Statement Separates

With monokinis becoming increasingly coveted over their two-piece counterparts, it was only a matter of time before evening gowns were spliced and worn as crop tops and maxi skirts. When I designed and sewed this outfit a week ago, my choice to separate the upper and lower portions of the dress was somewhat influenced by a lack of fabric to work with- I began with only two yards of this nude mesh with stripes of circular leather appliqu├ęs. I was attracted to this specialty fabric for several reasons. Usually I stick to solid colors and play with different textures instead of exploring prints, however when I spotted this bolt in JoAnn Fabrics I was instantly drawn to a more original version of last years sequins. The idea of a more intricate material sewn in a classic silhouette intrigued me. Because the fabric is largely transparent, I sewed a simple white lining in the skirt and wore a nude bandeau underneath the top. 

I was so pleased with the results- while the neckline of the top is modest, its midriff-baring quality gives it a sexier edge. Similarly, the slit in the skirt offers a glimpse of leg which avoids the sometimes matronly maxi length. 

Most of the pattern and cutting processes were trial-and-error- for the top I altered a pattern (like this) by cropping several inches off the length and narrowing the tank sleeves. The skirt was done entirely freehand and it was quite a process because I have yet to acquire a dress form...this meant all the pinning and dart measuring had to be done on myself- can you say pin pricks?

Because I barely had enough fabric for both pieces (I originally bought only enough to make a skirt), neither the skirt nor the top has a zipper. This means squeezing into the no-stretch material is quite a tugging and squirming process. This lack of cloth was a blessing in disguise, however, as I think one of the most interesting aspects of the design is the stripe-free panel down the side of the slit; this was another spontaneous addition to the dress, as the cream strip is merely the edge of the original fabric. 

Still learning to conceal my camera remote...

So now after 11 hours of sewing and another hour of shooting the photos (I started and finished the project on the last day of winter break- an odd celebration of free time?), the real question arises: where should I wear it? 
Prom? A wedding? The Golden Globes? I wish. 

It was great being behind the sewing machine again. 

Don't Ask Me How I Know It, 



  1. Gorgeous! Not only an outstanding dress but great photography as well. Keep up the stellar sewing!


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