be perfect for the 'Little Black Dress' challenge!

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I decided to keep the design of the dress simple and elegant and let the lace be the feature. The front bodice is underlined with a cotton lawn and I added a detachable lace dickey for extra modesty. The back shows off the beautiful scalloped edging of the lace. The skirt is a simple A line made of silk and the dress is closed with an invisible zipper. This is the first evening dress that I've made since giving birth to my son 8 months ago and I love the confidence boost it has given me. Thank you Project Sewn! Now I just need somewhere to wear it!

Project Sewn
 
 
Crafterhours--The Little Navy Dress
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Introducing....the Little NAVY Dress! I may have bent the rules a little bit with this dress, but the theme said "your version of the LBD", and MY version of the LBD is navy! My coloring can't really handle the harshness of black, so I don't wear it very often. (Shameful secret: I don't even own black shoes! I know, you can go ahead and revoke my rights to be a girl now.) Navy is my very favorite color, so I was really excited to add a LND to my wardrobe. I love the way this turned out, and I know it will now be my go-to dress for any fancy dress ocassions. I knew from the very beginning that I wanted my dress to have elements of lingerie but also have a lot of structure. The lacy detailing and bodice cut-outs, along with the very narrow straps evoke the look of lingerie, but the heavy duty duchess satin and structured bodice and pencil skirt kept it from looking too much like sleepwear. This dress is also heavily inspired by all the beautiful ladies' fashion here in Thailand, where wardrobes emphasize ladylike fabrics and silhouettes. Living here has motivated me to get beyond the grungy jeans and t-shirt look and embrace the fun of dressing like a girl.
 
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This dress took me almost a month to construct because I made it completely from scratch. I wanted it to be perfect, especially in the fitted bodice, and I ended up making 7 muslins to get to that point. It was well worth the effort. Because I spent so much time on the fit, I now have a dress that looks custom-made to my body (because it is!) but is also comfortable. I don't have to worry about sitting, dancing, or eating a cheeseburger in this one. I have a little bit of an odd shape (my measurements are pretty cylindrical) so store-bought fitted dresses are almost always too tight in the waist or too big in the bust. It was incredibly liberating to create a dress that emphasizes my curves and actually fits! So, in the end, I have a beautiful dress and freedom from the tyranny of standardized sizing too. That's a win in my book. Head over to Crafterhours if you want to see some more pictures or hear the story behind this photoshoot locale!
 
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Noodlehead--Fall Mod

Let's just say the 'little black dress' theme made me falter about a bit is an understatement.  So many possibilities and I had some really clear ideas at first, but then totally changed directions.  I spend about 10 hours embroidering some fabric for a different dress, but cast that finished dress aside once I realized how it didn't really fit my style (and looked weird on top of that!).  So I spend quite a few hours of research digging through my patterns and things I've already made to find something that would work.


I landed on the Colette Laurel dress and am so happy with it.  I changed the neckline to have this pretty v-notch at the center.  Changing that also meant making a partial front lining which is so comfy and worked out great.  I also made similar v-notches on each of the sleeves.  Again, I added a sleeve facing.  Not sure if that's actually the correct term, but that's how I made it.  A little touch of dark brown embroidery on the neckline, sleeves, and pockets makes it a little more casual and not so formal looking - perfect for fall and leather boots.  The fabric is perfect for fall too, it's the Brussels Washer Linen by Robert Kaufman, and I loved working with it, a dream to sew with.

 
Stop by my blog for a few more fun details and more pictures if you get a chance!
 

