For anyone else out there who loves to shop at Anthropologie but just doesn’t have the budget for it, well you can always do as I have done and attempt to make one for yourself. And yes while this isn’t exactly like the original, I played around with different fabric selections and lengths to come up with my version of this dress. The inspiration Anthro dress is a printed rayon dress with a midi asymmetrical length skirt and a fitted bodice with a back zipper. I saw this in the September catalog and immediately fell in love with it. $158 wasn’t a bad price but still isn’t cheap by all means. So I decided since I had 3 yards of this amazing voile from Art Gallery fabrics that I would tackle making one on my own! And here is how it turned out:
The Pattern: I knew I wasn’t going to find a pattern that exactly matched this dress, so I decide to make up my own, but using bits and pieces of other patterns that I have used before. The bodice front and sleeves were made using the pattern piece from See Kate Sew’s Penelope Peplum top (minus the peplum piece). The back bodice piece was a mirror image of the front but I added an extra 1/2 inch on each side to accomidate a zipper. I also cut out a size XL since my fabric was a voile and the Penelope pattern piece is made for knit. How did I come up with going from my size Medium in knit to an X-Large in voile? No science behind this. I simply cut out a muslin out of voile scraps I had and did a test run to discover that XL would fit the best. I also included back darts to make it a little tighter around my waist.
For the skirt, I had no idea how to make a midi length skirt with 4 opposing apexes. So I consulted my sewing pals Brooke and Daniela over at Five Eighth Seams and they both suggested immediately that I make a rectangle skirt. And it worked like a charm. To make a rectangle skirt, use the same principal as you would making a circle skirt but cut it into a rectangle instead. (here is my tutorial on making circle skirts).
The Fabric: When I decided to recreate this Anthropologie dress, I didn’t have to go far for my fabric choice. Art Gallery Fabrics has recently decide to make several of their designs into both knit and voile substrates and my local fabric store Five Eighth Seams is great and always keeps these on stock. If you follow my blog, you know I mostly do apparel sewing so this really appealed to me and I couldn’t be happier to see some of my favorite prints in a soft, flowy voile! I had recently purchased 3 yards of this print from Leah Duncan’s Gramercy collection for Art Gallery Fabrics. Leah Duncan is hands down one of my favorite and I have used her fabric designs here, here, and here. This print is called City Lights and if you look closely it resembles the lights on sky scrapers. I spent some time in my early 20s living just outside of New York City. And although I love Charleston, there is something about the lights and sounds of this busy city that never sleeps that I really miss.
I wore the dress this weekend to a wedding. It really is a great a feeling when a stranger approaches you in the ladies room to ask “where did you get that dress?” and you can stand tall and reply “I made it!” Something about that makes me feel proud of myself. And for someone who in the past has lacked self worth, it’s a great feeling to have. Especially because less than 2 years ago, I would of never imagined this would be me. But anyways, here are a few photos of Will, his parents, and me at the wedding.
What do you think? Better to buy or DIY? I really hope you like this dress as much as I do. Thanks for stopping by!