Mono dress & faux film noir!

self drafted dress film noir
The air is heavy.
Rain spatters relentlessly against the rattling windows.
Daniel and Janene each propped horizontally on opposite sofas. Mood is low. The bank holiday weekend is nearing it’s end…

Daniel: Got anything you need to shoot?

Me: Actually yes. But nothing fancy. Just need some pics of that trial dress I self-drafted.

Daniel: Ok. Go to it. Heavy on the make up. Big on the heels. And find a hat.

Me: But . . .

And that’s how these crazy shots came about! Quite literally out of not wanting to end our soggy bank holiday with the grumps!

So this is the dress:

mono dress full length

It’s my next leap on from my first ‘proper’ foray into pattern drafting. I’d tweaked the bodice and I’ve drafted a few pencil skirts to know the drill, and so I thought I’d pair the two together and make me a dress!

There were a few toiles along the way I can tell you! And this one still isn’t perfect. Goodness knows how but I think I need to take at least 2 inches out of the back bodice. My thoughts on this were confirmed at the time of drafting the back skirt section when I noticed there was precious little difference from the hip line to the waist line! I measured the bodice and double checked all measurements and just assumed it was meant to be.

However. I did have to do some trimming just under the waist line after I’d tacked it all together. And I thought I could live with it until I realised the side seams were a little bit too forward.

This really is no big shakes. In fact this is such a giant leap forward for me, the knowledge I’m gaining all the way is so totally rewarding. And luckily I have a heap load more of this fabric that was so kindly given to me by my fabulously talented milliner friend, Jayne Hepsibah. She wasn’t sure what it was but I’ve given it a burn test and it burns to a very fine pale dust. I wasn’t expecting that at all as it’s quite a weighty, almost upholstery style fabric with a bit of stretch! So I’ll make another soon to confirm my findings and rectify the problems.

The other niggling thing is that the armholes on the front could do with widening a bit. I wore this dress to a party a couple of weeks ago and all that dancing and waving of arms resulted in a little chafing round the sleeve edges.

I have some very similar fabric, but in crazy tropical colour, waiting in the wings once I’ve sorted out the issues. Can’t be neglecting the crazy inside when it’s raining outside!

self-drafted dress film noir style

There’s a fair few influences going on with this dress. The neckline I poached from a 40s pattern in my stash. The bold crazy fabric has echos of Kazz the Spazz who still continues to be one of my heroes despite her blog being no more *sniff*, though I’m sure she’d do it more justice with colour! And the overall design came about whilst doodling in my Fashionary book and watching Madmen!

Even though it’s far from perfect and hardly a ground-breaking design, there’s a huge amount of satisfaction that it didn’t come out of a commercial pattern envelope and that I had to make it up to my own instruction!

I self-lined the bodice. And considering the weight of the fabric, it behaved beautifully. With a bit of understitching round the armholes and neckline of course. A good test for the next run when I intend to make that neckline a little bit deeper, but still keep those nice angles.

self-drafted monochrome dress

And the hat! Let me tell you about the hat. Well I don’t happen to have any vintage hats just lying around. I’m sure Mr. Ooobop is convinced I have an actual ‘wardrobe department’ upstairs. I don’t sadly. But what I did have was this cheapie fascinator that I got from the pound shop, onto which I gathered some glittery tulle. Genius, non?! I’m sure some Russian veiling would have been classier but I’ll happily settle for this one… for a quid!

customised fascinatorWe had such a hoot doing these photos. Mr O was able to practice with his new birthday flash attachment and I couldn’t resist the addition little faux film noir-ness with my magic Photoshop wand!

This dress totally called for black and white pics and I wasn’t about to protest. I find black and white photography considerably kinder, compared to full on colour, especially at the end of a knackering weekend!

I’m so glad I’ve got such a pushy boyf, really! I’d never have got the get up and go let alone the camera skills to do this by myself! We really did have a lot of fun with this.

Shame neither of us smoke anymore, otherwise we could have got some proper authenticity going. However we did manage to fashion some obligatory venetian blind shadows!

head shot blind shadows

And it’s a fine way to capture the drama after the last glass of Prosecco got spilled!

vintage scream film noir

I do hope you all had a restful weekend with some making going on, of course!

34 Replies to “Mono dress & faux film noir!”

    1. Thank you Ginger! Haven’t worn those shoes in years. They worked brilliantly. Can’t really walk in them though!

  1. Oh JANENE!!! And boyf! What a match made in heaven!! This photo shoot is incredible and I love it. Love the way it came about and love the end result! But let’s not forget about the dress. Don’t be too self deprecating – it’s a massive achievement self drafting a dress and I’m in awe. It’s part if your drafting journey – because even at my very low level of drafting – nothing this advanced !- i know that each garment is a learning experience. But to draft and make something that looks awesome and is so very wearable, is a huge milestone. Lookin’ good sweet cheeks!

    1. Oh Winnie. I so need you in my life always! You say the sweetest and most encouraging things. Thank you so much xxx

  2. Gorgeous dress, fabulous photos as ever – your posts cheer up any rainy day. I love your style!

  3. Striking !! The outfit is amazing, mega congrats on the design, style, fabric ,you and of course The Mr Oopbop

  4. I love the loud geometric pattern on you. The scale is just right. And your pattern cutting is amazing. I have problems with armhole strangulation too. Conventionally a sleeveless dress has the armhole lowered by at least 1cm. And the photos are wonderful.

    1. Thank you Kate. I had to let it grow on me! Have never worn anything like this before. Hoping a little shaving off the armhole will work a treat. 🙂

  5. Goodness me Janene, you are a perfect pair. The dressmaking skillz, the photographer, and the art to bring it all together. Well done.

  6. You two are perfect for each other. Such great drama. Your dress looks great! Sounds like you’re really close to having a perfect wiggle dress pattern!

  7. What a fabulous way to spend a soggy bank holiday weekend! The dress is wonderful, love the neckline, so great that you designed it yourself! You must have a very glamorous pound shop by the way!

  8. Beautiful dress and beautiful photos as ever. The closest I’ve come to drafting is a couple of pattern hacks I did recently but that was with tutorials. I don’t think I’d have the confidence to draft a complete pattern from beginning to end so I’m full of admiration.
    BTW – I thought you’d gone quiet and then realised I wasn’t getting my emails every time you posted. Is it because you changed blog address? Is it because you blocked me for inappropriate comments?
    Anyway, I’ve re-subscribed by email again now so I won’t miss any of your inspiring makes or Daniel’s fab photos.

    1. lol… as if I’d block you, my lovely! Yes, I did go self-hosted and I fear I’ve lost a few precious followers along the way but I’m so glad you found me again and thank you as always for your lovely comments x

    1. Aww.. thanks Claire. Will pass that on to the Mr. I do hope I can. Then there be a new can of worms to open!!

  9. Ahh this is just perfect! The shape of the dress, the fabric and the photo’s, just perfect. Isn’t patternmaking just wonderfull? It makes me feel all independent haha. It sure looks like you’re on the right track with the fit.

  10. You never cease to amaze me, girl – you look incredible, and your drafting skillz are super impresso!! Love the photography on this one, and the fact that you got bossed into doing a shoot – lovely… what a guy! ^__^

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