The winner of the Sew Iconic book giveaway is commenter #69, Denise, who said: “My fave always has been the polka dot that Julia wore. Looks like a great book!” Congratulations! I know you’ll have fun sewing up your own version of the Julia dress!
Sew Iconic by Liz Gregory takes us to the movies, showing how to sew 10 dresses made famous on the big screen. Included in this book are patterns and instructions to make
– the brown & white polka dot dress that Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman
– the little black dress that Audrey Hepbrun wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s
– the pink mambo dress that Jennifer Grey wore in Dirty Dancing
– the white halter dress that Marilyn Monroe wore in The Seven Year Itch
– the green evening dress that Keira Knightley wore in Atonement
– the black showgirl dress that Catherine Zeta Jones wore in Chicago
– the blue chiffon gown that Grace Kelly wore in To Catch A Thief
– the black sheath gown that Rita Hayworth wore in Gilda
– the fawn coat dress that Faye Dunaway wore in The Thomas Crown Affair
– the lace evening gown that Kate Winslet wore in Titanic
The book includes printed patterns for all 10 of these dresses, basic instructions for sewing them up, and styling tips for completing the look.
Skill level for this book is a confident intermediate sewist. Though there are patterns and instructions to make each dress, the patterns are one-size-only that you will need to grade up or down to fit your measurements. There isn’t a sizing guide, so there may be some trial and error in order to achieve the best fit. The instructions give a good overview of the construction process, but a beginner may need more detail about how to complete the steps.
My Julia Roberts Dress
As part of the review, I got a chance to sew up one of the dresses from this book. I chose the brown and white polka dot dress that Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman. I have always loved the easy elegance of this dress! I was so excited to get to sew up my version of it!
I made several modifications while I made the Julia Roberts dress.
First, I chose a 100% cotton interlock knit instead of the recommended silk or poly/cotton. I would actually have preferred a rayon challis, but I couldn’t find one in a polka dot print. The interlock has a similar drape and is comfortable to wear in a hot Arkansas summer.
Then, because the interlock is a stretch knit, I was able to omit the zipper down the back. This simplified the construction. Yay!
I followed the book’s suggestion and made a muslin before cutting into my good fabric. But because the fit was only critical through the shoulders and bust, my muslin only came down about 4 inches below the armpit. I’m stingy with my fabric like that.
I’m rather small through the shoulders and bust, so adjusting it was just a matter of taking it in at the seams. If you are larger than their patterns, the resizing may be a little more complicated.
I’ll give you my measurements and adjustments to give you a rough idea of the sizing of their pattern. I have a 32” bust and typically wear a size2 or 4 top. I took 3/8” off of the shoulder seams, ¾” off of the side seams, ¾” off of the center front seam, and 3/8” off of the center back. Based on these adjustments, I’d say their basic patterns are a ready-to-wear size 6 or 8.
Finally, their method for sewing in the facings was unfamiliar to me and I was not able to understand their instructions. I used an alternate method instead.
I took my styling cues from the book’s suggestions: straw hat with a matching sash, white gloves, and simple earrings.
Now that I have a working pattern for a basic tent dress, I’m already planning some non-movie-related variations. How cute would it be as a mini dress without the belt and made from a silky fabric in a bold graphic print?
I’ve got a copy of Sew Iconic to give away to one of our readers. To get yourself entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment here telling me which of the dresses in the book is your favorite. I’ll choose one comment at random as the winner.
Giveaway ends Thursday, July 12, 2012.