Copycat: Sewing the Echo Dress

So here starts the documentation of my inspirational thievery.  

You know when you walk into a store and see something and think, "That's lovely but I could SO make it myself."  And then your eye gets caught by all the other pretty things and quickly your little brain gets totally overwhelmed and you walk out of the store and promptly forget everything you just saw as it becomes an indecipherable vortex of colour and shape. Yes? No? Dramatic, much?

But you know what I mean - all those many things you see and love and want to make but there is simply not enough brain space or time for them all. 

So then you need to introduce some kind of One Step Programme for Sewing. One day at a time, one garment at a time, one piece of (p)inspiration at a time. And focus. And with focus, i.e. the opposite of flitting from one pretty thing to another, comes actual realisation of your vision, which can be pretty ace or can be really not.

Happily for me, this first Copycat, which I've oh so obviously named the Echo Dress, falls into the former bracket.  

In the equation of sewing:

The below Pinterest goody = Emma One Sock abstract print stretch denim + Papercut Patterns Saiph Tunic. 

I love this dress and I knew as soon as I saw it that the Saiph Tunic Variation 1 would be perfect to recreate it. The difficult bit was finding a stonewashed denim that was suitable for a dress. No luck whatsoever, so I allowed myself to be distracted by the other pretty things until I was browsing the Halls of Deliciousness that is Emma One Sock's website and found this absolutely gorgeous light to medium weight stretch denim. It's not stonewashed but it has that air to it and more importantly it reminds me of white clouds on a sunny day which is reason enough to buy any fabric to my slightly sentimental (and at the time spring-starved) mind.

I have made the other variation of the Saiph Tunic before and it is a lovely pattern - I like the relaxed fit, dropped waist and and I love the deep keyhole closure at the back. I made my first attempt too large, in beige silk with the most horrid interfacing on the neck facing and so it's not the most wearable.  Not least because I should never EVER wear beige.

My alterations

Aside from fit alterations, there weren't many changes to make to achieve the look of the copycatted dress:

  • Cut a size smaller than last time round and didn't grade between sizes at the hips as I usually do.
  • Lowered the french dart
  • Shortened the sleeves (reversing this tutorial) to 20 cm / 8 inches
  • I was going to move the pockets to the side seam à la inspiration, but had sewn the pattern directed waist seam pockets before I remembered that.
  • I couldn't decide whether to use the facing or a bias bound neck, but ultimately I wanted a clean finish at the neck so opted for the facing.  I didn't interface it though and I made it out of lining fabric rather than the denim to reduce bulk. I'm not sure it's wholly successful and think perhaps the facing could be wider which might make it sit better.
  • Added 3 inches to the bodice length and a further 3 inches to the hem length to ensure I can wear it as a dress without leggings etc. 
  • Serged all seam allowances before I sewed the seams which has created a lovely clean finish inside but I did cheat a bit by hemming the sleeves before sewing the side seams / undersleeve seam which I know is a no-no, but they meet up fine and I don't think anyone other than me will notice.

What else could I do?

Aside from finding a true stonewash denim, the only other change I would make to replicate this dress in its entirety would be to slightly taper the skirt down to the hem, but I don't think that would be as flattering on me. 

I am so pleased with how this turned out and it got its first proper outing today in the most glorious Brooklyn Spring sunshine.  It is really comfortable, and I felt great in it.  It's a little on the short side but one of the things I love about this city is anything goes and no-one cares what you wear so I think I can get away with it!

I've just been catching up on the many many blogs I read and saw this post by Marie and was really interested as to her take on copying RTW clothes.  For me it's an opportunity to emulate something I love and make it fit better and be more affordable, but for her it is a bit of a cop-out in the creativity department.  Which it probably is but I'm ok with that as long as I like what I make. 

So how did I do? 

So, and this makes me feel like I'm competing in something like iceskating or trampolining, I'm going to, in a very self-congratulatory manner, score my copycats' merits in terms of fabric selection, shape and style lines and overall success and .....

The Echo Dress here gets 3 out of 3.  Yep that'll be a gold medal for me then!

What do you think?

See you soon x