The Harlequin Dress

Oh it’s been long – so long.

I am not sure in which orders my next posts are going out at this point, but this is the first I write and it’s been so very long.

Thing is, it’s not that I don’t sew. I do, really. I just absolutely hate taking the pictures.

I am bad at taking pictures in general, but mostly, I am a lousy model.

I am self-conscious, irritable and awkward, all rolled into one obnoxious nightmare of a picture object. That, combined with a skin tone in much need of a regular sunshine fix, makes for really terrible photographic evidence of my achievements.

Usually, when I realise I am rubbish at something I reach for someone that’s better than me at it and try to learn from them. So it happened that the beautiful, multi-talented Megan of Pidgeonwishes had the silly (for her!) idea of trying to give me tips on picture-taking. Not only I listened, but I also invited myself to her next photoshoot, so that I could watch and learn.

Obviously Megan, being the sweet-hearted woman she is, took pity on me and offered hers and her husband photo-shooting services. Cherry on the cake that days was a dazzling sunny day in London as well!

It’s with thanks to both that, without further ado, I introduce you: the Arlequin dress*!

This is none but the famous Grace Doris Dress from Sew Over It, which was so much photographed in various blogs last year.

I was really quite indecisive about whether or not to go for it. I felt something in it might risk looking a bit dated on me for some reason. One day though I stumbled onto the perfect fabric:

This lovely peachskin-ish polyester is rich with hues of fuschia and blue, with hidden browns and purples, which I knew from my colour consultation would make me look at my best. I liked the straight lines and geometric pattern, which I found, together with the colour combination, bold enough to give a bit of an edge to this dress’ look.

Construction-wise it’s a very straightforward make, with some minor challenging bits requiring a precise needle. There is no sleeves insertion and the buttons are not functional so, unless you want to, there is no need to get involved with button holes. Both front and back necklines have very soft, flattering curves and the back bow does give you the option of making the dress as shapely as you feel comfortable with. I sewed a size 10, which I did take in a teensy bit, and I often tie/loosen it througout the day.

One thing I’d like to mention is that the waistline is hitting about 2 inches above my natural waist. This is one respect is flattering as it suggests longer legs than I have, however it makes my waist aappear quite larger than it actually is. I am tempted to make this dress again in a smaller size and lowering the waistline to see what difference it makes.

The skirt is the real design feature for me on this dress.

The dramatically fluted panels create a fluid, billowy shape that has the drape of circle skirt (i dare you not to twirl in this dress!), and the cosy, hugging feel of a flared skirt. A great side effect of this design is that it’s very unlikely for this skirt to flare up in an uncomfortably revealing way. The flare increases exponentially, rather than gradually, meaning that it stays close to the body at hip height, to then open and flow towards the knees.

(Thanks again to Mr Pidgeonwishes for capturing this fantastic shoot!)

Mind you, twirling will stretch this feature to its limits… and yet, fortune favours the bold so I would say go for it. I certainly did.

Harlequin – or Arlecchino in Italian – is a figure of the traditional puppet theatre of the north of Italy. Harlequin is a good hearted never-do-well who likes nothing better than making fun of his lord. He is witty, playful and his distinctive feature is a patchwork suit in a myriad of diamond shaped patches in very vivid colours.

5 thoughts on “The Harlequin Dress

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  1. The dress is beautiful. The shape really flatters your gorgeous figure and the colours are so good for you too. You look happy and relaxed in these lovely photographs. I like the one that shows your leg!


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