Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Swan Frock

Do you ever have those days where you feel like you have NOTHING to wear!? Even though your wardrobe is overflowing? Everything feels tired and old, you’ve seen it, done it, worn it… it’s all just a little meh?

That’s where the “The Swan” frock was born. I’d love to say that the initial design came from the sublime inspiration that Black Swan provided, but I must admit that it was somewhat of an afterthought.

I whipped this number up on Saturday with the intention of having something new to wear out that evening. I’m not at all happy with the construction, it has more frayed edges than…well, something that has lots of frayed edges? In fact, I didn’t even hem it on the night, but it was dark and no one could tell, that was until I had a few drinks and started telling people about it in loud whispers. But I was very happy with the overall look in the end.

The crochet lace on the bodice has been in my stash for a while. I was given just over 2 meters of it from a colleague at my work, and it has been sitting in prime place on the fabric shelf waiting to be stitched into something fabulous. Originally I had planned on dying the lace red and making a smokin’ hot wiggle dress, but after much deliberation and closer inspection I decided against it. Look closely at the lace pattern and imagine it in red – Does a close up of the cellular structure of red blood cells come to mind? Hmm thought so!

After treasuring it and hoarding it for so long, I was surprised that I decided to use it for such an unplanned project! The bodice pattern didn’t require much yardage though, and with some nifty pattern placement, I managed to use only a small strip of the end, leaving enough to make a skirt or a dress out of in the future.

I used the same old pattern combination that I’ve used for so many dresses. The bodice belongs to a vintage 60’s pattern, of which the envelope and corresponding pieces were lost long ago. For the skirt I used a large rectangle and simply gathered it. I love this shape, its so easy to manipulate and alter. This time I cut a v in the back and kept the skirt long.

In the end it was the way the long slinky skirt moved when I walked that reminded me of a ballet dress – then the black swan / white swan thought came to mind.

I have recently started taking beginners ballet lessons too, so I took the chance to practice my moves in front of the camera. I dragged out some old Pointe shoes that a friend gave me, and did my best. I figured it wouldn’t be too much different to canvas slippers, just a little more difficult. Well, I was very wrong. Picture after picture showed me loosing my balance ungracefully. The three photographs I have put up were the best I could do, and all I’m doing is standing there!


  1. Very Pretty! Well done, I have the inclination to leave things fraying too! Just too damn impatient.

  2. Fabulous! Love the way the dress flows! It does indeed remind me of a beautiful ballet dress! How are you liking ballet? It must be good exercise!!! I've often thought about it as a good way to improve posture--and it's just so darn elegant!

  3. looks gorgeous. I like the plunge in the back of the bodice. the skirt looks like it flows so nicely too.

  4. I totally understand falling over in pointe shoes! They are so different from the canvas variety. But the dress is very beautiful and certainly lends itself to the ballet poses.

    (found my way here from a link in Tilly and the Buttons)


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