Friday, October 30, 2009

Dress design for Shabby Apple dresses

I would never consider myself a fashion designer in any way, but when I heard about the Shabby Apple Dare to Design contest I thought I'd at least throw my hat in the ring.

I mean, I own 2 Shabby Apple Dresses, regularly go to their site, and recommend it to almost every girl I meet. And if I had enough dresses to wear one every day of the week I would.

There are lots of places and reasons to wear a dress. In that spirit I've decided to exhibit 4 different designs that I would happily wear in a given week.

Dress #1: She Works Hard for the Money

This dress would be perfect for me to wear to the office. Starting at the top, it is a white cotton top...double thick of course so it is totally opaque. Is there anything worse that having to wear a cami under a dress? It always rides up and bunches under the bust. I hate it so much I can't even explain. Around the neckline are a few very deliberate box pleats to provide some interest. The sleeves of this dress are so cool. I attempted to borrow the construction from a fall Kate Spade dress. They have a typical sleeve and then on top there is a piece that wraps from front to back, and just at the outside there is a little tube that the wrap around piece goes through. Trust me, I'll look cool.

Buttons go up the back of the bodice and at the waist is a 2" wide black belt-like feature that also buttons in the back with a slightly offset tab. If you can't tell yet, I love the little details.

The skirt is a tight pencil made of a pin striped stretch wool (or cotton if wool makes the dress too expensive), complete with a slit in the back to help you be able to walk. However, the slit will not be too high. Flashing my blindingly white inner thigh at work is NOT on the agenda.

Dress #2: What a day for a Day Dream

Did you see the awesome brown plaid skirt from Shade this fall? I love it so much. It inspired the designing of this plaid weekend dress. I just can't think of a better dress to get out and take that first warm spring day bike ride. Me, on an awesome cruiser bike with the front basket filled with bright yellow daffodils?Perfect!

The fabric for this dress is a loose slightly silky cotton plaid in gray, olive green (or alternately a warm brown and lilac purple...I can't choose) and crisp white that drapes perfectly, making it so easy to wear.

Sometimes sleeves seem like such and afterthought to a design, but I think they can really make or break a look. The ones I've shown here are have ruffled cut outs, but still go all the way around the inside of the arm. There is nothing I hate more than those ruffled flowy sleeves that don't go all the way around, thus necessitating a cami just to cover the exposed bit of skin under your armpit. As stated earlier, I HATE wearing a cami under a dress....

Another cool detail of this dress is the self-fabric built in belt. Whatever happened to the fabric covered belt that matches a dress? It's all over Mad Men, but I hardly ever see it done really well these days.

Oh, also, the ear doctor calls this one "The Haggis" because of the plaid. Do you think I should change it's name?

Dress #3: Easy like Sunday Morning

For me, this would be the perfect dress to wear to church. Inspired by this dress at Anthropologie it has a sailor feel, but what makes it special is the construction.

Basic royal blue striped fabric, cut on on angle and sewn together to make a herringbone bodice will be so slimming and flattering. The shear volume of the skirt will create a pretty hourglass figure and make it really easy to wear. If you haven't noticed yet, I like a dress with a very defined waist band.....

Dress #4: Eight Days a Week

This is the dress that I think will fit in best with Shabby Apple's overall design aesthetic. It's comfortable, cozy, easy to wear and has pretty easy construction, so could probably be sold for a pretty low price.

This dress is made from a sky blue light weight'd feel like you were slipping on your favorite broken in t-shirt. But have about a million times more style, especially if you paired it with a sunny yellow cropped cardigan!

The upper yoke of the dress is made from woven tubes of the jersey and backed by a solid of the same so it isn't see through. The sleeves are slightly puffed with a stretchy ribbing that hits just above the elbow. I have a shirt with this same sleeves and I LOVE it. Sooo flattering. It has a very wide, gathered waist band that sits at the natural waist and is the only part of the dress that's close to the body.

My usual complaint with a jersey dress is that it shows all my body's imperfections because they don't usually float away from my body past my waist. In an attempt to solve that issue, the skirt of this dress is a full circle, meaning that if you sat on the ground you could pull it out in every direction all around you. Having the weight and volume of all that fabric will really help create a pretty silhouette and be very flattering on almost every body type. I tried a banana republic dress that was very similar to this dress a year ago and loved everything about it....except how it didn't have sleeves and was annoyingly short!

So there you have it. Any comments?


Kalli Ko said...

I'd wear all of them. Every single one. And I've been lusting over that Shade skirt since they put in on their site.

dad said...

go for it

nurse graham said...

The offset button tab on "She Works Hard for the Money" makes it look like the model has scoliosis. Love the "Eight Days a Week" dress.

TRS said...

Love them! Very nice designs... will you enter them? I bet you would win.

I love the full circle skirt. My mom had one from the 50s... it's SOOOOO cool.

Kari said...

These are awesome!! Love them all. I can only imagine the Hallowe'en costumes that you will design for your future children :)

Greeneyes said...

"The Haggis"! I love it.

Leslie said...

these are amazing! i love the last one best, you did a great job, katie!

Kari said...

I hope you are planning on posting your Hallowe'en costumes...I laugh every time I see a Garden Gnome in someone's yard!