Friday 20 August 2010

Hot Gossip - Part 2 : Serena's Order

Just what every teen queen wants - Acne!

Image: The CW

...Or, rather, the  Force Dress by Acne (you might see what I did there) worn by the lovely Ms Lively as Serena van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl, in an episode called The Empire Strikes Jack.




...And, I hope you like hours of hand-stitching, because that's what it takes to get through this one.  However, on the positive side, this dress is not only dead easy to make, but cheap as chips - only unlike chips it's actually quite slimming!


I'd say a maximum of 8 hours.

You Will Need

  • Black long-sleeved dress.  A three-quarter sleeve dress will do.  I found one costing £11 at Primark.

  • Half a metre of dark grey lycra or jersey prices will vary but mine set me back about £3, from the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham (27 Moat Lane, Birmingham, West Midlands B5 5BD tel. 0121 643 7356)

  • 1 Metre of black bias binding about an inch in width.  Mine cost 50p, although prices may vary.  Available at all good haberdashers.

  • Pins

  • Fabric scissors

  • Black thread

  • Tailor's chalk

  • Sewing machine

Total Cost

Within the region of £15 depending on the cost of your fabric and bias binding...

Save It!

...Which works out at - literally - a tenth of the price of the original, which currently retails at £160 on the sale!  Last season it sold for £400.

Let's Frock!

First of all, let's kick it off with a bit of sartorial vandalism.  You need to cut out the shoulders.  Fold the dress in half, down the middle, to make sure that your changes are symmetrical, pin it in place, if necessary, and cut away oval shapes at the shoulders.

Fold your bias binding over the raw edges.  Pin it in place and then machine sew it.

Fold your dress in half again , and use your pins to draft out a wiggly shape down the sides (which should be one on top of the other) like the grey one on the original.  Notice how it curves inwards at the waist and outwards around the bust and hips.  Try to mimic that. Then, draw down the lines of pins on both sides using your tailor's chalk, making sure your line is as clear as possible.

When you have finished, take your pins out and unfold your dress.  Either the back or the front of your dress should have two lines of tailor's chalk down both sides.  Put pins through these lines, as before, to mark out your lines through the two layers, turn your dress over and use your chalk to draw out the lines, as before.

Now to add your grey jersey.  Cut two long strips which are easily wide enough to cover the areas at the side that you used your chalk to mark out.  Pin them in place, along the line, folding under any excess fabric.

Now for a spot of elbow grease in the form of slip-stitching.  Stretch fabrics require a certain type of this invisible stitch which is like so:

Bring your needle out of your  grey fabric and into the edge of the black fabric, going backwards trough a few strands of the material.

Now bring your needle forwards again to start your next stitch, and put it backwards through a few strands of the grey fabric.  Repeat this process stitching alternately through the black and grey fabric until all the sides are stitched down.

This just in... we've seen proof that if you follow these instructions you should have a new dress which looks like this...

...You know you want to, xoxo

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