Sunday, December 2, 2012

Il Gufo Knock Off

Just bringing another tutorial home.
Enjoy!  This was a fun should really check Heidi's blog out for some great sewing ideas and amazing talent.
Hi there!  Sally here from Daisy Chain Creations.  I'm honored to be here and a part of this fun series.  I'm always ready for a good knock off, so this is right up my ally.  I just love the feeling of creating something for pennies on the dollar and knowing that it is probably better than the original when it comes to the construction of it.  Plus, I love it when one of my girls sees something and comes to me with the question "Can you make this for me?"  It's the challenge of it all that I love too. So without further ado, my tutorial, which is really a way to show you that it's in the simple details that makes a dress/outfit sell for those outrageous prices, but make all the difference in elegance.
I present the "Shiny Wool Dress" from Il Gufo, an Italian high end children's clothing line.  I love their clothes though, because they are all simple, yet eye catching at the same time.
This dress caught my eye because it seemed so simple, but for quite a price.  Plus it seemed adaptable.  You could make it for someone little or big; everyday wear or special occasion.  But if you notice it's in the little details that make this dress seem more than 'blah'.   If you want to get a good look at the details, check out the look book on page 11.

 My original plan was to make mine from some gray wool as well.  I was telling my mom about my project and she said she had some perfect wool laying around and that she would ship it to me (she is one of fabric sources:).  Well when I opened the box, I saw that she had included some of this soft maroon velvet and thought that the dress would look lovely in it instead.  Plus wool here in the South isn't very practical.  Since my mom gave me the fabric, this dress only cost me $4 dollars--I had to buy the ribbon and thread to match (I already had the zipper laying around too)--that's it.  Compare that to the $168 price tag!

To make this dress you'll need:
-1 1/2 yards of fabric--more or less depending on size and width of fabric (my daughter is about a 5T and the fabric was a skinny 48" wide)
-1/2 yard of ribbon

First you want to start with a basic dress pattern.  I just used a dress of my daughter's as a guide.  It's kind of an A line shaped dress, but you don't want it to flare out too much.  Cut the front and back out the same size.
Now for detail #1 (see I told you it was in the details:)--Pleats.  To get the pleats add 4" at the neck line.  This will give you 4 half inch pleats.  When you take into account adding for pleats, you always want to add twice the length of each pleat.  For 1/2" pleats you add 1" inch for each one.  I have 4 half inch ones so I added 4 inches of extra fabric (the 2" is shown because I'm cutting on the fold).
You'll also need to cut out sleeves, binding for the neck and sleeves, pockets and welts.

The first thing you want to do is make the pleats.  From the middle of the front, you want to make 2 pleats on each side that end up being 1/2" each, with the fold going towards the middle.  Baste in place.
After you get those pleats made, you can assemble the dress.  Sew up sides and shoulders. Add the sleeves.  Bind the edges of the sleeves.  Now on to the details on the back.

Detail #2--Exposed zipper.  Did you know the selection of exposed zippers that is out there?  Who knew?  I had a shiny silver one laying around. To sew mine on, I just pinned the zipper on to the back in the middle (haven't cut anything yet).  Attached it by sewing around the outside edge first, making sure to tuck under the bottom ends.  Then I cut right down the middle of the fabric where the zipper teeth lay.  At the bottom, I cut straight across close to the horizontal stitching line.  (Sorry for the lack of pictures--there is something up with my camera's flash and any picture I took at night did not turn out).  I folded these edges under to hide the cut edge and sewed them on to the zipper.  At the bottom, I just did a small zigzag that caught the bottom of the cut part, but did not go off the zipper.  There are some great tutorial videos out there on how to do this, if what I said did not make any sense;)
Detail #3--Ribbon Tie at the top of the zipper.  I thought long and hard how to attach the ribbon.  I wanted to use thread to match the ribbon, but didn't want that to show on the contrasting fabric.  I ended up attaching it to the neck binding, after the first side of the binding was attached, but before I finished the second side.  First, I folded the end under and seweda rectangle to enclose it.  Then I folded over a little more of the ribbon to make a loop and sewed  the one end of that down.  Make sure to finish the ends with Fray Check or something like that.  
From the pictures in the look book, it looked as if there was more than just two pieces of ribbon that you tied together.  By adding the loop I tried to recreate that look.  I like how it looks more like a fancy bow than a simple shoe lace bow.

Detail #4--Pockets with welts.  What little girl doesn't need pockets?  Why let the little boys have all of the fun collecting things or keep a dress from saving those rocks for later? Not many dresses have pockets though.  This dress has pockets set right into the front of the dress and then covered with a welt.  I originally set out to include how to do this step, but you couldn't really see the steps well because I was using the same fabric for the welt as the dress.  Needless to say it was harder to follow, when there was no contrast.  Click here to see the tutorial I read before I made mine, just to make sure I was doing it right--nothing adds a little fear in the outcome when you have to cut into a piece of the garment being made.  You could just do 'faux' pockets and only put on the welts for show.
And there you have it...a simple dress made elegant with simple details and a knock off of a $168 dress for a LOT less.
It's been fun and I have plans to turn the dress around, putting the pleats in the back, to make a nice winter coat using the wool that my mom sent.  Check back on my blog to have a look after Thanksgiving.  Until then, may you have a blessed holiday filled with all that you love!

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