Project Sewn – Challenge One: Style Icon – Vivienne Westwood Anglomania

For the week one ‘Style Icon’ challenge of this season’s Project Sewn, I want to pay homage to fellow Brit, Vivienne Westwood and her Anglomania collection. P1290750_2

I’m not a follower of fashion but I am a fan of Dame Westwood, who has been the UK’s culturally most significant fashion designer for as long as I’ve been alive!

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania!

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania!

She personifies the potent and subversive originality of British fashion and her expansive body of work traces the socio-economic and cultural climate of Britain for the past four decades – my whole life time!

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She’s won British designer of the Year twice, in 1990 and 1991 and was honoured with the Order of the British Empire in 1992 and made Dame Vivienne Westwood in 2006.

Bias cut front with drape neck

Bias cut front with drape neck

Dame Vivienne Westwood is the same age as my parents and she continues to sustain the ultimate design contradiction: producing the unexpected while defining the spirit of the decade.

P1290747_2I love that Vivienne uses very traditional British fabrics in her Anglomania collections such as tartan (a woven wool check fabric) and makes them modern and fashionable. I also love her drape neck dresses and decided to combine these two elements – the drape neck dress with side waist-shaping rushing and tartan to make this dress.

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I used BurdaStyle pattern 10/2012 #118A for this cowl neck dress in size 36. I made this pattern when the magazine first came out in 2012, in a green herringbone tweed woven wool fabric so I knew that the fit and pattern were fine for me. For my first version, I left the dress unlined and used a Hong Kong finish for the seams and hand stitched the hems. For this version I used this very fine merino wool tartan and decided to line it with a very fine viscose lining fabric.

Merino wool tartan

Merino wool tartan

This did present some extra challenges and made making it much slower – I actually still need to hand sew the hem and the sleeve hems because I didn’t have time to do this before I could get some photos of it in daylight to put on the Project Sewn site!

Darts in back pieces

Darts in back pieces

Inside of the front piece

Inside of the front piece

The dress is simple to make. It has an invisible zipper in the back and back darts, gathering at one side of the front piece and the cowl top.

I’m not sure that the bias cut tartan was a success but it was fun to experiment with the fabric pattern! I only left myself two days to make this because I was in Munich this week at Munich Fabric Start.

I wore my Ralph Pink jumpsuit to the fabric trade fair and I’m so glad that I did! It was comfortable to wear all day.

Ralph Pink jumpsuit at Munich Fabric Start

Ralph Pink jumpsuit at Munich Fabric Start

I’ve cast my vote over at Project Sewn but boy was that a tough decision! How fab are all of those outfits! I don’t want to see any of those ladies leave the competition! I wish them all luck!

And to pass on the textile trend setting motto from Munich Fabric Start for Spring, Summer 2015:

Carpe Diem!

Let yourself be inspired!

Have a great weekend,

Christine

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21 thoughts on “Project Sewn – Challenge One: Style Icon – Vivienne Westwood Anglomania

  1. I really love this unexpected combination of plaid and draping. I usually don’t go for this style of dress, but you have made it work I have to rethink! good to see the Ralph Pink jumpsuit made up too. I got one leg cut of a Burda jumpsuit in a silky something and I have stalled! Unsure about the top!

    • Thank you so much! I wasn’t sure either about the plaid but tried it for fun. I’m really happy with my Ralph Pink jumpsuit pattern, you should go ahead and finish yours. The tops of them are important though. The tops of my previous three jumpsuits all had openings only at the neck which means you always have to strip to get in and out of them. Thankfully the Ralph Pink has the front opening which makes life so much easier! Plus it gives you the option of being able to wear something underneath. Good luck with yours!

    • Thank you Sara, I love this pattern too and I’ve taken some pics of my first version in a solid colour which I think I prefer – I’ll get them up on the blog soon – but it was fun to try it in the tartan!

    • Thank you Major Mama. I’ve made 2 versions of this dress – this is the second – and it’s quite different in different fabrics. I actually prefer my first version in a slightly heavier wool because I think it holds the shape of the dress better.

  2. I love love love this dress! It is so well made and just looks fabulous on you. I need to make one to wear when my husband wears his kilt. On a side note, I am organizing a blog sew along and was wondering if you would please send me your email address so I can ask you to join us? 🙂

  3. This is a Very late comment, but I love the tartan dress. I plan to make one with the same pattern and some tweed merino that I already have. How do you wash the dress? I hear that wool/tweed suiting can be hand washed instead of always dry cleaned.

    • Thanks so much for liking my dress and I hope your’s turns out well. I used Italian merino wool and a viscose lining to make mine and must confess that I washed the fabrics in the washing machine on a gentle wool cycle before I used them and didn’t have any problems. I set the machine to the lowest spin cycle or no spin – probably no spin is the safest, and I used a wool detergent . But please if you want to risk this too, pre-test a piece first, I’m not an expert in wool care and don’t want to be responsible for ruining your fabric. With mine, I reasoned that in the long run if the fabric got damaged in the wash, it’d be cheaper to buy more than the cost of endless dry cleaning of the finished dress. I can’t remember now too, but I may have overlocked the cut end of my fabric before washing, to minimise fraying.
      Good luck and I hope this helps and that I haven’t just encouraged you to potentially ruin an expensive and irreplaceable piece of cloth LOL!

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