Dress accessories: top & bottom

I will cut the muslin for the Crepe dress this long weekend. I WILL I WILL I WILL!!! 

I've written already about my ideas so far for The Dress' construction, stuff to go on the surface, and stuff to go underneath. The last batch of ideas I've been holding onto are for items to go on top and on the bottom.


I haven't decided yet if I want some sort of jacket or shawl or something to cover my shoulders and arm a bit more as part of my outfit. Originally I thought, if I make a separate piece to go along with the dress, then I can have each item contain some more formal looking elements that when put together elevate the overall look, but then could be worn separately afterwards and dressed down easily. I also generally don't like to be sleeveless when being photographed (ah, for the days when I played at least 2 hours of tennis every day...high school arms, I miss you!), and setting in sleeves while sewing garments is a pain, so I thought maybe handmade sleeveless dress + purchased jacket would solve those issues.

It's going to be hot in June, though, as hard as that is to imagine right now. Dan will be wearing his suit jacket during the ceremony and take it off afterwards, so I could probably also get through the ceremony with more clothing on, but decreasing sweatiness potential is a good goal to keep in mind. Also, I usually have difficulty finding jackets that fit well in the shoulders, aren't tight in the arms, have enough give to be able to move my arms backwards and forwards, and close up without gaping.

The bridal brigade and I went on an accessories trip to the mall on New Year's Day and while we were in H&M, I spotted this orangey-red lace cropped jacket that was surprisingly close to what I had been thinking of in my head previously:

Credit to my sister for sneakily snapping this cell phone photo. Though the H&M workers at our local Jersey mall probably wouldn't have actually cared all that much...

Pros: cheap, red, eyelet fabric, vertical lines are elongating
Cons: more of an orangey-red than a cherry red, sleeves are probably a tad too long, and no size available then that I could remotely squeeze into.

Tasia had posted this 50s bolero pattern previously in her own quest for a coverup for summer dresses that I thought was pretty cool-looking and figured would help increase the vintage vibe:

Vogue 7411

But she ended up not being too happy with how it turned out, and looking at it again, I don't know if the strong horizontal line made by the bottom of the bolero is a good idea with the waistline probably also making another horizontal line across the body.
I've looked at knitted shawl collar patterns too, like this one designed by Amanda Berke:

Knitted items are a lot more forgiving to fit, and this one looks like it has a pretty cool construction. The photos make it look like it ends up have cap sleeves, though, and with the way it's constructed, it could take me awhile to figure out how to make longer sleeves. Also, I'm a pretty slow knitter.

Etsy, as always, provides a gateway to really gorgeous items, like these wraps and boleros by the seller bonzie:

The Corsaged Silk Wrap, inspired by Victorian styles, made in dupioni raw silk ($79)

See, it really is a wrap, just ties in the back. No fitting worries!

The look I like best currently, though, is this vintage bolero sewn by Veronica Darling:

Apparently the pattern (Simplicity 3546, a 50s pattern) has just 2 pattern pieces and only took her an hour to sew up!

I'll be pondering this for awhile longer, what with the muslin cutting I will be doing this weekend.


For my shoes, I want to wear sturdy heels in the vicinity of 2-2.5", that I'll be able to keep on for at least most of the day, that are less than $200, and that I'll wear again, and often. Heels just looked much better in the photos, I think, with that extra lift (I'm 5'2" and Dan's 5'11"). Lately when I get bored, I just comb Zappos and Endless and Scarpasa and any other online shoe store with free shipping and returns and extensive search filters. The colors I'm looking at include bright red, yellow, light blue, and gold, but I haven't really found much so far. People at work make fun of how many pairs of shoes I order, get delivered, and return shortly thereafter.

A friend at work introduced me to this site, Shoes of Prey, which allows you to design your own shoe! They cost $230 for 2" heels made in leather and can be returned for a full refund if you're not fully satisfied (as stated in their FAQ). $230 seems like a pretty amazing deal for custom shoes, but a bit high considering I don't want anything that's actually that fancy in design, just well-constructed, comfortable, and an acceptable color.

If I find the perfect shoe in terms of color, fit, and heel height, but the heel is on the skinny side, meaning in danger of sinking into the grass if the weather's good enough to still have the ceremony outside but the ground is soft or muddy, this SoleMate product that Cara suggested could be quite helpful:

It basically widens the base of the shoe's heel to prevent sinking.

I'm not sure I'd be comfortable walking in shoes with heels that narrow, though. I wear Converse or other flat shoes most days.

If everything about the shoe is perfect except for the color, BurdaStyle has a tutorial on covering shoes with fabric:



I think they look surprisingly good, don't you?

That's all I've got for now. If you have any other ideas for me, please do share! I'd very much appreciate it, as instead of aimlessly browsing shoe stores, I will, of course, be cutting out my muslin.


Anonymous said...

Those heel wideners are going to change my life. Thanks!

Lisa said...

those heel wideners are an awesome idea! also, that shoe tutorial is ah-mazing! as for the bolero, I really really like the wrap idea.

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