Inspiration Strikes: The Carven Dress

So, long story short, for some reason I receive Teen Vogue magazine (I don’t know…. I’ve never subscribed to it/paid for it… it just shows up from time to time to make sure that my neighbors think I’m weird when they’re sorting out our communal mail pile).  Before I chuck it, I like to flip through and see if anything catches my eye.

(photo violently torn out of Teen Vogue magazine)

I love this dress.  It’s super hip, and I love the styling.  It’s by the label Carven, which I wasn’t previously familiar with.  I’d love to use this dress as a jumping-off point for a breezy sundress.  It reminds me a little bit of something that Chie would dream up, but in a bolder, southwestern-inspired print that’s closer to my personal style.  I love the midriff cutout and the simple bodice, as well as the floaty, summery skirt.  Is that a half circle skirt?  What do you think?  Any thoughts on a basic dress pattern that I could use for the bodice?  I’m guessing it couldn’t have waist darts, since that would make drafting the cutout much trickier.  Also, is a midriff cutout too daring for a pale gal rapidly approaching 30? Lay it on me– I can handle the truth!

 

34 responses

  1. Ooh, I like this! Not that it’s my style, or a cut out midriff would be a good thing for me. But I like the print, and it does look like a half (or some fraction) circle skirt. I think you could pull off the bared belly just fine 🙂 I get random mags, too. I swear someone is playing a joke on me.

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    • My brother-in-law once accused me of sending a year’s subscription of “Cat Fancy” to his office (I WISH I could take credit!). $15 for that much brother humiliation? Priceless.

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  2. OOOH me likey! That is seriously cute – I love the cutout. It’s hard to tell from the angle of the photo, but it looks like the cutout is created by two side panels that are angled/curved at the top, and then the top is rounded to ease into the angles of the panels, giving some shape around the bust (does that make sense? It makes sense in my head but it’s hard to explain haha). That skirt is definitely some class of circle, either 1/2 or 3/4. Now I’m really interested to see how this is put together!

    Oh, and to answer your question – I may not be the best person to ask (as a pale girl in her late 20s) but I’d rock the hell out of that dress… well into my 30s 🙂

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  3. I love that fabric and silhouette! Hey, I think if you feel comfortable baring part of your belly, you should go for it! I agree, it looks like a 1/2 circle skirt.

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  4. Ooh I love Carven! Looks like a half circle to me (the skirt that is). The fabric is awesome. You’re never too old to bare your midriff, that’s what I say! Of course midriff exposure here at the moment would probably lead to hypothermia, but in the summer I think it’s cute!

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  5. Oooh, you’d look fantastic in that dress! You’re definitely not too old for the bare midriff, especially with your figure! It does look like a half circle skirt. At first I thought you might be able to adapt the new Colette Hazel pattern, but when I clicked through the website and found the dress in blow-up-able format, I could see there is quite a bit going on in that bodice. Maybe the Pastiille or Truffle bodices as a starting point? Pretty lame answers!

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  6. ” is a midriff cutout too daring for a pale gal rapidly approaching 30?”

    heck no! if you got it, flaunt it, til you ain’t got it no more! cute dress.

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  7. Haha, I’m 24 and I wouldn’t bare my midriff, so I don’t think it’s about age at all, do it if you’re into it! Jane did it in this week’s Mad Men and she looked SMOKIN’, so go with it!

    I love the print.

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  8. I think its a fabulous dress! The bodice reminds me of some Burdastyle patterns I’ve seen on their website – you would totally ROCK that midriff cutout! Love the skirt – I think it might be a 3/4, but you could do a 1/2 no problem. I am so excited to see your version, especially in a bolder print!

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  9. That bodice looks like the darts have been moved to the seams, there is a curved seam from the side leading to the “cutout”. If you start with a bodice block and plan the curve you should be able to do it. Good luck!

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  10. Love the placement of the cutout – I think it would be really flattering having that curved line under the bust. As a pale girl nearing 30 (6 more months!) I say rock the cutout. You could always add a sheer panel later if you want.

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  11. I’m a big fan of Carven! Very cool dress! I think someone already said this but I believe the darts sort of sprout from the corners of the cutout and lead up to the armsyce. Possibly a princess seam there. would you line the bodice or use a facing for the cutout?
    I think cutouts are really cute and its not like its especially revealing. I think if you’re comfortable with your upper belly then this looks like an amazing summer dress.
    P.S. It might be a tad expensive but I swear I saw fabric like this while I was trolling through B&J’s cotton ikat prints….

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    • Hmmm, I guess it would depend on the weight of the fabric, but it seems like it might be easier to line the bodice than to deal with tacking down weird facings. The B&J ikats are AMAZING– thanks so much for suggesting that! They’re all so cool! I may have to sneak out of work and take a peek today!

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  12. It is a sweet dress – I say you should definitely try making one. I like the idea of a back cutout more than a front one. I think maybe you would wear a back cut out dress more than front – maybe that’s just me. How funny that Teen Vogue just appears every now and then! x

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    • I probably would feel less self-conscious with a back cutout rather than a front. I feel like dresses with back cutouts have been so ubiquitous amongst the Brooklyn hipster gals lately that I would feel a little less special, but I’m not sure if feeling unique is worth flaunting that much skin!

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  13. I looove that dress and I absolutely think you could pull it off. Good luck with figuring out the construction! I think it would be a fun challenge and worth the effort. It’s a smokin’ hot dress.

    Eeeh, I just splurged on some B&J ikats for a dress and shorts and they are seriously amazing. I love those prints.

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  14. Go for it Ginger! I would also support everyone’s comments so far – if you are even considering it that means you are willing to do it (see I would not even consider it myself, that’s how I know!)
    What an amazing sewing project ….

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  15. it’s funny you mentioned me! as soon as this came up in my reader, I loved it! I think the cut out is really cute.

    As for the pattern – I would use basic bodice pattern with bust darts and shift the darts from the bust to under arm. it seems like the darts are from the under arm, and it is curved. Once you shift the darts then add the cut out? I’m excited to see you make this!

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