Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gidget Frock: Chevron Ombre Dress


I love this little dress!
I've had the pieced chevron bodice on the brain. 
 I originally designed it for the Rainbow Twirl Dress, and have wanted to do more with it in a monochromatic arena rather than all the colors mixed together.
So this little frock is inspired by my Chevron Rainbow Dress and this aqua ombre wedding cake {source}

 To achieve the grading of color, I hand dyed each layer.
I just figured it would be easier and a true monochromatic grade rather than trying to buy a few inches of different fabrics hoping the shades were the same....plus I've been loving dying my own fabric lately.

The design is a simple a-line dress which reminds me of the 1960s, thus the "gidget frock".
The back is a repeat of the chevron and I made a cut out rather than a button placket for the top closure.  I thought it was cute for summer.

The color saturation increases as it goes down the dress, along with the thickness of each layer.  Each strip got 1/4" wider and a tad darker in color.
The scant top layer around the neck is the non-dyed bright white.

 The top of the back is also the bright white, and you can see here the little white satin button for closure.

I didn't do a full tutorial, but here are the basic steps to do your own version or take on the technique or this dress.

 I used sateen cotton, which had 97% cotton and 3% spandex.  The more cotton, linen, or nylon in the fiber content, the better it will accept the dye.  So I cut strips in the thicknesses I measured out to include the 1/4" seam allowance between them.  I grouped the strips together for the front and back, to make sure I dyed them the same colors.  The bottom pieces were trapezoids I individually cut before hand.
For this dress I used Dylon brand dye in Bahama Blue from JoAnns.

I used the stovetop method and started with the darkest, then worked my way up to white.  For me, the hardest shades were the middle.  To get them darker than the strips before them, but still transition to the lighter.  I actually diluted the dye as I went to have control over dying the top layers more slowly.  Because my fabric was small quantities it didn't take long, maybe 15-20 minutes start to finish for all the dying. 

As far as dress construction, I sewed the strips together from the bottom up.  Then I was able to use a dress I had to cut the sides, arm holes, neck, etc.  The center front/ back seams I just cleaned up with a rotary cutter.
Then you can construct the dress, sewing the two halves together, making sure you line up the seams to make a nice zig-zag around the body.

Because it's a summer dress I didn't line it, but used a facing around the neckline, which also dipped down to finish the edges of the keyhole back. 
The arm holes and skirt bottom were just scant roll hems.

 I was hoping to make it a little big for growing room, but it ended up fitting Ellie perfectly.  So we'll get it worn a lot this summer.  Hopefully she'll grow taller but not larger around and it should last!

Most things I hope I'll like in the end, but when a project results better than I expected, it's really fun and I just love this little dress!
To me it's simple, unique, and kind of artistic with the color ombre grading and the interesting structure.

I don't think Ellie really cares, but she looks pretty cute in it I think!



29 comments:

  1. Amazing! I LOVE this dress! You are beyond talented! Your little model is absolutely adorable too and she looks fabulous in aqua. :)

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  2. That's so lovely! Well done!

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  3. Gorgeous!! My sister's wedding cake was similar to that, except with purple. Love the idea of incorporating the idea into a cute dress.

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  4. It came out so nicely! The dyeing looks perfect and I like the shape of the dress too. Adorable!

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  5. SO stinkin' cute..... and the dress isn't bad either....

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  6. LOVE it! And you happened to pick my favorite color! :-) I'm gonna have to get my butt in gear with the sewing machine, because your skills are making my to-do list explode! ;-)

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  7. Really, really pretty. I love how you combined the two trends.

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  8. I TOTALLY LOVE IT!!!! This would be absolutely PERFECT for my 20-month old!!!! She has blue eyes too, so it would really bring them out!!!!!

    You are SO talented!!!!

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  9. Looks so lovely Jess! I love the hand-dyed effect. You have such cool ideas :)

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  10. Just gorgeous, I am gearing up for a hand dyed project soon, I'll be happy if it turns out even half as good as this.

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  11. Adorable. I want one in coral for me. But I am not sure it would look as cute on a grown up. Maybe my kids need matching styles but different colors. Oh, next years easter dresses! Sweet!

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  12. Love this dress-GREAT job. And your model is pretty darned cute too. Don't ya just love fat little baby feet?

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  13. Well, they are cute until you try to get a shoe on them at any rate. I pinned this, but only the picture of the dress itself-not with Ellie in it.

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  14. You are amazing. Love LOVE this dress. I hope you don't mind if I pinned a picture of just the dress. I made a purple dress sort of like this, only I didn't dye the fabric or use my own pattern. You are talented!

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  15. Cuuuute! The colors turned out perfectly and the chevrons turned out great! Good work, lady.

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  16. that is so stunning! I love the dyed layers-and your little one reminds me of my Charlotte-must be those cheekies!!

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  17. OMG I LOVE THIS! It just turned out so fabulous! Thank you for sharing. Love love love it and now I need a reason to make this.

    Natalie
    www.projectdowhatyoulove.wordpress.com

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  18. Very Pretty! All the time it took to get the colors right were certainly worth the result.

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  19. i totally love this! everything down to the stinking adorable little girl! loved your last post too with those cute little swim trunks! i love the sandlot! so fun to see them all grown up!

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  20. fabulous, fabulous dress! I love the ombre / chevron-y look, it's simply adorable!

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  21. LOVELY! You did an awesome dye job.

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  22. I love this. I have been designing something similar in my head. I have been super busy and haven't had time to read blogs. So while my boys are all playing happily together this morning I took a minute to catch up a little. So glad I did. I love seeing how you did it.

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  23. Okay that is seriously cute!! Love the shape of the bottom of the dress. :)

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  24. What a great idea; what a perfect model!
    love the project :D
    cheers!
    irem -
    http://kendindik.com

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