Geek Chic January: My Book of Life Dress

Friday, January 30, 2015

I am a self-professed nerd -- I guess I don't need to claim it since most people would agree with that assessment.  Combining my nerdiness with my craftiness, my new monthly series was born: Geek Chic.   This series will feature garments with a tell-tale geek theme.  Superheroes, cosplay, books, music...ah, the possibilities are limitless. New Year, new series, and, tsk, tsk, on the last day of January...

The cute animated movie The Book of Life was released to DVD in the United States this week.  
It features Zoe Saldana and Diego Luna in a tale about love and the Mexican tradition of Day of the Dead.  Day of the Dead is a day in which family members remember loved ones that have died.  Traditions vary include making sugar skulls with the name of the one who has passed, sweet breads, or altars to dead loved ones.  The idea is to remember and celebrate those who have passed.  I tried making those sugar skulls and, clearly, it is not a skill that I have -- it was more like irregular sugar shapes. My sister requested for her birthday last year a Day of the Dead skirt.  I used Alexander Henry's fabric from his Folkloric collection. The moment I trimmed the final thread from my machine for her skirt I began to want one of my own.

Experiment:
Simplicity 2444
Size 8

Materials:
3 yards Day of Dead Skulls cotton
22 inch black invisible zipper
Homemade Black bias binding

Procedure:
I had scraps of the Alexander Henry fabric left but not enough to make a dress or even a skirt for myself.  A couple of weeks later during an impromptu trip to JoAnn's, I stumbled on this fabric -- not quite as stunning as AH's Folkloric fabric yet reasonably priced and colorful.   I wanted to make this for the movie release in October of 2014.  What happened!? -- Life.
Luckily for me, I saw when the DVD was being released (To know or be in the know about this kind of information is a rare thing for moi), I had my chance to sew.  I went to my TNT: Simplicity 2444.  I decided to make it sleeveless to make it a little more versatile.  That translates to wearing cardigans in the fall.  I find that when there are sleeves plus the cardigan there a a ton of bulk.  I opted to finish the sleeves with homemade black bias binding and instead of folding it under, I left the bias binding showing for contrast.
 I love the shape of this dress. The pleats on the bodice are forgiving and make for an easy sew.  Although it would be an easy sew when you sew it as much as I have!
Cardigans are one of my favorite accessories.  I really should invest in Muse Patterns' Jenna cardi.  Isn't this silly but I haven't purchased the pattern because I am nervous of a button placket on knits!?!
There is not much to say about the construction of this dress that I haven't written before.  The highlight here is the fabric! I am a sucker for animated movies -- The Book of Life received two thumbs up in my family.  Dress nerdy, pop some popcorn, watch a movie, and have fun!

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22 Comments »

22 Responses to “Geek Chic January: My Book of Life Dress”

  1. That fabric is gorgeous - I love the flowers for eyes in the skulls. This certainly is a fun dress. I hadn't realised until now about the shaping of the darts in this dress - they are really flattering. Happy nerd sewing :)

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    1. The darts are what make this dress. I would recommend this dress to those who have just started to sew since it is a straightforward make and you don't have to mess with making sure darts are in the correct place.

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  2. I love the theme geek chic, perfectly sums up your style. I'm looking forward to seeing more.

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  3. Amazing fabric! The dress is very geekish and cute, congrats :)

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  4. Oh my gosh this is beautiful! I love the fabric and back story, makes me want to see the film now! You look lovely, the binding really stands out too what a great detail.

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  5. Sugar skulls are awesome! I really like the fabric. 2444 really works for you too - looks great!

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  6. I love the fabric! And the dress is perfect! I love the style.

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  7. I love the fabric you've used, although I'd find it too distracting to wear because I'd be too busy deciding on my favourite sugar skull! Thanks for pointing out the cardigan pattern too - it looks fab!

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  8. What fun! I look forward to seeing your monthly creations.
    Wish I knew how to sew, so that I could do fun projects like this without spending weeks trying to figure out how to do it. Haha

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  9. So cute! I especially like the black bias binding around the armholes. It is just an extra little detail that makes the already awesome and unique dress yours. And hey - I know why you didn't get the dress done in time for the October release - you were busy testing my pattern like an angel! :-)

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  10. ADORABLE! Not only have you used my favourite TNT pattern, but the fabric is freakin' adorable! I think anything Alexander Henry is a winner! So, if I look through your blog, I'll find more fun 2444 makes? I'm a new visitor via Gray All Day!
    A Colourful Canvas

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  11. I love the dress shape and fabric and will think about making this. I do like the darts.

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  12. That is such a cool fabric, and a great shape of dress for it! I think I need to dig out my copy of this pattern :)

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  13. What a cool fabric; S2444 is a great dress shape to showcase the print - I really need to dig out my copy of this pattern!

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  14. BEAUTIFUL!!! I love the colors! THOSE boots tho!! PERF!! xx

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  15. Great dress and a lovely fabric, I love it!
    And a wonderful idea, your geek chic series, I am curious with what geek project you will come up next.
    ~ette

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  16. Cool dress and fabric! You nailed it, Annie. Can not wait for the next series :)

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  17. what a fun fabric, it's colourful and quirky, I love it!

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I love to hear what you think -- it makes my day! I will try to respond to each of them.

Annie