Sunday, May 29, 2011

Carolina Herrera Dress Knock-Off Part 2

I have completed the skirt of the dress. It is basically a tapered pencil skirt with waistline darts, a center back seam and a center back seam vent for walking ease. I used the first pencil skirt pattern I came to when rooting through the patterns on my sewing table.
The dress fabric is a light to medium weight white linen, rather coarsely woven. Seam allowances on the wrong side of the garment show through to the right side. To prevent that I decided to underline the linen with Bemberg rayon in “ Camel “, a color that is very close to my skin tone. The linen and rayon were cut from the same pattern pieces. The rayon underlining was laid on the wrong side of the linen with all edges matching. It was basted to the linen, by machine, about ½ inch from the cut edges. Then the cut edges were finished with a serger. All darts and seaming was done by treating the rayon and linen as single layer of fabric.
I pinned up the hem when testing the fit of the skirt, but I will wait until it I attached to the bodice before actually completing the hem.

I wanted to talk a bit about how I did “research” on the inspiration dress. I like to have as many photos of an inspiration garment as possible; full size photos and up close photos of style details. I print the photos out on regular printer paper and study them. I often put grids over the model or garment and estimating the width of style details such as belts, collars, neck bands, etc. in proportion to the finished garment. I found this dress on the website, in the slide show of CH’s 2011 Spring RTW show. The largest photos of a garments on this site are found on the full screen view of the runway slide show. will not let you copy a photo to your laptop. But the photo can be snagged by using the Print Screen key on the keyboard, typically abbreviated as “PrtSc”. This key makes a copy of the screen, in bitmap format. The screen print can be pasted into photo editing software, word processing software, presentation software or even an email. I use Powerpoint because it allows me to crop off the headers, advertisements and other non-important stuff around the image, add text, arrows, etc. And if I plan to use the photo in a blog post, I save the PowerPoint file in a picture format(bitmap or jpeg. The best photos of designer clothes are often found on online retailer sites like Neiman Marcus and Berdorf Goodman In addition to describing the garment and listing fiber content, they have high resolution photos and a zoom function that lets you look at any part of the photo up close. These sites also prevent you from copying photos directly to you computer. To capture a detail shot, I zoom in on the part of the garment I am interested in and use the PrtSc function as described earlier. did not show any close-ups of this dress and I really wanted to see how the trim was applied to the bodice front. I could not find the dress on any online retailer site. But I did find a Youtube video of the fashion show it was in. YouTube Video The dress starts down the runway at about 2:50 min into the video. As the model turns at the end of the runway, the photographer zooms in on the bodice. I used the Prt Screen function to capture screen shots of the bodice, though they are not great quality. I know there is other software that allows you to pull frames from video’s, but I don’t have it. Fashion shows are also a good way to see a back view of the dress as the model walk back down the runway in the background of the next dress.

Looking at the picture above, I think I know how the ruching was applied to the neckline. I have made samples of three different applications methods and will share them with you next.


  1. It's interesting to watch you go through this process. Glad that you have a long weekend to finish this up! :)

    Carolyn - blogger is not letting me comment under my name!

  2. I'm enjoying following along with this project, it is such a lovely dress and your project notes are so detailed, you have me hooked :) and looking forward to the next chapter!

  3. LOVE IT.
    Love a good knock-off.
    How do you feel about the lower neckline?

  4. Your skirt is looking very attractive and look forward to seeing the method for the ruching on the bodice.

    Thank you for the details about finding your inspirations, that is very useful to know.

  5. Pret-a-Porter is also great for research.

  6. Your inspiration dress is beautiful. I am anxious to see how the neckline works out.

  7. The skirt is looking great. Thanks for providing all these details about how you're going about researching and making this dress, it's very interesting! Thanks too for the reminder of the Print Screen button - I use it a lot at work but forget it's available to use at home for 'research' too!

  8. Thank you for sharing the details and technics of your research, you are so resourceful. Can't wait to see the finished dress/