The Evolution of the LBD

This year I participated in Blackmail’s Little Black Dress Contest.

This was the invite

“A woman without a little black dress has no future.” Coco Chanel’s words might be ones to live by. Celebrate Chanel with South Congress Avenue boutique Blackmail, which is starting its first Little Black Dress Design Contest. Students, crafters, home sewers and professional designers are invited to submit their interpretations, so your dress can be classic, cocktail, sports-inspired or avant-garde.

Blah, blah, blah, submit dress and application, we supply models, just show up, blah, blah, blah sell your dress at the store, prizes and excitement. Why not?

When I began this adventure I did it with the definition of what a little black dress is (I asked the all knowing Wikipedia).

In the beginning there was the Kimono Sleeved Shirt.  Then I wanted to make it into a dress.  So I merged Simplicity 4020 with Simplicity 3874 and got this dress.

LBD Mockup #1

I decided I wanted to ditch the elastic and go for a tube skirt.  I lenthened the bottom band piece for the shirt pattern. I didn’t have enough fabric for a dress so I slit the sides and went with a tunic instead.

LBD Mockup #2

The next and final dress was to be made out of black knit but I decided that I wanted to keep my knit for myself.  I had a bunch of black satin that I could use though.  I decided to make mockup #3 out of some damaged satin I had sitting in my stash.  This dress is a combination of the shirt (I didn’t overlap the bodice front pieces at all) and the Laura Dress.

LBD Mockup #3

After making this dress I decided a) it definitly needed a zipper, b) it needed short sleeves and c) I wanted different fabric (ideally shantung silk but I knew I didn’t want to pay Austin prices for it).  I went to Hancock fabrics and found a textured shiny black polyester (which the LBD judges likened to the smocks that the hairdressers at Sexy Scissors use.  How to gay guys would know about the smocks at Sexy Scissors is a mystery to me).  The dress is lined (if you are going to use cheap fabric a lining can do wonders to make it look better.  The lining also made the neckline more stable and it will prevent the weight of the dress from destroying the texture of the fabric (stay tune for the details on how the dress was lined.

Here is is, the final draft that ended up at the show.

LBD #4

Overall I was pleased, even if the judges weren’t blown away.  I think that Coco would be proud.

The rest of my pics are on my Flickr page

For commentary on the event, check out collective selection