Lessons From The Past Life

It's Thanksgiving break around here, which means I should be catching up on homework and related school musings but am instead sewing (naturally).

A tricky thing happened last week: I shared the blog with an old project manager from the architecture world, A, and she, like any good architect, had some constructive criticism. Something wasn't quite right with the skirt, she thought. I was also bothered by the top and bottom; both were good on their own but did not seem to be complementary in style. While working for A she gave some good lessons, namely the importance of consistency, alignment (this is huge with her!) and proportion when it comes to details in big fancy homes. I thought about it and realized the same applies to big fancy dresses. Just watch:

I could not for the life of me figure out how those creatives at JCrew got their wrap halter top to also be cleanly pleated and rest flat on the body. (Really, I have about 5 muslin carcasses of the top strewn about the room.) I decided that pleats needed to be the consistent detail for the top and bottom so out with the wrap and in with the pleats. The bodice pieces now loop over the neck band and are split in the middle so that the keyhole effect could be stitched solidly into place.

Next came the skirt. I completely rebuilt that sucker a few times too only to realize that all I needed to do was shift the pleats on the bottom tier and lengthen the top tier about 3 inches.

I know it's tough to see in the picture but the bottom tier pleats now align with the first and second tiers. And I think the proportion of those tiers is much better. The whole thing now gets wider towards the bottom and that lowest tier visually has the heft it needs to carry the other two. Before, that lower layer wasn't quite poofy enough and didn't keep a nice profile for the skirt. This was N's issue before so I think I've fixed both A & N's concerns. It's good to have friends with a critical eye.
Last up: a bit of flair. Finding the right trim has been hard since I'm not willing to cough up $80/yard and everything else tends to look cheesy. I found a great piece of remnant trim at Vogue the other day and decided that it was just enough sparkle. Here's where the consistency gets a bit comical but I'm okay with that. First the trim:

and now the same thing, just in the built world:

The architecture nerd in me loves the fabric trim because of its three bars that look like the triglyph detail above, and the "X" in between those three bars that looks like the design motif of the railing. Making it even nerdier is the fact that the building above is on the University of Virginia Lawn, where M and I got engaged. So for my fellow 'Hoos out there, a little bit of Mr. Jefferson has made it into my wedding dress. That's what I call collegiate love.

1 comment:

  1. The lawn making it into your dress was almost too much for me to handle... but then I said, "Self, your license plate says WAHOOWA".... and decided I loved the parallel.

    I also wanted to point out how great it is that you have friends with an eye for design. Thanks for loving me even though I am not one of these friends.



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