Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Avenue Knock-off

I've never actually attempted to "knock-off" a RTW garment. I got the idea after seeing a woman in a local beauty supply wearing something similar during the summer. When I spied this one at, I just had to have my own version and who doesn't need several LBD's??

Since faux-leather and ponte knit are all the rage, I too, chose the same materials. I scored the faux leather at the American Sewing Expo from Haberman fabrics in September. The ponte is from my Minnesota trip and is the most delicious ponte I've ever seen. I think I have just enough of it left to make a cute pencil skirt.

I used McCalls 6460 for my version. I thought the "sweetheart" yoke was different enough to add a little extra interest.

Initially, the hardest part of the dress was inserting the "exposed zipper." After accomplishing that to my satisfaction, I decided to add sleeves because the husband said it looked like a funeral dress! That's where the cursing, hair pulling and "gnashing" of teeth started. You absolutely cannot ease faux leather. Although I measured the sleeve cap and the armhole opening, not even 1" could be eased.

I first added a sleeve cap dart but then realized I needed to narrow the shoulder seam. I carefully removed the sleeves, altered the shoulder seam but still wasn't happy. After being paralyzed for a couple of days with the poor fit and what to do about it, I eventually removed 5/8" from the front shoulder and armhole.

I removed the same amount from the other side by pinning the above piece to the other side to cut off the exact amount and shape.

I then had to remove the sleeve cap dart and reinsert the sleeve. I'm much happier now. Of course now the inside sleeve seam looks like it has been in combat...and lost. But there's more!

I added a lining to the body but omitted the sleeves. The pleather didn't have enough "umph" for a nice neckline. Luckily I didn't trim the seam after attaching the lining to the neckline. I removed the understitch and stitching and added interfacing to the lining yoke. I didn't want to chance adding it to the pleather. Then I added single-fold bias tap. I trimmed the seam, turned the bias tape inside the dress and finished with top stitching. I also used  fold over bias tape to cover the armhole for a neater inside appearance. Although the zipper is functional, I won't be using it. I can pull it over my head easily. As usual I narrowed the hemline by 4".

I would have loved to have photos of me wearing my latest creation but I woke up to this this morning.

When I got out of the shower for church it was even worse. I won't be leaving the house today which translate to "crappy clothes, here I come!" Here's what the finished dress looks like...

I plan to accessorize it with animal print.


  1. You did an awesome job knocking off the rtw inspiration dress. The animal print accessories are perfect.

  2. I love it too! --and the animal print accessories. Rtw is my inspiration too.

  3. I haven't been out of the house since Friday because of the snow. I *really* need to go to the gym, but to do so means I have to shovel and remove about 7" of snow from my car. Hmm... It looks like Netflix might win again.

  4. Oh and I like your knock off. I thought the pleather you bought had a little stretch to it.

  5. Wow! I love that you used the sweetheart neckline and added sleeves from the pleather. This is way better than the inspiration dress. Fantastic job! And I refuse to talk about the it April yet?

  6. Love the version you made, even though it was a lot of trouble.

  7. Very nice garment. The pleather made it special.

  8. Oh this looks FABULOUS...just FABULOUS! Good eye of inspiration you have!

  9. This looks great finished. I think your styling will simply rock.

  10. This dress is awesome! I love every thing you did to create it! Your version is so much jazzier than the inspiration piece! I'm guessing you can't wait to wear it, I know I would be excited! OMG, that snow gives me the "chills" just to look at it! But it's so pretty too!