Dungarees and 100 papers
August 26, 2020
Brown dress
June 1, 2020


Resource and idea

My dress is an elegant piece, crisp and graceful. The raw material of it not so much. I found these two white tank tops on a swap-shop event. If you live in Copenhagen there are a few of these events each year and I recommend going there to find treasures like these. The tops might have belonged to a doctor, assistant, or chemist used as a uniform in a laboratory. They had intense chlorine smell to constantly remind me of their previous life. Nobody rescued them since they are huge and shapeless. The better for me! I could not wait to take them home and to let my fantasy fly. Pure white cotton and plenty of it- at first I thought I will only use it for draping on my dress form, as designers use cheap muslin. However, as I threw it on the doll I instantly changed my mind.

The dress takes shape

I find it key to have inspirational surroundings while I decide the shape of my dress. I list different scenarios in my head where I would wear my new garment. It is just hanging on my dress form as frayed scraps of fabric but in my head, it’s already halfway done. I decide that I will have a huge round collar and voluptuous figure, puff sleeves and hopefully it will reach my knee. As I go along and cut out some pieces I have to give up some of these features because I realize that my aspirations are reaching further than the fabric itself. I have this beautiful old lace from our attic, from the times when my mom worked as a seamstress in a factory. As I pin it to my fabric I stop for a moment and think about mom: I’m sure she would have enjoyed making dresses more if she could have decided their design, if she had time to play with this lace as I do now. For me, this is the most enjoyable part of the creation process.

Then I start cutting the material. The first trim is the scariest. I take off the front pockets and the zippers. I used one of the zippers for another project, on the back of a skirt. The pockets will be used for the collar, but I’ll leave that to the end because I’m quite anxious about it. I haven’t made a proper collar before. I cut the first tank-top in two pieces. The upper part of it will be the bodice of the dress, then I attach the lace and the bottom of the first tank top makes the first ruffle.

I use the upper half of the second top for the sleeves. I tried to make puff sleeves but it looked way too childish. I’m always drawn to little girl dresses because they are simple but charming. It’s one thing to see them on a hanger and another thing to try them on. The dress already looked like a little bell, so I realized I don’t want to make it any puffier. The bottom half of the second top makes the last ruffle on the skirt part.


Top nr. 1

Top nr. 2

The final result: