Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Me vs J. Crew : Knock it off

The idea of the Hide and Seek dress with a button placket was one that was handed up to me on a platter. There had been some discussion on the Oliver + S forum of how one could adapt either the Hide and Seek or the Cinema dress patterns to have a front opening placket. Then Rachel sent me a link to this pin....

I didn't just want to make a dress like that one, I wanted that dress. I mean, navy and white stripes, grey chambray, snaps... It was perfect. So I'm linking up with Elegance and Elephants Knock It Off series with my J. Crew knock off
I'd seen the perfect half inch navy and white stripe knit at the local super cheap Vietnamese fabric shop, but she'd sold out of it about 24 hours before I got there! Still, the J. Crew dress is listed at AUD$99.10. I could have spent that much trying to get the right size stripe posted from the US, or I could spend $8 on 1.2m of the slightly too wide stripe. Done.


The dress is the size 3 Hide and Seek with the length of size 4. Both the yokes and the skirt panels were lengthened to the size 4. It's exactly the same sizing as my first Hide and Seek dress and I knew with the interlock knit it would be plenty roomy enough.


To get the long sleeves I pulled out my School Bus sleeve that was already traced off in a size 4. The Hide and Seek sleeve was much wider and only comes as a short sleeve. I kept the sleeve cap of the Hide and Seek, drew a half way compromise in width and used the length of the School Bus to create my new sleeve pattern piece.


They turned out to be quite a bit too long and I probably lopped about an inch and half off the bottoms before hemming them. I can see now that this dress has a bit of a dropped shoulder compared to the T-shirt and that's probably where the extra length came from.


Since I didn't know if I was going to be at all successful I kept it simple and avoided doing the forward shoulder seam adjustment and curved inner back yoke that would have given me a closer match to the original dress. Yeah, lazy I know. :)

The only other modification was to cut the side panels a little off the grain so that the stripes always remained horizontal. The pattern isn't perfectly suited to stripe matching if you pay heed to the grain lines. But if you take the red wine and caution-to-the-wind approach to stripe matching it works just fine!


So where are we and why so many pictures?

We took a quick trip into the city this morning before kindy to take these photos at the NGV Ian Potter Centre. The foyer has this wonderful installation as part of the Emily Floyd exhibition.


And then the perfect payoff for a well behaved model is the exhibition and kid's installation upstairs....



In one room is a huge pile of white plastic letters. Kind of like a literary sandpit!



Either she's going by an alias or couldn't be bothered finding the right letter!
Then to continue the theme the next room has a Small Press where you can create your own Manifesto with that near-extinct beast, the typewriter


And some quirky stamps... "Solve your personal problems socially"



Finally, when you've had as much as you can take of your mum taking photos, you can go into the members lounge for a biscuit! Awesome!!


We had a delightful morning out together and she's terribly proud that now that she's turned 4 she has to pay for the train ride. Big steps!

This turned out to be a very successful dress modification and one that I can see myself making over and over again. The tutorial for the front placket is over on the Oliver + S blog. My next post for them is also inspired by a trip to the gallery. It's a bit of a nuts idea, here's hoping it turns out cool, not just weird....

22 comments:

  1. Well done and the excursion looks like fun.

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    1. Thanks Kelsey. I had the ulterior motive of wanting the photo-shoot but I love it when the gallery hosts brilliant kid stuff like this!

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  2. Well, you nailed it, Shelley! And really I could not love this more! I love chambray so much in fact I'm currently plotting a chambray accent for a tunic for indigo. It's always so classic.

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    1. Thanks Rachel. That tablecloth is going to go a long way! I think there's enough still for a Playdate dress which is one of my yet to be sewn Oliver + S dresses. I think chambray will be the ideal way to stop it being to twee.

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  3. Great knock off, even better! I like the lines of the hide and seek dress much better than the one from J.Crew.

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  4. this is great! I love the hide and seek and so do my kids but I think they'd love it even more in knit!

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    1. I'm starting to think that for kids, everything is better in knit! Or maybe I'm just really lazy when it comes to ironing. Either way it is a winner.

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  5. Super cute and I love that you did knit...and long sleeves! Looks like a very comfy play dress.

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    1. Thanks Kristin. It does look comfy, I kind of want one myself... :)

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  6. I LOVE this dress! It is fantastic! Excellent knock-off of an excellent dress. Also, could she be any more cute? I love her haircut by the way. Little girl in a pixie cut - so spunky and unique (well, unique in my parts, all the little girls seem to have long hair or bobs around here). And what a great photo shoot location!

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    1. Thanks Inder. I really like her hair short too, but she's quite adamant it needs to grow back to her shoulders like it used to be. Sure thing that she won't cut it herself ever again!
      I think we need a bit of a trim to tidy it up. It's grown past the Mia Farrow length, and I guess it's into Michelle Williams territory. I wish I could wear a hair cut like that, but mine sticks out in every weird direction. I'll live vicariously through my daughter as long as I can!

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  7. Really great knock off! Plus it has chambray. I love all the chambray. ;)

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  8. Well done on a great dress. Love the gallery shots also....

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    1. Thanks marina. The exhibition is really lovely, and on a Wednesday morning the place is deserted. It's kind of great having preschool age kids sometimes!

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  9. You have done an excellent job with with dress, and love how you got the stripes to match.

    Check out The Remnant Warehouse, they had a lot of stripes there last week and they do online orders.

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    1. Oh thank you. I think I've browsed that one online before but I forget about it sometimes. Must be great to have as a local shop!

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  10. Oh my, what a great knock off (and an awesome location for a photo shoot)! I can't wait to give your tutorial a try - my daughter's favourite dress is her Hide and Seek, and I know she'd love it in a knit. Plus, she always wants to wear it backwards so she can see the buttons, so your placket tutorial would solve that problem!

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    1. Wow thank you. What a lovely compliment. I hope you do make one, it is quite an easy modification and I confess I made no differences at all for the fact I was sewing with a knit fabric. I probably didn't even change the needle, but then I can be lazy like that!

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  11. I am loving the chambray and stripes combination! Don't own the Hide and Seek pattern yet, but I've been thinking about buying it for a while. And that exhibition looks like heaps of fun!

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  12. I have already pinterest-ed (?) this brilliant tutorial and I can't wait to try it out now that I am back to a life of sewing. And I adore stripes so you might get to see the exact same dress being made in India. But I am here to also say something else: 1) how much I envy you for the lovely looking exhibit that I so wish I could take my daughter to and 2) I love her haircut. It suits her perfectly and she looks gorgeous.

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