Shawl-Collar Dress


Here’s my latest creation. It’s a black linen dress with a big shawl collar. I’m taking an embroidery class and this is my first class project. The class is very informal. There’s an instructor there, and you can work on whatever you like. She answers questions and offers suggestions on how to improve your work. This is a great format for me, because I always have zillions of projects in mind. This one has been percolating for I don’t know how long, and the embroidery class was a good excuse for finally making it. The embroidery came out so much better because of the teacher giving me some guidance.

The embroidery is a braid that sort of comes unravelled at the front. I used mostly regular embroidery floss, mixing strands of several colors and metallics for the right effect. I will never work with metallic thread again. It was really awful.

I initially made the dress in a just-above-the-ankle length, but when I tried it on, it was just too much black. I shortened it to just below the knee, and I may shorten it again. 20 years or so ago, I wore head-to-toe black every day and never even gave it any thought, but my look has certainly changed since then.

Here’s the back. Notice how the bodice back dips down a bit to reduce bulk at the waist.

I’m planning on wearing it with this belt.

This is the pattern that I used. It’s a blouse pattern. I’ve made it before, but never wear the one I made originally because it ends right at the natural waist, which is far too short for a blouse, IMO. But I’ve always loved the collar, so I thought I’d give it another try. I eliminated the sash and made it a mock wrap because I really can’t stand wrap skirts. They just never stay where they’re supposed to. I added a side zipper, which works fine because the neckline is so wide that I can pull it up over my hips. I lined it to keep the wrinkles down and added an extra back dart because I’ve lost weight since I bought this pattern and it was too big at the waist.

Detail of the back collar

Detail of the front collar. I was going for something resembling the braid and all the threads that make it up all coming unravelled.

Here’s some more detail of the embroidery.

Some readers have commented that I should post photos of myself wearing the clothes. Unfortunately, I just hate pictures of myself. I have no patience for posing, so every picture of me ends up with me looking more or less annoyed. I should work on that.

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One Comment

  1. Tara
    Posted February 7, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love this dress. I was linked here by another post that had a picture of you in it. I love the photo of you in the dress. You look wonderful 🙂 and the dress has so much life with you in it. I think the unraveling braid looks fantastic.

One Trackback

  1. By DIY December Wrap-Up « Adventures in Couture on January 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    […] sweater, blogged here . Dress with embroidered collar that I really need to wear more often, blogged here . Hand-painted coat, blogged here . Jacket with fringe, blogged here , with lavender jeans, […]

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