Sunday, July 01, 2007

After all, I grew up in America's Dairyland


There's a common practice within the design industry called doing a "rub off." Essentially, when you find something you love, you have it copied exactly by pinning muslin over the original garment to duplicate the pattern, shape, and fit. It's not an exact science, but it usually gets you really close within a much shorter time than starting from scratch might.


A couple of weeks ago I found a dress I just love at a boutique near our apartment. It's a vintage dress, obviously well loved and quite worn in, and the boutique owner altered it a bit before selling it. It fits beautifully and is extremely comfortable, plus I can dress it up (to a certain extent) or down depending on my needs.

So I made a rub off. It wasn't difficult, but I've found that the first draft of a rub off nearly always requires modification and tweaking. I didn't have time to mess with modifications--this had to be a fast project--so I rubbed off directly onto the fabric I wanted to use and stitched it together as quickly as I could. I'm quite pleased with the results, but I would love to have time to make it again so I could alter the fit slightly.


I really like the two prints together: I found them both at Purl one day while I was teaching. I've mentioned before how I really don't like to use prints that are intended to match: for example, prints from a single collection. These prints are just cheeky enough together; they clearly aren't intended to sit together, but the varied scales, color intensities, and vintage feel of them both make them perfect together (in my eye, anyway).

I keep getting compliments on the dress, and the other day a stranger told me it was very "Anthropologie" (which I thought was amusing, since I wondered how she know it wasn't from the store?). So I guess it works. Although something about the paneled skirt feels a bit Milk Maid to me.

It's the East Village. I guess Milk Maid can sit with goth, grunge, hipster, or anything else that I might find out there, right?

36 comments:

  1. I love it! Thanks for the link with instructions- I'll have to try that for sure.

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  2. The dress turned out great! I love the fabrics you chose.

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  3. yeah, it's really good. i'm especially impressed with the fit.

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  4. LOVE the dress! I would buy if it I saw it in the store!! =)

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  5. OOOooooo, I like that! Will you make one for me??

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  6. Wow! I'd buy this dress too!!! I LOVE IT!!!!!

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  7. wow! you have such a good eye for fabric. I think those two go together unexpected yet perfect.

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  8. oh it is fantastic! and i love those patterns together.

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  9. oh, i love it!
    the fabrics, pattern, fit - everything looks great!

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  10. Courtney8:17 AM

    gorgeous Liesl, I love it.

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  11. karen a toronto8:29 AM

    nice colors and prints - I love the shape.

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  12. leslie9:21 AM

    a milk maid. in a stunning dress. you inspire.

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  13. Wow! Super nice fabrics and fit! I sooooooooo would like to have a store like Purl nearby!
    (I'm in Montreal, Canada...)

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  14. Man, you are good. I wish I would just get over my fear of sewing clothes and jump in. I love the fabric, the design,... Everything looks amazing.

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  15. Love the dress. Looks great on you!

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  16. beautiful! You're right the combination of fabrics is just right.

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  17. great, great dress.

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  18. Yeah, the fabrics are perfection with one another.

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  19. The dress is beautiful. Great colors, great fabric.

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  20. joelle9:24 AM

    Hi LIesl, What a great term! What do you think about doing a how-to on disdressed for making a rub off? I know I would love to see it! --Joelle

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  21. It's wonderful. I've just been trying to work up the nerve to try and make a dress of my own with no pattern and just an idea. Is it zip up in the back? I love the fabrics together.

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  22. I love the dress!! The patterns "don't go" together so well!! I wish I could sew!!!

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  23. This is pretty and I love it!
    Bet it would look nice sleeveless too.

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  24. Super cute, Liesl - very well combined and just your dress!

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  25. i really, really love this... great fabrics, cute design! it looks really good on you!

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  26. I love your choice of colors and fabrics, this dress is so cute.

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  27. LOVELY!!! I love the prints you chose! Looks lovely on you too!!

    I tend to do my rub-offs straight to my fabrics I will be using too. Or news-print sometimes.

    ~gyl

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  28. that dress is simply fabulous! Nice work!

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  29. I just love this dress, very clever

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  30. the dress is absolutely beautiful! and I love the way you used the fabrics.

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  31. This is so cute and so hip!! Love it! You have a real eye for color combos!

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  32. This dress is brilliant! I love the fabrics together. Nice work!

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  33. this dress is fantastic! the fabrics work together beautifully, and it looks like old-timey goodnes.

    VERY well done.

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