DIY Dress Day

After not being able to procure last minute tickets to Paris to watch Marie Antoinette (apparently, turning up at Waterloo Eurostar terminal is not such a good idea…), today I decided was going to be DIY dress day.  I have so many ideas but with zero sewing skills to back them up.  However, I know I wanted to make a simple Miu Miu-esque babydoll dress and thank god, this season’s easy breezy shapes are a sewing-retard’s dream. 

So, I got my mother’s old silk skirt which is too long to wear as a skirt and too teensy at the waist for me and chopped off about 9 inches off if.  Then I got a lace placemat that I had tea stained a few weeks ago and cut off the crochet trim and used that to hem the skirt.  With the placemat material, I cut it in half and then hemmed the vertical edges and then kind of made some wide pleats at each end and sewed it down to secure the pleat – at this point, I was really making it up as I was going along.  (Real seamstresses and designers will probably be appalled by all these slap-dash methods….).  Finally, I sewed the sleeves on the waist of the skirt and added some grosgrain around the bust.  This took about 2 hours which is pretty fast for me (usually my time ratio of "getting sewing machine to work:actual sewing" is about 20:1)

Then I paired the dress with my Prada stockings.  Kind of looks alright from afar but up close, there are definitely DIY tell tale signs….. ah well….I’ll just swish about wearing the dress and move quickly leaving people none the wiser!

(I found these square 1970’s photos of London that my father took and used them as the background!)

54 Replies to “DIY Dress Day”

  1. Perhaps you should concentrate on writing a more articulate blog rather than making catwalk rip off dresses – just a tip from me to you.

  2. a/whoever you are: Could you be the same phantom critic who emailed me that lovely critique of my blog? Well….thank you for stopping by my lame-ass blog and deigning to comment. I’ll try to be more articulate whilst making completely original dresses as opposed to ‘catwalk-copies.’
    And thanks j and anna!

  3. Re. a.’s comment – Since when does DIY mean ‘completely original fashion concept’, the point of the exercise as Susie explained was to create a Miu Miu-esque babydoll dress – which is exactly what she accomplished and even though as she also explained that she is a crap sewer I think she did a good job.
    I reiterate a previous comment of mine “Susie is an extremely motivated proactive person which I think the fashion blog ‘world’ needs to encourage.” – not harass
    Oh and a. where’s your super articulate and interesting blog?
    Don’t have one – didn’t think so.

  4. I LOVE it! Also, I wouldn’t call it a ‘catwalk rip off’–I would call it unique, creative, and in keeping with the style times. Damn, I wish I could do that.

  5. creative seamstress work-β€”and damn fine blogging. it’s one of the only blogs I read, and I’m a journalist.

  6. Lovely dress, good job Susie! It goes awfully well with your knee socks.
    And boo to you, jealous little serpent in the corner. Go hiss somewhere else.

  7. wow, it’s really sad when people reveal their pathetic stupidity. how utterly vulgar.
    anyway, it’s a cute dress susie. i hope you had fun making it, as i think that’s what counts the most. and if you want to know more about sewing, you should check out some books on it from the library. or even just look at all the clothes you own. i’m sure you know a bit about sturdy construction just by being a large consumer of all types of clothing.

  8. susie,,you’re soo creative! i really love the dress i would buy it if there’s one at a shop! i wish i could do DIY dress project like that ~

  9. I’ver also been attempting to create my own clothes and yours is fab Susie, and I would suggest that the author of the first comment is rather bitter and jealous – a failed designer or failed journalist perhaps? Whoever you are you have obviously achieved very little in your life and so feel the need to belittle those who try and are actually rather successful.

  10. All I was offering was a bit of sound advice. If the internet is in fact a democratic place, then I should be entitled to voice an opinion.
    To Susie
    Don’t take this the wrong way. You seem like a sweet girl but fashion journalism is REALLY not your forte. I would suggest perhaps taking classes to develop a better writing style. You have the ideas, but your writing is just not there yet.
    To the rest of you
    Instead of getting all riled up over what is in fact an inconsequential blog, maybe you should appreciate REAL fashion journalism.

  11. What a cute dress Susie! Very inspirational. I so want to get into making my own stuff, but I have absolutely no sewing skills. Doh.

  12. have you ever concidered to go further in the stylism wold? You really should. you have un petit je ne sais quoi really interresting.
    about paris: what? you thought about going to paris without telling me?? huh, naughty gril πŸ˜‰

  13. If it’s just an “inconsequential blog” then her writing style is really not important, it’s the content that counts and as everyone else thinks she’s fabulously creative and very much enjoy her writing style, I would suggest taking writing classes is rather unecessary, especially as she has never claimed to be good at fashion journalism nor has any aspirations to be a fashion journalist. You’re ideas are fab Susie and I adore that dress!

  14. Hey Susie,
    Yet again we have more pointless comments here from mystery ‘A’, who claims to be offering helpful advice. Did they provide their email? If so, you could run your posts by them first for their editorial approval, this way you may just expand your readership and land yourself a plumb job as a journalist for a major publishing house, because lets face it that’s why we all blog isn’t it?
    There’s an annoying assumption here that bloggers are all wannabe journo’s, which is not the case for the majority of bloggers. This person is obviously threatened by you. Why else would you go to the trouble of offering free advice over the net to some random person you don’t know, especially if you think they are crap!. They are probably subscribed to you too, which is mad, because if they think you’re blog’s so crap then why are they here reading it again???
    On the dress front, to remark that your dress is a catwalk rip off is truly the dumbest comment. Firstly, your dress (which is sooooo cute by the way, and a beautiful shade of blue) actually bears no resemblance to the Mui Mui dress, apart from the fact it has some lace! This mui mui dress actually ispired me to buy some old lace curtains to make a dress for my daughter, so sue me ! This person has obviously no idea how the fashion industry works, or how designers get their inspiration. All design is derivative and all designers interpret trends and build on eachothers ideas. To use lace in a new and original way as you did with your mums skirt shows an original design idea! Even Vivienne Westwood said “fashion students all think they are reinventing the wheel, there is no such thing as original design”.
    Just take this put down as another compliment, you’re obviously making waves, so, really, how can your blog be inconsequential?
    My guess is this person is probably another fashion blogger with a serious case of blog envy,or a journalist who hates bloggers ( there are many), or someone who’s both. This is the second case of bitchy blog envy I’ve seen in the last couple of days! Whats with that?!
    Don’t let the buggers get you down!

  15. hahaha this mysterious ‘a’ obviously spent a fortune putting him or herself through journalism but still doesn’t get as many readers of his work as you do girl~!
    Anywho your DIY dress is fab~! and totally original design, if ‘a’ can’t see that they’re blind~!

  16. Okay, so firstly just wondering why this arsehole feels your personal blog must be “democratic” and they need to critique you/”voice their opinion”. Why? I don’t get their angle.
    OK, back to why I am here in the first place, I was clicking to leave a comment to tell you how lovely the dress is…truly…sorry you missed the film but sounds like your creative juices are flowing…definitely a good thing:)
    ps- you know if this troll keeps coming back and won’t i.d. themselves or reveal their “fab” blog addie, just block their IP out…cool feature here on typepad b/c let’s face it, a personal blog is not seeking to be democratic or let everyone give their ranty opines…its for Susie to explore as she sees fit and if this troll is getting in the way of that, who needs their comments? I very democratically am in favor of saying no to the trolls:)

  17. hey susie. i love that dress – its gorgeoise. i have been toying with the idea of going to some kind of class to learn the basics of dress-making. actually, that sounds too ambitious; maybe i should start by learning how to sew on a button first.
    anyway, as has been pointed out above, its seems really inane to critique a blog on its ‘journalism’, when quite clearly a blog is not an outlet for that . . . but a mode of expressing yourself (and in your case for the pleasure of a lot of other people too). perhaps ‘a’ should spend a minute looking up ‘blog’ on wikipedia to understand the difference between blogging and journalism

  18. Seriously, once again, you guys are the best. Thanks for all comments on the dress – I will be making more ‘catwalk-copies’ in the future. πŸ˜‰
    I am slightly peed off this time only because the comments don’t even make any frickin’ sense to me! I have addressed the problem in the post above this. Hope that phantom critic will understand where I’m coming from.

  19. hey susie, just ignore that loser..frankly why bother reading & posting if she/he hates the blog, this is just pathetic.
    loved the DIY project…keep doing them, you always have such good ideas (and you inspire me to start new projects/finish the ones that I’ve started!!)

  20. I just wanted to add my two cents re: A.’s comment. Don’t kid yourself, A. Fashion designers rip each other off on a regular basis (which is one reason I got out of the business long ago). Fashion is repetitive. Style is what makes one unique. Susie’s got great style, which is why you keep returning to her blog. Love the dress, Susie.
    This blog rocks.

  21. lol b, great commentry. i would have said something similar if i thought the offender was worth my time. although i must add there are a few “true” innovators today, just very few and far between.
    kathleen fasanella had a problem with this on her blog too, but i forget which posts she talks about this. susie, i think she just ended up deleting comments and blocking ip addresses, etc. the internet may be a democracy but blogs are not! duh. i actually think you don’t mind constructive criticism but it is a waste of everyone’s time when obviously non thought out comments are made.
    the fact that many (?) journalists are threatened by bloggers is quite interesting in itself. but that’s for a completely different conversation.

  22. this is sort of the opposite of what i said before, i still think these particular negative comments are a bit petty/catty but i do think it’s ok if someone wants to say negative things. i know you don’t want to be a fashion journalist. and i enjoy you just the way you are! but magazines do print negative feedback in their letters pages. it balances things out. but they usually only print the ones that come with signatures attached. to slam someone in a petty way and anonymously isn’t very admirable.
    just ignore them. leave the comments in or out. or check them before they are posted. people do that. i’ve been blocked before, πŸ™ ahem…

  23. Dear a.
    You are so P-R-E-T-E-N-T-I-O-U-S
    There are tons of people who enjoy this blog so keep your comments to yourself.

