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Jul 2, 2010

Sheers, Gowns, Elaine + POLL

Kids, I'm hooked on sheer fabrics.  I know it sounds crazy -- sheers tend to shift like crazy and fray something awful.  But they're purty.  I like the way they float.

I loved the sheer chiffon yoke on Cathy's Twenties dress...

When I recall childhood memories of favorite movie gowns, the black one up top always comes to mind.  Marjorie Reynolds wore it in "Holiday Inn."  Remember how she and Fred Astaire pose in silhouette behind that big paper valentine and and then leap through it at the end of the "Be Careful, It's My Heart" number?

That's the gown I want to sew -- demure, sheer, floaty, Forties.

Here's another floaty childhood favorite, albeit from the 60's.  Who doesn't love a champagne gown with ermine trim -- and crown?  (That's "Queen" Ginger Rogers licking her upper lip at 0:37.)

So friends, was it mere synchronicity that a certain you know who -- let's call her "X" -- no doubt bored out of her wits altering old schmattas reeking of paradichlorobenzene, suggested I make this gown for Cathy?

Do you like it?  I'm on the fence.  I like the gown itself but that sheer gathered overblouse...I don't know.  Is it a little too jeune fille for a sophisticated New York model on the wrong side of thirty?  "X" says it reminds her of Ginger Rogers.  But are we talking the Ginger of "Swing Time" or the Ginger of "Love Boat"?

(Apologies for the simultaneous Polish translation...)

Look, I accept that "X" has impeccable taste even if she can't see that taupe satin T-straps with a blue-gray dress are oh-so-wrong.

So what do YOU think?  (I also welcome your written comments: I hate to put words in your mouth!)


  1. Peter, I hate to say this, but to me, that pattern screams "bad 70s prom dress"

  2. The green version with the tiered skirt says 70's to me. But the peach version done in a dark color (black, navy, wine) might be quite striking. Just make it up and let's see--that's the only way we'll really know.

  3. I didn't vote as I didn't want to give X too much credit--I've read her blog--but I think the pattern will be great on Cathy. Here is the thing though. She needs somewhere to wear it. She needs an event. New Year's Eve is a long way off. Anything else coming up?

  4. Aside from the fact that it's just not my favorite, I don't think it's the best style for Cathy's figure.

  5. You just have to check out the new Threads magazine. There's an article about the designer, Valentina, with pictures of gorgeous creations, including one chiffon number that measures 18 YARDS at the hem. SWOON. Also has tutorials for sewing sheers. Also look up Madame Gres. She did amazing work with draping and pleating chiffon.

  6. I whole-heartedly agree with Susan. The peach version in a deeper, more sophisticated color like black or wine would be stunning on Cathy.

  7. The ruffly waist would just make me look like a dirigible, but Cathy's more svelte ... it might work. And apparently ruffled tier dresses are all the rage these days (scroll down to see pic of Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway):

  8. This dress looks like a wedding cake. Way too many layers and fluff for Cathy who seems more sophisticated in her taste.

  9. That dress really doesn't look at all like Ginger Roger's beautiful gowns. It looks like an ugly prom dress. Sorry! :-(

  10. Tsk tsk. Mother, Resident Evil, and Awesome Taste are not mutually exclusive, so the poll is moot. But as for being your mother, never. My spawn would be much more powerful than you, and they would destroy you.

  11. ruh- roh! she found out you were talking about her....

    I would rather see a grand sweeping circle of floaty sheers than tiers of 70's does the 30's.

  12. I think that dress is too gauche for Cathy, although a gamine seamstress could possibly pull it off- if she wanted to! Cathy might like a chiffon kimono over a simple satin slip dress.

  13. I think the SS is just trying to get you to expand you sewing skills and styling ability.

    I think the ODLR dress would work fine if executed correctly.

  14. If Cathy loses the tier on the bottom the dress could look less juvenile.

    Please tell Madame X that the taupe shoes do not do her dress justice.

  15. Lovin' your blog.

    As much as sheers are cruel to work with, I am in love with this sheer creation

    Here it is in colour.

    Its the cool blue combination of sheers and candy-stripe that does it for me. I was lucky enough to see it at the Grace Kelly exhibit in London and it is just as divine as it looks on screen.

    I gave Oscar's dress the thumbs up, I think its an ugly duckling with potential...


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