Dresses, Wardrobe: Spring-Summer 2011

Poppy Fields: The Monique Dress

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At last, here is my take on the Monique Dress design by Sew Serendipity Studio.

Poppies are my favourite flower, so even though I don’t usually aspire to copy the looks on pattern envelopes, this time I couldn’t resist the gorgeous poppy fabric on one of the models.

 

I managed to find the fabric online – Big Poppy, a Laura Gunn design, produced by Michael Miller fabrics. There are two slightly different versions, one called Spice with the flowers being a warmer, lighter shade of red, and the other Aqua, which is the one I chose, with poppies in a deeper, cooler red, and a beautiful watercolour-like background.
I don’t usually do large prints because I am so small, but for my spring-summer wardrobe this year I decided to push my limits a bit and opted for a floral theme; so everything I’ve been making this season is either in a floral print, or in a shade that is flower-oriented. This dress is definitely the pièce de résistance !
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Copycat or not, I did make some rather substantial changes:
– lowered the bodice by 3 cm, because the waistline looks really high on the models, and Kim confirmed it.
– the waistline was still sitting too high up for my taste so I reduced the waistband’s SAs to 5 mm (which added 1 cm each to the top and to the bottom of the waistband) to get the waist cinched in more and therefore more flattering.
– shortened the hem by about 3 cm (“about”, because I eyeballed it).
– deepened the waist darts by over 1 cm.
– The facings seemed dangerously narrow, so I ditched them and lined the bodice in a white cotton. The inside also looks prettier this way. This also allowed me to check the fit on the cheap lining before potentially ruining my fancy print. I love to use linings as muslins: no time  or fabric wasted on something I will never wear.
– instead of cutting strips of contrasting fabrics to frame the waistband, I cut the whole waistband into the contrasting fabric.
– I also lined the waistband (in self fabric) for more stability.
The Monique Dress - Poppy Fields

Sizes: As usual, I cut a smaller size (XS) at the back and slightly larger (S) at the front. I guess I could have cut a XS all around and do a FBA, which the deeper darts on the larger size ultimately act for.

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You can hear more about this dress and this pattern in the third episode of my podcast (first 23 minutes of the podcast if you don’t want to listen to the rest!). I was hoping to write a full review, but time is short, so I figured a shortened post was better than none at all!
Bottom line is, I love this dress, and look forward to sewing more of Kay Whitt’s designs. 🙂

31 thoughts on “Poppy Fields: The Monique Dress”

  1. Gasp! What a beautiful dress! I'd seen that fabric online before, but never took note of it's large scale. Now I need some so I can copy your dress! Too bad they are out of the red colorway. I do love orange, though. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  2. A quick (because it's late and I've still a lot to do before going to sleep) comment before I forget to post it 😉

    I love it ! It suits you very well 🙂
    It's nice to see the back side of your dress.

    Hugs.

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  3. It's GORGEOUS, Isabelle! And so are you wearing this dress! It's just the perfect little summer dress, isn't it? I love the bold red and aqua blue paired together. And as usual, you've made some very sensible alterations. It's just FABULOUS! :o)
    Happy Summer Days, my friend. And many thanks for your sweet comment for my new blog. I'm excited about some new creativity on the horizon. Happy Summer Days ((HUGS))

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  4. Beautiful! It's really great that you didn't shy away from using the fabric in the pattern picture as this has resulted in a most amazing dress on you. Just lovely, Isabelle.

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  5. What a beautiful dress! I love poppies. Whenever I see a picture of poppies in a field I want to buy it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, it's nice to be re-assured that all the dressing up is just part of the fun in dance. It's nice to find your lovely blog. I am enjoying reading through all your old posts 🙂

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  6. Fabulous. I followed here from pinkchalk, and have to thank you for the tip about the lining – what a brilliant idea… I never make muslins as I find I am usually quite standard, but lining and using that as a muslin is a great idea. And yes, SS's designs are really cute, but she does tend to have tiny facings – something I cannot stand – unless you topstitch them to hell and back they are very fiddley. And I am more of a hand finisher than a topstitcher….

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  7. Hello Isabelle. I have recently (like in the last week) found your podcasts. As I was listening to them last night, I was excited to hear you mention the Monique dress! Im at this moment, waiting to recieve my Monique dress pattern in the post! I purchased it last week as my 'new challenge'. Its such a gorgeous versatile style, and yours looks beautiful. I cant wait to make mine. I should tell you, I have never sewn a piece of clothing in my life (im a quilter) so this is going to be a first. I love your blog & podcasts.

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