More Dior!

June 18, 2010

This is not news to any of you, but I am more than a little bit obsessed with the Dior House (from when it was Dior’s Dior house in the 50s, of course, not the current Dior house, mass producer of bad perfumes and bean-shaped bags). I was reading Alexandra Palmer’s Dior* last month and I became overwhelmed by the desire to make something Dior-inspired rightthisminute. Most things in that category, of course, would probably take me a year, so I chose a simple, pleated black skirt with slightly textural fabric. One non-vintage (GASP) pattern later, and here you have it:

Butterick 5285, how I adore thee! You combine the best of both pleated skirt worlds: knife and box. Your instructions are clear and you fit with little tweaking. The major caveat here, of course, is that making a true knife pleat requires  far more than “matching large dot to small dot.” If you’ve never made a pleated skirt before, you are in for a treat/ a lot of work. Crafting a true knife pleat that sits like a pleat in perpetuity requires no skill, but a great deal of patience.

Butterick does an extremely poor job of explaining this, and their photo does not look like your FO would look if you only used their instructions. A sharp pleat requires constant ironing into submission, hand-basting of every pleat, topstitching and edgestitching on the front and back of every pleat…the whole shebang (if y’all want a tutorial on this, I will make one).

The fabric is a heavy suiting fabric with a barely discernible texture (other people can’t see it, but I can and I love it); the zipper and hem, as always, are hand-sewn. And here’s the rub: if you REALLY want your pleats to sit right, you should hem both pieces separately either AS SOON AS THEY ARE CUT (double gasp). Learn from my mistake, please! I had to rip out all of my hand-basted pleats, hem the skirt, and then re-do the hand basting…thank God for Angela Lansbury and MSW.

But as long as you know that you should basically ignore their relevant construction suggestions, this is a great pattern. Really, I mean it. It fits how and where I like it: high on the waist and snugly through the lower abdomen. The length is great and the pattern pieces make sense and are easy to use. I think it is a must-have and is well worth the $17 I paid for it at my fabric store. I am sure I will use it again. It’s just too bad I used bright blue basting thread on the zipper and I walked around all day with leftover blue thread stuck to my bum :(…

*A very short book review: this book is excellent as a review of the establishment and business of the Dior house (including the historical context in which it was created),  but if you want pictures of Dior’s many gorgeous creations, you should look elsewhere. There are, at most, ten photos of his dresses in here.


6 Responses to “More Dior!”

  1. Tasia Says:

    Lovely job, such attention to detail! Your pleats are well-behaved and hang so nicely! That skirt is perfectly classic, you’ll wear it forever.
    Have a great weekend Monet!

  2. CGCouture Says:

    Love the skirt! I don’t think I have the patience for it though…I barely have enough for sleeve plackets, let alone pleats! 😮

  3. Amy Says:

    Yes! Tutorial please!

    The skirt looks lovely and very classic!

  4. this is AWESOME! You are seriously a garment inspiration!!!!

  5. yahaira Says:

    this is perfection! and umm yes on the tutorial!

  6. Karin van D. Says:

    Beautiful. What a lovely, classic, skirt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: