The picture on the right is from Time Magazine's Style & Design article entitled "Tory's Turn" about designer Tory Burch. First off, I was inspired by how cute she is, but I loved this straight dress in a big pattern. The picture on the left is my rendition in Amy Butler's Silver Wood Fern from the Nigella home dec collection. The collection is full of big prints (I also think this could be darling in any of the Grandiflora prints) and the sheen and weight make it fun for apparel (heavier than quilting cottons, lighter and softer than canvas).
I have no idea what is around the neck and sleeves of the Tory Burch dress, but it looked complicated. I settled with a strip of Gray Floral Sequins around the neck only.
The pattern is another matter entirely. I used Simplicity's New Look #6086. But wait, that's a slipover tunic. How did that metamorphosis into this dress? Hummm... not easily. I couldn't find a pattern that had a one piece front with just darts (I didn't want to break up the design on the fabric with princess seams or other nonsense). So I took about 2" out of the center of the front and back of the tunic, lengthened it, added a zipper in back and shortened the sleeves. Oh, and added a facing to the neck, since the pattern just called for a hem. Would another pattern have been better? Absolutely. If you find one, use it instead. The front of the dress worked out great (though I think the shoulders are a little narrow- maybe 2" was too much?), but the back is still under construction. It needs darts above the waist, but I haven't quite gotten the right size in the right place. So this dress will be gorgeous for entering a party, but not yet great for leaving. I'm going to let Mona party in it while I ignore it for a few days to approach it with fresh eyes (and attitude).
In an earlier post, I railed on invisible zippers, but I feel better about them now. I did figure out how to get the invisible zipper foot on my machine (the instructions on the package are non-existent). The zipper went in fairly easily, but do follow the zipper package instructions about not sewing up ANY PART of the seam before installing the zipper. (I tend to take those instructions as helpful suggestions only.) Allows you to compensate for the zipper being a little higher or lower on one side. Now I need to work on getting the zipper and fabric to feed evenly, so I don't get ripples in my fabric.
Perhaps this will inspire you to make some apparel from Nigella or any other home dec fabric and to completely butcher a pattern to get the look you want!