Sunday, October 7, 2012

Red wool + leather DKNY dress knockoff

When I saw this advertisement of Ashley Greene in a DKNY leather and wool dress, I instantly knew I would copy it. Mixed material garments are everywhere right now, as are cutouts.


I was going to do it in black just like the example. However, as I was getting some winter projects together, I happened to set some red wool crepe next to my roll of leather hides. The reds were a perfect match, so I made a red dress instead.


The red lambskin I purchased awhile back to make into a skirt. I still have two skins of it left, maybe I'll get to that sometime this winter. Both fabrics were purchased online from Fabricmartfabrics.com. Sometimes they have really good sales on their skins, and I think these red ones were $15 a piece.


When I started work on this dress, I had nothing to go by except that taxi cab picture posted above. DKNY has since released the RTW dress on their website. Personally, I think it's a bit of a disappointment. The leather is pulling across the front and the cutout looks smaller because the neckline under the collarbone is lower. Obviously they made that dress custom for the Ashley. Anyway, mine is different in that it has leather across the back and no sleeves. (I actually did make the sleeves, but they pulled terribly, so I went back and removed them.) Also, their dress has a seam at the waistline and more of an A-line skirt. The top of it has princess seams which, had I thought to do the same, would have made the bust a LOT easier to fit. Oh well, there's more then one way to construct a garment.


The hardest part of this dress was getting a tight fit through the bust. If it was too tight the leather at the neck would gap forward; too loose and I was showing off my strapless bra. I worked and reworked this area quite a bit, and finally got it to a point I feel comfortable with. Good posture is a must AND, I'll be wearing it strictly as a date night dress and not to church.


I used that same bias tape finish for the armholes as my last dress. I also added a facing to the lower neckline and started the lining below that. The triangular shape of the leather was slipstitched to the lining after the upper neckline had been sewn by machine.


This dress has a full lining made from red polyester. I usually like to use Ambiance lining but couldn't find any in a matching shade.


 I used a really old pattern from my stash, NewLook 6717, long OOP. I'm not sure why I hung on to it this long. I used to purge patterns after they'd been used and I made the ruffled version years ago. (It is now too big and I don't care for the floral anymore.) But, it's a nice basic dress with lots of variations and design possibilities. I made a muslin to perfect the fit and raised the neckline up to my collarbone. Then I drew a line where I wanted the wool to meet the leather and added seam allowances.


Knocking off designer dresses is fun and challenging. I'm hoping to get another one done in the next few weeks!

65 comments:

  1. Stunning! I LOVE THIS DRESS!

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  2. Cannot resist: You are one Red Hot Mama!

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  3. Gorgeous dress! You did an amazing job and it is a fabulous fit.

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  4. Great dress! I like your version better than the original.

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  5. Amazing amazing dress on you! And all the work too! :)

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  6. What a stunning dress. It looks amazing on you.

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  7. This is an awesome dress! Love how you interpreted the designer dress!

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  8. Beautiful dress!! I like your interpretation of the dress.

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  9. This looks amazing! Having such a good fit makes all the difference. Also, the cut out is daring, but the length keeps it elegant and wearable. So attractive on you.

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  10. This came out great. I can imagine the frustration of gaping with cutouts. It looks like a simple dress but I bet it still required some patience. Excellent job!!

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  11. Beautifully constructed and adapted from your old pattern. It fits better in the cutout area than the designer version. Well done!

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  12. De-lurking to say you look AMAZING. Excellent job!

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  13. WOW, your dress is stunningly gorgeous.

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  14. Gorgeous dress, and your finishing is absolutely immaculate x

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  15. WooHoo - this is terrific - you look very confident and dare I say it sexy in this - bet your husband loves it. Your finishing is as usual perfection . Congratulations.

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  16. This is a stunning colour and great dress. Amazing.

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  17. Absolutely amazing, as always! You always achieve such a professional finish, well done. This dress is stunning! Massive respect for getting such a perfect fit, too.

