Friday, July 26, 2013


LBD (Little Black Dress)

Or should I say LBLD (Little Black Lonsdale Dress)!

It was quite some time ago (two months to be precise!) that I posted about my liking of Sewaholic's Lonsdale dress (refresh yourself here). Since then, i have been diligently, dedicatedly (read: slowly) sewing up my version of it. 

I decided to do away with the A-liney nature of the skirt that came with the Lonsdale pattern, choosing rather to go with a more fitted, pencil skirt (much like the ones in the inspiration snaps in previous post). I also decided to do this bad boy PROPERLY, by that i mean no short cuts and no sew-it-up-in-one-day mentality. Instead, i referenced a lot of the work from Claire Schaeffer's book Couture Sewing Techniques, and as a result, did a crap load of extra steps in the construction of the dress. Everything from hand sewing and basting of the seam lines and darts, to fitting the bodice and skirt multiple times before i was happy with it, to stabilising the crap out of every off-grain seam/edge, to using silk organza as interfacing, silk as the skirt lining and the cotton/silk blend of the main, outer fabric ("fashion fabric" to use the American turn of phrase) as a self lining in the bodice. Oh and hand-picked zip.

Above is the silk organza interfacing, marked with the final pattern lines, and pinned to the silk/cotton blend outer fabric, ready to be cut out and hand basted together. 

I'm pretty useless at selfies, but i'm sure you get the gist of the ensemble. 

Only problem is that i need help getting dressed, as the top hook, above the zip, is just out of reach. 

Waist stay of grosgrain ribbon, tacked to the side seams on the inside of the dress, acts as an anchor for the whole dress, and make doing up the zip a whole lot easier. 

Just some detailed shots of the end product. Opted to secure the straps down at the back of the bodice (instead of having them tie up). And the matching of the Lonsdale bodice with the pencil skirt from Gertie's book worked wonders. The skirt has eight darts altogether, so it makes for a very fitted, sculptured look. 

Am yet to wear this out, and am a bit afraid that my social life, or lack thereof, does not exactly provide many occasions for such a dramatic look. As i am hardly going to pop down the street to buy some milk in it, it isn't a very wearable version of the Lonsdale, but I am very happy with it all the same. And the hours and hours, or should i really say weeks of time put into the construction of it was actually very rewarding. 


  1. This is fantastic! I remember seeing Sarai's version of this and loving it, but I really like your choice of black. And with your whole up-do and bangs, you need to take this baby out on the town! Thanks for leaving a comment over on my blog about Thread Cult. I love your site:) I too have a serious crush on mid-century modern houses:)

    1. Thanks! Yes, Sarai's version was a major inspiration for me. Loved her fabric, but thought black would be classic. Glad you enjoy the blog, it is a bit of a work in progress, but enjoying it when i remember to post!