Some of you may remember years ago I found a dress I was really crazy about and thus I shared my find with all my women friends. It was called the “Enchantress Dress” and it sure made alot of us very happy! Well, for 2011 I have another style I am very enamored with and would like to share it with all my friends out there.
It’s an essential piece of retro clothing for the woman on the go. This one I’m making myself! It is completely different in style from the Enchantress Dress, so let me tell you about it.
Delilah’s Shape Shifter Dresses
A Custom Made Garment
I originally found this simple dress in the 80’s when I was looking for clothing easy to travel with. They were sold in major department stores under the name Units, Elements, and Multiples, as well as in pattern books. I bought a few designs but one in particular became an integral piece of my wardrobe. You know how we all have those well loved pieces of clothing that gets worn for years until they are worn to death and there’s nothing left?
My dress was red, had long sleeves, split on the sides and mid length. It was made of a soft tee shirt knit and the sleeves could easily be pushed up to the elbow. I wore it out to dinner and shows with belts over longer skirts, pants or leggings. I wore it beltless to the beach, to bed as a night shirt and as a costume cover up. I often wore it camping with jeans, and I definitely wore it all over the world on my travels. I loved this piece! It folded easily, didn’t wrinkle and was so comfortable.
Then one day in the 90’s, it was stolen off a clothes line to cover up a camera that was being lifted off a picnic table. I mourned the dress more than the camera! It was at least 6-7 years old by then, so I searched thrift stores trying to find a replacement with no luck. I recently read on the Internet that other people loved them too. One note claimed a women would have to be crazy to get rid of one because it would fit you at any shape and size you shape shifted into during your lifetime. No wonder I couldn’t find one. Then, the other day, I was rummaging through my sewing cupboard and I found some fabric and decided to get out my sewing machine and make one.
Long story short:
I have developed a pattern very similar to those dresses from the 80’s. I have added a few of my own design innovations.
1. Adding an extra long cuff to the sleeves gives a more graceful contemporary style to the sleeve.
2. A soft gather piece to the tube that allows it to become
a) a hip hugger belt. Perfect for belly dancing
b) to be worn as a soft scarf that won’t get blown away and looks great with jackets
c) a bra top or empire belt over the dress
3. The Three Split Over Dress (as I call it) looks great layered
with pants, shirts and leggings.
4. Instead of the one size fits all deal they had in the 80’s, I will custom make them,
so there is a little more individual tailoring to my designs.
5.The fabric you get to choose. There are some wonderful stretch jersey knits out there as well as soft cottons.
• On Monday night I asked a couple dancers if they would model their dresses. Freeman Mester took the photos. It’s amazing how different they look on everyone. They can be worn so many different ways. Sometimes these dresses shape shift into characteristic from different ethnic back grounds; Turkish, Indian, African, Spanish, Tunisia. Ideal for travel. They work for pregnant women for sure. They can be very sexy with a pair of heels or cozy with a pair of boots. Head bands and body tubes give them added character. The tubes can also be worn as tube tops in the summer time or if you travel to warm climates in the winter time. They are so versatile!
• Next I am going to get a couple gals to model the tube top variation and put them up one day soon.
• I’m asking everyone I made one for so far to send me a photo of them selves wearing it if they can. Soon as they get around to it I’ll start a separate scrapbook page.
Over All Description:
A highly versatile and comfortable garment. Triple stitched seams make it durable and add style. It’s simple, chic and loose fitting with a wide boat neck line that may fall to reveal a shoulder if you like. It is long sleeved with an under arm vent that keeps you cool and warm; useful at all times of the year. It can be made supper sexy with the use of slinky and stretchy tubular accessories that can be worn in a multitude of ways; as a cowl neck scarf, hooded head scarf, waist cincher, hip hugging belt, waistline belt, empire belt. The design has extended shoulders and long sleeves with the choice of regular or extra long cuffs. The sleeves can be pushed up on the forearm or elbow. This lovingly hand made garment can be tailored to various lengths and design features to choose from. The fabric you choose can make it more casual or dressy feeling.
Given the ways of air port security and our modern life style, these dresses will be in style for ever and become an integral part of your all our wardrobes for years to come!
I look forward to making you one of these comfy garments!
Pattern Drawings: Click Here>>
• The simple drawings show the different styles of garments so far.
Handmade in the USA
and of course, buying one helps to finance the creativity we deliver through dance and music at VDP STUDIOS each and every day!
HOW TO GET ONE, or two or three . . .
Print PDF Delilah’s Dress Order Form and sent in with fabric and thread.
Yardage details below. Keep reading.
1. fabric in specifies yardage, 2. matching thread and 3. An order form with measurements.
Cost of custom made garment is as follows:
Click Here for an Order Form PDF>>
$75 Over Dress, Regular Dress, Coat/Robe with 1 Tube accessory
$65 Shirt, Tunic, Jacket with 1 Tube accessory,
$15 Extra Tubes (may need 27 inches more material)
$ 5 Head Band (may need 13 inches more material)
$10 Shipping in USA
I can pick fabric out for you and add cost on to the bill plus $10 for time.
58-60 inch wide knit fabric only.
NOTE: If you have never bought fabric before it comes in different widths. 35 inch, 45 inch or 58-60 inch, and 120 inch (very rare). Look on the end of the bolt for width as well as recommended washing instructions. Two popular mixes are 60% Cotton 40% polly, (machine wash delicate) and 95% rayon and 5% spandex (hand wash).
Cotton or cotton blended jersey, cotton interlock or synthetic jersey, solids and prints best. Stripes *might*work, but I’m not sure. Not suited for obvious diagonal designs.
SAVE: There are usually printable 40%-50% coupons online for Joann’s Fabrics. My daughter had them even scan her i phone in the store for the coupon code! You might have to google Joanne Coupons cause they move around alot. You can buy fabric online too. IMPORTANT 58-60 inch wide remember. Two popular mixes are 60% Cotton 40% polly, (machine wash delicate) and 95% rayon and 5% spandex (hand wash).
Over Dress, Regular Dress, Coat/Robe with Tube accessory 3 1/2 yards
Shirt, Tunic, Jacket with Tube accessory 2 1/2 yards
Thread: Match as close as possible or one shade darker. Dual Duty 250 yard spool.
Petite – may need more information to be custom made. Be prepared to talk on phone.
Small/ Medium – may be made slightly narrower.
Medium, Large, X large – are usually the same unless shoulders are extremely wide or narrow. Make a notation under special notes.
XXL, XXXL – may require different style and more fabric. Totally doable but will need more information to advise according to style.
So call Delilah! 206 632-2353
I am working on new design too, so check back again!