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  18. what a happy accident that you had matching reds! Of course black would be great, but it's a show-stopper in red.
    stunning, Amanda!

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  19. That dress is so fabulous! Love it!

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  20. That is beautiful!!! Tell me about the shoes.

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  21. Wow. I never would have even thought to buy red leather. This is so beautiful! I love how you challenge yourself. Amazing.

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  22. That dress is HOT! Way to go on recreating the designer dress. It looks very well sewn and looks great on you!

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  23. fantastic, you look great in red. I love designer knock-offs, such a satisfying feeling to make something that sells for big bucks - and fits better on you. ps great shoes.

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  24. Whoa, this looks completely amazing! What a great dress! I love it in red! I'm seriously impressed.

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  25. Amazing! Your work always looks so perfect! I hope I get as good as you one day!!

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  26. I'm extremely impressed with your skills. The fit is superb. Great job!

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  27. wow! You look stunning. You blow Ashley Green out of the water! Hands down!

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  28. Your last two dresses have been fantastic! Can you imagine what you would have paid retail?!! Perfection!

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  29. Love that! I must go make myself a version of that. I saw a dress at BCBG last week that I ordered black lambskin and Double Knit to knock off, its similar minus the cut out but now I think I need to create a cut out too, lol

    xoxo
    Mimi G

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  30. Wow, that is seriously phenomenal - what an amazing job!

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  31. Not only are the leather and fabric the PERFECT match, this dress is just gorgeous in and out. It fits you perfectly. You will have many memorable nights in this dress!

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  32. Your dress is stunning. I'm a big fan of bright red! I love Ambiance lining and I purchased a set of swatches from www.voguefabrics.com for $5. They carry all of the colors and it's really handy being able to match the lining swatch to my fashion fabric then go online and order it. It may not help if you are in a big hurry but the stuff comes within a week. If you haven't checked it out, it's worth looking into for the amount of sewing you do!
    I like your dress better than the original!

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  33. This dres is on fire Amanda! I love your version and how creative!

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  34. Wow, I am impressed with your mad skillz! Absolutely gorgeous.

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  35. Awesome! I love the red & the peek a boo neckline...classic

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  36. Always so look forward to your posts as I always know it will be a knockout! Suits you beautifully. Great job.

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  37. Wow you did a great job on that dress! And you made it fit perfectly.

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  38. You look amazing in this dress! The red color is beautiful and the fit could not be any better. Great job creating your own version of the original.

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  39. Your dress looks fabulous!!! good work!!!

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  40. Wow! This dress is stunning! Gorgeous color. Simply perfect!

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  41. You have a beautiful but dressy wardrobe...where do you wear all these pretty things? Curious!

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  42. Gorgeous dress and I have been anxious to get on the leather/fabric combo wagon. What concern's me is the cleaning and upkeep of the garment. Can this be dry cleaned? I know it can't be handwashed either. Hmmm....

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  43. How gorgeous! You did such a fantastic job.

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  44. I love your version of this dress...fantastic color choice which looks incredible on you!

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  45. I join the chorus saying that your dress is lovelier than the original. What a delight to see it inside and out.

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  46. Ummmm..... you may be the most talented person I know (online and beyond). Your dress is spectacular and your sewing is inspirational !

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  47. Hi Amanda. Yes, ditto every comment before this one. And I'll bet your husband loves this one!
    Well done!

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  48. Exquisite. And so much nicer than the original IMO.

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  49. Dress looks absolutely amazing on you. Terrific job.

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  50. Quick-somebody call the fire department! Seriously though, your creativity seems to be outdone by your skills only and your posts bring us one confection after another. I learn something new from each one. Thank you for sharing them with us.

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  51. Utterly fabulous!! I love that you re-used an older pattern too, and re-interpreted it to make it fir your vision. A work of art!

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  52. Elle est magnifique, j adore ce que vous faites

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  53. i love this one. makes me want to make one.

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  54. Nice work and you look great in it!

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