So, here we are well into spring and I am finally bringing you one of my favorite makes from 2017 (one I made nearly a year ago; I have no idea why it took me this long to get it up here on the blog, considering my ardent love for it). It is the chic-est of chic little black dresses, in one of my favourite fabrics, by one of my favourite designers. It’s sculptural and a little weird, which makes it the perfect thing when you need something to wear something dressed up and “appropriate” but don’t want to fall asleep while doing so.
Designed by Rachel Comey for Vogue (1501, still in print!), this beauty first came to my attention after seeing Katie’s take on it (I may love this version even more; I adore the length and how she converted the pleats to gathers). This is where Big Four patterns shine; I wish they did even more designer collaborations since it’s the only way most of us can experience designer luxury and detailing. I remember reading an article somewhere where Rachel Comey said that they licensed designs less for the money, and more for the celebration of sewing as an artform, which made me love her even more. I’ve made a few of her designs; this is still my all-time favourite skirt pattern.
It’s definitely an odd one, construction wise. It’s a dress that looks like two pieces, with the upper half sewn to the front waistband so it resembles that stylist’s favorite, the half-tuck (its biggest flaw is that it is nearly impossible to properly hang since the skirt is only attached for a few inches in the front). If *flattering* is your thing, you might be taking a hard pass, but I don’t need waist definition to feel great. I love how this design messes with convention, and it looks pretty rad from every angle.
It needed a little tweaking to get right. I *think* I made the size 14 (I’m sorry, it’s been a dog’s age). Like most Vogue/McCalls patterns, I had to take a wedge out of the center back; I always find their bodices a bit too wide for my shoulders. I also shortened it quite a bit, since I don’t always wear heels and find below the knee is a tricky length with flats. The pattern has this funky little shoulder pad thing, but I skipped it even if I’ve never met a power shoulder I didn’t love.
It’s made with a beautiful black tencel twill I got from one of my local wholesalers, and I love how the light bounces off the stone-washed texture with all the drape-y and pleat-y things happening. It has become my number one “Boss Lady” dress, the ideal thing to wear if I need to look professional but stylish. I actually made it specifically to wear at an entrepreneur conference I spoke at here in Montreal; feeling so put together helped with my nerves.
Would you make this pattern? What’s your go-to look when you need to feel boss af?