Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY: The Embroidered Eiffel Dress


Bonjour, ya'll! 

As you might have guessed from my art room windows and my French poodle dress, I'm on a bit of a Parisian kick. I finished the embroidery for this dress during our last couple of road trips and, despite a wee bit of a disagreement between the hubs and myself (which I'm going to need your help settling), I'm excited with how it turned out. Especially since it began it's life looking like this...

This little hook in my sewing room usually holds half a dozen of work-in-progress, in-need-of-TLC, please-iron-yesterday dresses. I moved the mound so you could focus on this little bitty dress.
I spotted this dress at Goodwill. I recall this style from a couple years ago, you know, that elastic-waist-band-thing. Most of the tops of these dresses where usually tanks, which I never cared for. The sweet yellow blouse is what drew me to this dress. It's tragic flaw was the fact that the skirt was, like, 14" in length which is just a wee bit of a problem for this never-shave-above-the-knee-caps gal.
I began by letting out the hem and removing the pockets. I found this formerly-a-curtain vintage floral fabric in my stash and decided it would look lovely at the bottom of my dress. I had this idea that I wanted it to look like I was walking through a flower garden. Or being eaten alive by vintage fabric. Which, with my hoarder ways, the latter is more likely the case.
Before adding the vintage fabric to the skirt, I hemmed it and created a circle of fabric that was the same circumference as the bottom of the dress. Then I pinned it to the dress and appliqued stitched around  the edge of the flowers. Once that was complete, I had the super duper fun pleasure of trimming all of the excess fabric off the top. I managed to cut into the skirt accidentally only once...which I promptly patched after saying a few naughty words and throwing a couple of things.
Hubs and I have been enjoying some road trippin' during his time off. My favorite car-traveling craft is embroidery. I've worked on my Naughty Nautical Girls dress, my Pin-up Cowgirls dress and my Presley Poodle all while on the road.
Can you guess my inspiration for the dress? You know I love to go all Miss Frizzle what with my clothes matching my teaching unit. I drew out a sketch of the Eiffel Tower on paper, traced it with a Sharpie, pinned that drawing under my dress and (gasp!) drew the tower onto my dress in pencil before embroidering the Eiffel.
Aw, look at young Brigette Bardot in front of the Eiffel Tower wearing what looks to be a vintage Snuggie. This is actually the hair do I was aspiring to. With flowers, of course.
Okay, remember that disagreement between the hubs and myself? Well, I think I needed to add something to the top, to balance out the dress. My idea is to applique some of the flowers onto the left side of the blouse, as seen in the photo on the left (if you click on the photo, I think you'll get a better look). 

Hubs seems to think I need to leave it alone as seen in the photo on the right. I say it's too "business on the top, Parisian party on the bottom". He says I have a habit to taking things to another (read tacky-er) level.

So, dear reader, what do you think? I'd love to hear your input in the poll at the top of this post on the right (which took me far too long to figure out how to install!)...and a comment if you have the time. Thanks for playing!



19 comments:

  1. 1. I love your posts, because it feels like I can hear you speaking (which of course I can't and as a stranger, have no idea how you sound).

    2. That you have Ms. Frizzle aspirations is beyond awesome.

    3. I really get a kick to see how you link your dressing to your lessons.

    4. The bottom of the dress is exquisite.

    5. I like the top as "all business." I don't think it needs to be balanced out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ms. Amy -- you are too kind. I especially like how you complimented the living daylights outta me before dropping the "I don't agree with you" bomb (heehee!!) Seriously, I appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment, thank you!

      p.s. And I do believe I'll be leaving the dress alone, as I secretly agree with hubs after seeing the photos, but I don't think I need to tell him that ;) ...Cassie

      Delete
  2. I'm with Ms. Amy and your hubby. I LOVE the dress as-is! SO beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you! Even if you don't agree with moi ;) ...Cassie

      Delete
  3. Alright Cassie I can't believe I'm typing this but I'm in agreement with you. It does need a "little" something up top to counterbalanced what is at the bottom. Keep it simple and understated. Keep in mind your hair, makeup and jewelry they all will work together to counter your skirt. So don't go crazy with the Bedazellar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wait, how did you know I have a Bedazellar?! Or three?! Don't make me attack you with it, Earl! ...Yeah, maybe I'll just wear giant hair and that will balance it out. Or a giant Eiffel Tower crown. Not THAT would do the trick ;) ...Cassie

      Delete
  4. Brigette's hair in that photo is not half down. It's all swept up probably with combs to create a cascading pony tail effect. A great way to achieve this is to get yourself a banana clip to hold the pony tail.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh, good idea...I wonder if I can find a banana clip these days, I'd reckon they're "vintage" now! ...Cassie

      Delete
    2. I still have one from the 80's pale pink. They are all over ebay you'll have no problem picking one up.

      Delete
  5. I like the top 'all business,' too. I have to agree with your hubs on this one - sorry! You've done such a brilliant job lengthening the skirt - I would never have thought of that. Hooray for you and Miss Frizzle!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think the outfit works fine the way it is! The skirt is so full of design and print that you don't need the extra bling on top. Leave the weight of the pattern on the bottom and keep the lightness on top! But that's just me. You did a beautiful job on the outfit the way it is! It's very pretty! :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am pro "all business" on top because you don't want to distract from all the amazing work on the skirt....if I were to add anything it would be a little embroidery at the shoulder like the outline of France or a little Eiffel tower. That is the perfect first day of school dress!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cassie,
    This dress is awesome! Your creativity astounds me!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love how you remade this dress into such a treasure. The Eiffel Tower embroidery is absolutely fabulous, I now think I will have to do something like this too! I like this dress with or without the flower applique on the top, I also thought a belt made out of your floral fabric would look awesome too, but we all have our own tastes!

    I don't know how you stitch in the car, I did that once finishing a dress for a Christmas party out of town and never again.... I swear the beau hit every bump he could!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Anonymous7/31/2012

    I think you should only embellish the top of the dress a teensy bit... like a much smaller one of the flowers on the collar point above the Eiffel Tower... or embroider a little fleur-de-lis or similar on the collar point not above the Eiffel Tower. Understated enough that it doesn't pull attention away from the glorious skirt work, but a little je ne sais quoi to make it look of a piece.

    - Amy

    ReplyDelete
  12. oh my gosh, I think you decided not to embellish since I think I have these flowers that were cut out so neatly now;) I came here today to see if I could find the outfit you made out of the Parisian fabric, just to choose headband color. I missed this post, but so glad I saw it now. LOVE it! this dress is pretty and cute and cool and perfect, my vote woulda been no flowers too;)

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's wonderful to be included with all these talented ladies, thank you! All this embroidery is so inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love the ideas in this post - I have never thought of adding embellishment to ready-made clothes. What a great way to brighten up some of my old clothes. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)