Random Sewing: The “How Much London is Too Much London?” Dress

Sneak peak at our new living room!
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2211ExtraLargeFabric: London print cotton $20 (widely available but purchased at Michael Levine’s in LA), and black cotton sateen from stash
Pattern: Simplicity 2211 (minus collar, placket and sleeve ruffles)
Year: 2012
Notions: black bias tape for the sleeves and hem from stash
Time to complete: Maybe 8 hours of slow-pokery
First worn: To work yesterday
Wear again? For sure!
Total price: $20

This fabric wasn’t supposed to turn out as a dress. It was supposed to be decor for my sewing room in the new house. Curtains or pillows or something. And then the Collette team released Laurel and had that whole challenge thing and it got me thinking about this pattern that I already had. It was basically the same pattern. Then Debi wrote a piece summing up my thoughts quite well. It is a simple, common shape, but you could do so much with it if you think about it and get inspired first.
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I don’t know who had the first travel theme dress in the blogosohere. I can trace a lot of my inspiration back to Mena’s Paris map that got me thinking and searching for the right fabric. As I said, I didn’t think this fabric was the fabric when I bought it. Then I saw the final episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (on Hulu. Run don’t walk! Go! Now!) and Aunt Hilda had a Paris themed dress too, with a print that apparently made me think of this fabric because that’s when it clicked that it was going to happen.
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So this dress got done way sooner than I thought it would. I cut it out on Friday when I was still in the midst of a bad head cold. Putzed around with it on Sunday. Then Tuesday night I was feeling better and it somehow got finished!
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Now I can’t decide how to wear it. When it was on the hanger I was getting a dreaded nightgown vibe. Husband said, “I like the print…but it might be too much.” I was afraid of that. Cardigans are my friend. I don’t want to belt it because the point is that the shape skims the body. I’ll probably always go with black accessories. But I do love the red bow option (from my Mary Poppins costume) too. For a hot minute I considered using my fancy black zip from the V&A, but I want to save that to use where it would actually be functional.
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Do you have a preference, dear readers? Other suggestions?
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Hard to see with my tights (it’s cold here again) and crappy in-door photos, but the black band on the back is both a make-do-and-mend, and an intentional design element. I knew I might not have enough to make both front and back long enough (I was right) and I also wanted to make this more interesting than just the print. I think it gives the dress that push into being more fashionable. I considered adding bands of black to the sleeves but I cut them at the perfect length and I didn’t want to add anymore or mess up my accidental perfection. I used black hem tape on them so you do get a peek of black at certain angles.

Lastly, I just want to mention that I’ve noticed feedly messes up the formatting of posts with pictures. This may be happening in other rss readers too. If you’re having that issue just open the post in your browser until they get their shit together.


About EBS

Museum curator, nerd, chronic watcher of TV show marathons, married to a soccer hooligan, vegetarian, obsessive sewer.
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11 Responses to Random Sewing: The “How Much London is Too Much London?” Dress

  1. sewexhausted says:

    Love the dress! And it would look great with black accessories…I learned an interesting tidbit on the Great British Sewing Bee- that during WW 2 they used silk maps- and at the end of the war the maps were sold and some were made in to dresses! Silk sewing map dresses! I thought that was awesome! ~Laurie

  2. I like it with the black or navy blue contrasts….wearing it with the scarf looks fab. But really, can anyone really have too much London….when one tires of it, one is tired with life (to badly misquote Samuel Johnson).

  3. ybat says:

    Really cute dress. I like the little red bow it gives it a little “pizazz”. Yes i just used the word “pizazz” and im not 70yrs old.

  4. Joelle says:

    I LOVE your dress! I’ve made the blouse a couple of times, but I’ve never been inspired by the dress…and now I might! Love the print, and I think it looks great with the scarf and cardi!

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