Sunday, September 5, 2010

New Etsy Item- REVERSIBLE Dress

A while ago, I found myself inspired by images of ginkgo leaves and I thought how beautiful they were. I loved their delicate nature and beautiful, interesting shape. When I was in college, there was a ginkgo tree on campus and every fall, it would shed its leaves in about one day. I remember walking by it in August and its leaves were still light green, then by mid-September, they had turned vibrant yellow. And then one day I would walk by and the leaves would all be steadily falling. By the next day, nearly every leaf would have fallen to the ground. They say that if you catch a ginkgo leaf as it falls, then you'll have good luck that year. I never caught one, but I always wanted to.

Over the summer, the image of the ginkgo leaf kept coming back to me- both the shape and the color. I took out my fashionary and sketched a few different ideas, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wanted to make a single dress that demonstrated more than one of my ideas. So I decided to make a reversible dress. While shopping in New York city in July, I found two beautiful stretch cotton sateens and bought enough yardage of each for a dress. The next task involved finding a reversible zipper, which proved to be the most difficult part of this entire dress-making process. I searched far and wide for a dress-weight reversible zipper, but to no avail. I know they must exist, but they are incredibly hard to find. In the end, I purchased a metal zipper with a larger zipper pull than I'd like, but it functions the way it needs to, so I'm ultimately happy with it. And I sewed it in place in such a way that it's pretty well hidden, so no one needs to know that it's not my ideal zipper choice. But the dress itself came out great:

This dress took a LOT of time to put together, but in the end I'm thrilled with the result. I finished taking pictures late last night (after the Alice Cooper concert), and I posted it on Etsy this morning. It may seem like an expensive dress, but consider the fact that it is actually TWO complete dresses! Suddenly, it doesn't seem so expensive. When I first started making my own clothes, SO many people expressed an interest in buying one for themselves. I don't think most people truly understand how much time and expense is required to make something like a finished dress. The fabric, trims and notions alone for many of my dresses is usually at least $30-$50. And a simple dress like the ones I make for myself still take between three and four hours to make from cutting to completion. A dress like this ginkgo dress takes much longer because it's a little more complicated. But enough about the process, let's talk about the end result!

I love the color combination in this dress because it represents both the green and yellow ginkgo leaves. And no matter what side of the dress you are wearing, the color combination is evident. I especially like the way the colors look together on the halter tie:

The shape is a slightly different silhouette than what I typically make. You are all accustomed to seeing my full gathered and circle skirts, reminiscent of the 50's and 60's. This dress has a much more streamlined shape. It is sewn with "princess seams" which are flattering on so many body types. The slight a-line skirt does not flare out too much- just enough to be comfortable. The ginkgo leaf details are just that- detailed. I used stitching to create the veins in the leaf and to add a little bit of texture. I also left the edges a bit raw so that the dress feels less prissy. I honestly love this dress so much, I may have to make another one for myself!

If you love it as much as me, visit my Etsy shop soon and snatch it up while you can!


Bobbins of Basil said...

I love love love this dress. I came across this post (and your blog) in google searches for a reversible zipper. I'm planning on making a reversible sundress (at least I hope to), and I know reversible zippers exist, but I can't find them either!

Do you have any pictures/more details on how you did the regular zipper. I need a zipper that's not exposed metal b/c I'm allergic--they're fine in jeans b/c the metal doesn't actually touch you, but in a dress that wouldn't work.

I hope you can help! I'll explore your blog now :)

Renée T. Bouchard said...

I completely understand your frustration- I spent SO long looking for a regular reversible zipper. I even went to a dozen notions stores in the New York City garment district, but it was all in vain. The only reversible zipper I ever found was the thick metal kind with a rather large pull. I installed it in such a way that you can't tell how big it is, but it's definitely a big zipper. Sorry I couldn't be of more help to you! Good luck with your zipper search and if you find a source, let me know!

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