Monday, March 12, 2012

Indescribably Inspirational

I'm no fashionista and more often would probably be classified as a fashion faux pas. But this recent interest in sewing has turned me into a picture-saving maniac of dresses I see online. Half the time I don't even know who the designer is. And the other half, I'm actually saving photos of replica dresses of the real stuffs! However, lately I've discovered that my OCD streak has a constant... Karen Millen dresses!

Seriously, without even realising, I've been salivating over Karen Millen dresses since I started noticing how these wonderful article of clothes are put together. Their dresses look simple and straight forward, always leaving an impact with the beholder (or at least these pair of eyes of mine!). The key word here being "look" but when you think about the design, the dresses are really a work of engineering cloth to caress the female body form.
Karen Millen One Shoulder Signature Dress [Image taken from]

Stitching together strips of cloth to replace darts - I can't even begin imagining trying to work that out on my own (ladies & gentlemen, that is why I am not a professional dressmaker! ;p). Arranging loose pleats to look like soft waves naturally formed by the weight of the fabric! Maximising the allure of lace and using binding to define the figure! The simplicity of solid colours and great cutting! [I'd better stop before someone certifies me as insane]

Seriously, I feel so inspired to sew when I set my eyes on a Karen Millen dress. Incorporating ideas into a dress pattern and trying to see which paper pattern I have that can be modified to produce the closest outcome. But the enthusiasm ebbs away as I draw closer to making the dress itself, and ends up as one of my many draft paper drawings.

From the photos, I'm deducing that many of their dresses are made of a satin-like material, quite stiff and slightly stretchable. I have no idea what this fabric is called but it seems similar to the remnant upholstery fabric I got from Kamdar (only with more stretch to it). [Perhaps I should get a book to educate myself on the different fabrics].

Another conclusion I've come to is that I need a serger sewing machine to make proper dresses. 90% of my store-bought dresses, skirts and tops are made of stretchable fabrics and sewn with a serger (well, at least the hems are sewn with a serger). My problem is that serger sewing machines tend to cost a lot (from online survey of price). I don't know where I can find a local shop selling used sewing machines. Perhaps the prices might suit my budget.

Therefore, in conclusion my iWant list has expanded to a serger machine and an electric sewing machine capable of zigzag stitch.

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