  24. One thing I really enjoy about Susie’s blog is that, although strictly her opinion, it’s never about unquestioning promotion. In “real” fashion journalism, as in all subsets of the industry, the line between the press and the press release can sometimes get blurred (,,1786372,00.html) But since bloggers have less reason to worry about keeping their contacts and inside scoopers happy, they are freed up to write as they–if they’re up to it. Seems to me that Susie is.
    And just because she doesn’t have a well-paid copy editor to fix her minor errors doesn’t mean she’s not a good writer.

  25. hi, susie. i came across your live journal and immediately fell in love with your sense of style. it’s obvious that you have a lot of fun with fashion and you carry it off well, too. just wanted to let you know that you have another fan out there. keep the outfits coming!
    and i LOVE that dress. i wish i had that much creativity (and time) to come up with something like that.

  26. Hi susie-
    First off I should start by letting you know I’ve been a big fan of your blog for quite some time now…after reading some of your generous post @ tFS…I soon became addicted to STYLEBUBBLE.
    I never commented, because, well I dont know…maybe a tad-bit shy, But honestly I look at your blog atleast 4-5 times a day (you update it so much!)I love it.
    However, I decided to leave a comment after I read your entry about people not playing nice…then I read the first comment about the ‘cat-walk knockoff dress’ and so on, ect.
    Which completely shocked the hell out of me, because I’ve never once considered you somone “trying to be a fashion journalist” so that was totally insanse. Your blog is you. & everything about the world you live in.
    Fashion journalists’ job is to create stories, and write about other peoples success/life….And you dont do anything of the sort. Everything you write about has some major reference to your personal life!!…So its quite obvious this person is just jealous of how great & humble you are, but yet still manage to be so fabulous and chic.
    Please continue these DIY projects, they’re so inspiring & its a fun project that everyone should try. Theres such a warm feeling when wearing something you just put together on your own…rather than spending loads on it.
    I always imagine that one day you’ll be something huge in the industry, I’m just waiting for the day that you become discovered….Even though you have no plans of doing such the thing, I truely believe theres something so special about you. Why else would random ‘a’ leave you such “great advice”?
    So please just shrug it off, and continue doing everything you do. Dont change a thing!!! You’ll always encounter somone who doesnt agree with you in life…but the next time you do, dont even waste anytime acknowledging their rudeness. because thats all they really want…is a bit of attention.
    Take care Susie
    PS. I will be using your Little Miss UPS service sometime soon!

  27. Just, one more viewpoint… I am a Paris-based journalist & I also have a franglais fash blog dubbed Da Scaree Fash Post. To me, these are two distinct activities. There is no point in using a new medium, if you don’t tackle it in a fresh perspective. Style Bubble is by a long shot one of my favorite blogs precisely because it is very very visual & tongue in cheek as well as providing Web savvy links – a fresh take on Style, & a most welcome haven “slash” Bubble, to boot!! XXG

  28. Regarding A’s post (A for wanna-be Anna Wintour, possibly?) – they’re just jealous of your genius. Seriously, I’ve found in my psych practice that over 75% of aggression and nastiness stems from projection. You have a fantastic, creative and entertaining blog. That’s got to irk the uncreative, dull-witted types.
    -A fellow “inconsequential” blogger

  29. Hi, Susie
    Just another one on A’s comment…
    As a veteran fashion designer and ocassional journo, I guess A. presents him/herself as simply “techno-challenged” πŸ˜‰
    Unable to cope with web 2.0? Ok then, move on, A.! Any single job related to communication is changing: we designers, writers, etc. should learn to actually LISTEN in the first place.
    Amateur pals as you, Susie, are the people our work is aimed to. Thanks a lot for your amazing blogging. And thanks too for your refreshing take on DIY fashions.

  30. Just wanted to put a last comment on this little a. attacking-gate. I don’t want to start anything malicious. I appreciate criticism if it’s constructive. Like SOS suggested I read up on sewing books in the library, I went and bought a basic sewing book to help me along. So if a. wants to leave me comments, I will gladly allow him/her to do so because he/she is entitled to her opinion as his/her comments have said.
    I’m really grateful that most of you understand where I’m coming from and I’m also touched that you guys have taken the time to leave such sweet comments here. Blogging has given me the ability to bounce my ideas and thoughts and fashion onto a wide community and I love that people like you are able to reciprocate. A whole lot better then boring my real life friends and family about fashion I think!

  31. beautiful dress! i love your idea of combining what you have and making something i would pay tons for! and it truly ended up being something unique and feminine. im gonna go sew right now! πŸ™‚
    and yikes, that one comment. theyre just jealous dear πŸ™‚

  32. in regards to the flamer who made the first post…if these things bother you and you want to avoid them, there should be a way to adjust your comments so they can not be annonymous.
    Just thought you’d like to know!

  33. Hey don’t fret about the not-so-good-at-sewing part. I personally think that’s what makes the project appealing. Is that you can do it even with minimal sewing skills. Kudos.

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