Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sew Weekly Challenge: What's on TV? or "Rhoda Morgenstern has arrived in Chicago."

The Facts:

Fabric: 2 1/2 yards of vintage patterned cotton, 2 1/2 yards white cotton for lining, and 1/2 yd orange cotton for waistband and neck facing.
Pattern: BurdaStyle Chiffon Kimono Dress
Year: 2010
Notions: None!  It originally called for a zipper but I can wiggle in without it :)
Time to Complete: 4 1/2 hours
First Worn: April 2011
Wear Again?: Most definitely!

Friends, saying that Rhoda Morgenstern is not a fashion icon would be denying head scarves their due respect.  This woman put head scarves on the map as a serious accessory for all time...

If you have any doubts, just google "head scarf tutorial" and see how many recent videos pop up to show the many ways to tie these wonderful pieces.

Rhoda never shied away from patterns or color, making her an idol for me - paisley never looked so good, ya'll!

The blouses, the tunics, the skirts...Rhoda was an trendsetter in Minneapolis and New York!

She had the flair and confidence necessary for bold looks, and I knew I had to make my own outfit based on her.

I had this awesome fabric in my stash, but it was a wee bit see needed to be flat lined before I could make anything wearable with it.

It also had a few...ahem..."problems."  I have absolutely no idea what that is, but I am going to hope for a coffee stain.  Either way, I had to cut around a few of these areas, but managed to eek out enough fabric for a dress.

The dress.  I put it on at first and was so disappointed.  It was entirely too long, the sleeves came down to nearly my elbows, and it showed entirely too much skin (which meant I couldn't wear a bra.  Well, I tried that look and it was NOT pretty, so that was not an option). 

It literally looked like I was wearing someone else's clothes.

So I got cutting.  Maybe I got a little too much into cutting and took six inches off the hem.  I took the sleeves up so they began at my natural shoulder and not halfway down my arm ...which meant I actually had to gather parts of the arm hole and it adds for an "interesting" look.  I think it is one of those mistakes where you look at it and ask, "Can I live with that?" and at that point, you answer "Yes."  I also stitched up the center two inches to give me a little more cover up and allow for some undergarments to be worn.

I did not have any headscarves, but I had a pashmina that needed some love.

The finished product.  What was a dress is now a tunic...and I think I love it.  I am especially fond of the contrasting waistband and neck facing - I think it makes the orange in the fabric pop!

The full look.  These pictures were taken in between lightning flashes, so the lighting got REALLY crazy at points.

Rhoda flexes her fashion muscle and shows that she has no need for zippers.

Fabric gathers up close.  I need to come to terms with the fact that I am not comfortable wearing dresses that do not have a waistband at my natural waist.  I am, however, totally comfortable wearing these as tunics. 

My photographer.  I told him I would give him a shout out.


  1. First of all, you two are the cutest!!! Second, I love that fabric! Awesome top, congrats on another successful sew!

  2. ACK! This is SO AMAZING!! You hit it right on the button! love the last photo too!

  3. This is so awesomely Rhoda!!! Fabulous!!!

  4. i love your posts so much. it is PERFECT as a tunic top!