|The inspiration: A $5K Chado Ralph Rucci knit jersey dress in amethyst purple, featuring snug, wrist length kimono sleeves and a long tie collar stretching to the hem of the dress, held together at the bust with a self fabric tube sewn into a coil. The ends of the tube are decorated with similar, smaller coils. A large quilted self fabric belt encircles the waist. The upper back features a yoke.|
I used royal blue knit jersey from Fabric Mart.
I choose Kwik Sew 3826 Misses dress & top as a starting point. I knew the easiest way to handle the quilted waistband was to make it as a separate belt. I switched the sleeves from set in to raglan. I thought raglan would preserve the smooth shoulder line of the original, while being easier to draft and sew than kimono. I also eliminated the back yoke that appears on the original.
I made the tie coils by sewing a self-fabric filled tube, just a random width that I thought might work, then wrapping about ½ the tube around the ties and tacking it in place, leaving a long, dangling tube “tail”. I made a smaller self-fabric filled tube for the tails, again just eyeballing the size. I looped the dangling tail back up into the coil and sewed the end in place. Now the self-fabric tube hung in a loop from the tie coil. I cut the loop into two tails, sewed the ends of the tails, and wrapped them with the smaller tube, making mini coils. I tacked the coils in place. Later, I decided that fabric glue was my friend, and ended up gluing the coils.
I drew on my experience making belly dance costumes to create the belt. The belt is four layers: the bottom or innermost layer (against the dress) is jersey, then there is a layer of heavy poplin, a layer of quilt batting, and a top layer of jersey. I am not very experienced at machine quilting or embroidery, so I opted for a simple design of lines echoing the cut of the belt. I experimented with the poplin to form a shape similar to the inspiration dress and used it as a pattern to cut the jersey and batting. I quilted the poplin, batting and top jersey layer together, placed the lining on top, sewed the edges and turned the belt inside out.
The quilted belt looks good on the plastic half mannequin, but that mannequin is much smaller than me with a much better figure. The quilted belt makes me look like a sumo wrestler.
The dress does need something there, I finally settled on blue braid.
I think that for $25, my dress, with the quilted belt, is a good replica of the $5K inspiration dress