 
No Big Dill--Easily Ruffled
I've never owned a little black dress, and didn't know how much I was missing out until I made this.  It is an accessorizer's (my made-up word) dream!  I had so much fun choosing pins and scarves and belts and necklaces and bracelets and shoes and sashes.  I settled on a metal cuff and the pearls my grandma gave me when I graduated from high school and some white pumps.  Then I added a grey sash and switched to bright teal pumps.  So, I've repented and now understand the importance for every girl to have a little black dress...
...or, a black blouse and skirt, which is what I ended up making.  I knew I would get more wear out of it if I could mix and match them as pieces.  I did make the waistband on the skirt out of the same fabric as the shirt, so they really do look like they go together, but now I have the flexibility of wearing them with other articles of clothing.
The nitty gritty: The skirt is a self drafted circle skirt, which really isn't much of a drafting process, just one big circle and then you cut out a middle circle the size of your waist.  The ruffles, however, that was a process.  I bought 6 yards to start with, went back for 6 more and ended up buying a total of 16!! The top began from a mandarin style coat (NewLook 6519). I changed the opening to the back, brought up the collar and added about 20 darts to create the upward collar, shortened the sleeves, added a "ruffle" just made out of tucks to mimic the collar and obviously shortened it to a blouse length.  I chose a dupioni silk because I wanted a mat black. The buttons look like lace with a center crystal to add visual interest.  A special thanks to my 5th grader for taking pictures on her "sick day".  What a gal.
If you'd like more details, come on over to my blog to see!

 
 
Lazy Saturdays--Buttoned-Up Black Dress
 
I'm so excited the first week of Project Sewn is finally here! It's like Christmas! When I received the list of challenges and saw that one of the weeks was for a little black dress, I thought to myself, "Oh, no. What have I gotten myself in to!" You see, I LOVE color. The more colors and patterns I can wear, the better. So this challenge was indeed that. A challenge. But one I embraced from the beginning and am thrilled with the end result!

I decided that because I couldn't express myself with color, I would show my style in fun design elements. I choose Colette Patterns' Ceylon dress and used a great twill fabric that's been sitting in my fabric stash since the beginning of time. I added extra large buttons and am just in love with the bodice. I'm feeling all sassy in my little buttoned-up black dress and am so grateful for this fun first challenge! And lastly, as a nod to my color and pattern obsession, I made a clutch to go with my dress. Always stay true to yourself my friends. Now, who's ready to go dancing in our little black dresses? 
 
Be sure to head to Lazy Saturdays to see more photos and details about the dress!


26 comments:

  1. wow, i am blown away by all of them. amazing job ladies!! amazing!

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  2. amazing! so hard to vote on just one!

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  3. wow, these are all so amazing great job ladies!

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  4. are you freaking kidding me. This is incredible. Each and every one of the outfits has blown me away! You girls are amazing!!! I really don't know how to choose!!!

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  5. are you KIDDING me? that was insanely hard to choose - I could have easily chosen any of them....

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  6. really nice work from everyone

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  7. Wow, how do you vote for only one? Amazing job ladies!

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  8. I agree they are all amazing.

    But am I missing something. I can not find a way to vote. Help!

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    1. It's at the end of the post. If you are on a mobile device you will have to click "view web version" and the poll will pop up at the end of the post.

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  9. WOW, amazing job ladies...really! Everything is SO well made! Impressive!

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  10. They are ALL so beautiful... Of course I have my faves but everyone did an outstanding job. Congratulation ladies!

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  11. Adrianna is especially talented and pays attention to detail in her sewing techniques. Love the LBD!!!

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  12. Lovely dresses, they all did a great job!

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  13. Oh my gosh! All the dresses are amazing - it is so tough to choose! Fabulous job ladies!

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  14. LOVE LOVE LOVE Julia Bobbin's dress!!!

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  15. Wow! Blown away is an understatement! Love seeing each designer's personality in her dress along with her story. Amazing job. Can't wait to see more projects.

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  16. What! You ladies are incredible! I am astounded by your talent and have no idea how to goose a favorite. :)

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  17. Haha, I meant choose a favorite.

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    1. Hehe! Goosing your favorite sounds rather exciting, too! ;)

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  18. I die. This is all over the top incredible!! Well done ladies!!!

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  19. That was so hard to choose. Such beautiful dresses! You ladies are so very talented!

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  20. I voted, what a great challenge! Everybody loves a little black dress.

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  21. I see a small problem with this voting process. I voted along with about 50 people that I work with. However, because we all are in the same building it only counted the first and then told the rest of us that we had already voted because our external IP is the same... Sad day...

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    1. Masonite,
      We know that voting is only one vote per IP address and that does prevent things like emailing out an entire office and asking them to vote for the same person. We understand that, which is why we do encourage people to vote from their own person computers or their mobile devices.

      And the voting is still open for another day so all is not lost, there is still time for everyone to vote from their own personal IP addresses!

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  22. Wow! These are all so amazing. Well done ladies!

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