Friday, January 12, 2018

The Two Faces Lemon dress

I've had this dress in my mind ever since I saw this movie a few years ago. Its just so crisp, cool and 60s-but-modern. Of course we all know Kirsten Dunst would look great in anything, but for me this dress was really memorable.

First, I love boat necks and adding a bias roll collar gets extra points. Its also a beautiful slim pencil shape with released pleats. The lemon-coloured linen or cotton looks so lovely (but probably wouldn't be on me IRL, but you can't have everything).

So what does a sewist like me do but go hunting for a pattern that will help me re-create it. I can always choose another colour.

I have found two options so far: the Etta dress by Tilly and the Buttons or the Kobenhavn by How to do Fashion.

They are both pencil dresses with the all-important rolled-collar and boat neck though they differ in a couple of distinct ways.

The Etta has darts, while the Kobenhavn is a princess seamed bodice. Not a bad thing but would create a different kind of fit - might actually be more flattering on me!

The big difference you may notice is the armscye. The Two Faces version has an interesting armscye that isn't really an armhole. It appears to be a kind of straight tunic-style sewn up, with pleats on the shoulder to create movement for the armhole. I love this element, as I really hate revealing armpit flesh. One of the big attractions of vintage for me is the closer armholes. Did you know they often wore removable perspiration guards? Basically little pads pinned into the armpits that could be removed and laundered without washing the whole dress - genius!

See how her armholes are kind of straight, not curved around her arm joint?

This has me stumped a little. My pattern drafting skills are still embryonic and I'm not sure how i'd create that modification, without messing up the whole style. My usual technique is to go looking for a similar vintage pattern and check out the pattern piece shapes on the back. That's usually a good clue. 

The other big difference is the back - on the Etta and the Kobenhavn, the back is a low-ish V shape, but the Kirsten version seems to replicate the slight dip of the boat neck in back. That's easily modified though.

What do you think of Kirsten's dress? Have you seen any patterns that are similar, new or vintage?  What movie styles have had you swooning lately?
Let me know in the comments!

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