Recreating Talbots’ Bardot Dress

Can you believe I have another finished item already?!  Truthfully, I’m actually quite astounded at myself that I’ve been able to finish up so many projects so quickly since the beginning of the year.  I usually leave stuff sitting around, patiently waiting for their hems, while I’m off starting another project.  So far, I haven’t even been stressed out about finishing anything either.  Perhaps it’s just the idea of Sewing Weekly that has motivated me to work on projects from beginning to end before starting the next one, which means I’m able to get more done in the same time frame.

Last week’s theme at Sew Weekly was ‘Made This Look‘.  Basically we were to recreate a garment either based on one of Mena’s Features from Make This Look or we were to pick one of our own.  As some of you may know, I have loads of inspiration images on my Pinterest account, so I was not short ideas for potential outfits to recreate.  The one I ultimately decided on was the Bardot Dress from Talbots.

I saw this dress last Spring and didn’t purchase it since I had a hunch I could make it instead.  Granted, I feel that way about almost all dresses now unless I’m buying it for the fabric (along with the design).  Anyhoo…  I had the notion of buying a light weight denim fabric when I was at the fabric store forever ago, and it’s been languishing in my closet ever since.

Being doubly motivated to use up fabrics from my own stash along with the current week’s theme on Sew Weekly, it was the perfect pairing and I got happily to work on recreating this dress.

For the bodice I used BurdaStyle’s Pattern 02/2011 Dress with Gathered Rectangle Skirt and Cap Sleeves:

I altered the bodice slightly by raising the neckline (a fat 2 inches) and I extended the cap sleeves further down for a bit more sleeve length (around 1″ to 1.5″).

But for the skirt part, I used a pattern from my stash Vogue 7345:

I choose this skirt due to the fact that the style lines are closer to the original Bardot dress than the basic rectangle skirt was from BurdaStyle.  But in looking at my images vs. the original Bardot, I think I should have used a circle skirt pattern instead.  Woe to me…. I guess I’ll just have to make another dress.  heh

I paired my dress with leopard accessories both of which are having their first outing.  The belt I picked up at Target for a steal and the shoes came from Naturalizer.  I’ve been longing for a pair of leopard shoes and after at least 3 months of (buying and returning shoes online) this was the only pair that kinda-fit.  They’re a bit tight in the toe-box but I’m hoping in time they loosen up.

I tried a few new techniques on this dress with pretty good success.  First thing was that I lined the bodice (only) with a black cotton batiste, but I lined it to the edges.  So no facings, seam binding, or bias tape were used in the making of this dress.  As a result it has a super clean finish on the inside without sacrificing ‘structure’.  I got the directions out of one of my handy sewing books: The Spadea Sewing Book, A Collection of Sewing Tips by World-Class Designers.  The one caveat is that you can only employ the finish if you have no sleeves or collars to attach.

In order to prevent a gaping neckline, I inserted bits of silk organza on the front of the bodice neckline only using Kenneth King’s method, which I learned through the Crepe Sew Along with Gertie.  Unfortunately, I still had a bit of neckline gaping even after sewing the organza, which I’ll have to remedy the next time I use this bodice pattern.

And lastly, I did a slot-seam zipper insertion on the center back of the bodice:

The slot-seam zipper looks great, but it sucks since it means I had to sew the zipper in, not once but twice (not counting my hand-basting stitches).  You sew the zipper tape to the seam allowance 1/8 inch outside of the teeth on either size.  And after that you do the regular pick stitches 1/4 inch from the opening.

Here’s a detail shot:


Pick-stitches…where are you???  I officially love denim fabric now, since you totally can’t see the pick-stitches I made.  Wooohooo!  They’re there though, trust me.

And here’s an image of the bodice insides:

I love lining to the edge!  There’s so much less bulk and seam finishing to worry about with this method.  I’m using it on my upcoming valentine’s day dress, too.  And perhaps every opportunity I can from now on.

FYI: I’d be willing to do a tutorial on this if I have enough people wanting to see one.

Addendum:  Nearly everyone who’s commented so far has let me know they’d be interested to see a tutorial with this lining method.  I had no idea it would be so popular!  I’ll work on making up a tutorial for you the next time I use it myself (next 2-3 weeks).  Sound like a plan? 

If you’re interested to read more about this dress, I have a whole different write-up (and images) over on Sew Weekly here.

Happy Monday!  And if you haven’t voted for your favorite color combination on my next dress, be sure to vote by 5pm to have your say.  I’ll be making the winning combination and I’d like to get started in the evening after work.  :)

In: Sewing

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (43)

  1. Litchi January 30, 2012 — 8:04 AM

    I am very interested in this “slot-seam zipper insertion” and the lining to the edge. If you don’t want to (or don’t have time to) write a tutorial, maybe you could share some links so I (and others) could learn more about them :)

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:10 PM

      I actually have’t seen a tutorial for the way I did my lining, but I’m sure there is one out there. Honestly I don’t even know what technique it’s technically called besides lining to the edge. But I’ll be making up a tutorial for you in the next few weeks.

  2. gail January 30, 2012 — 8:10 AM

    Adorable! This is a great style on you! Well done!

  3. Sue C January 30, 2012 — 8:28 AM

    I agree – denim rocks! I think that will be my next SWAP theme. I’m definitely interested in learning more about linings and I’ve never heard of the slot-seam zipper. Any pointers would certainly be appreciated by me and I’m sure by many others. Thanks!

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:11 PM

      Sue C., A tutorial will be posted as soon as I make a garment that requires it… I’m expecting somewhere at the end of feb/beg. of march.

  4. The dress is very cute! Maybe a circle skirt would look mote like the original, plus I think the Talbots one has a dropped waist to about the hip line? Not something I’d go for, your version is a definite improvement in that regard!

    I’d love a tutorial on edge to edge lining, it looks beautiful and comfortable! I’ll have to add that Burda pattern to my list now too, as the bodice is beautiful!

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:13 PM

      The model is so darn skinny it’s hard to tell if it has a dropped waist or what… I think perhaps there isn’t even a waistline seam since it’s more of a princess style.

      Thanks so much for your sweet comment. Lining to the edge is quite comfortable, but the only downside to doing a dress like this is that gets a bit difficult to make alterations (besides the side seams). I highly recomment anyone doing this lining technique will need a perfected muslin.

  5. Ginger January 30, 2012 — 8:41 AM

    I love this dress– it’s so cute on you! I’d be really interested to see how you did the lining if you have the time to write it up. :)

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:14 PM

      Thanks Ginger, will do!

  6. Marie January 30, 2012 — 8:50 AM

    This is a really beautiful dress on you and very neatly executed too!

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:30 PM

      Thanks Marie. :)

  7. Rachel January 30, 2012 — 9:03 AM

    That dress is very pretty. I love to see and to create replicas of dresses. You did a fabulous job and I love the leopard belt.

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:15 PM

      Thanks so much Rachel. If you like seeing replica’s Sew Weekly has a ton of cute dresses and separates from last week’s challenge.

  8. Jill January 30, 2012 — 9:14 AM

    Cute as a button! Love the pairing of the leopard accessories. Um, and yes, if you want to throw out a tutorial on the lining, please do!

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:16 PM

      Thanks Ms. Jill. :) I’m planning on doing a lining tutorial late feb/early march when my next dress calls for one.

  9. Suzie January 30, 2012 — 9:58 AM

    Oh my god you are on FIRE this year sewing-wise! Can’t believe how many things you have churned out already…and I have been loving them all!
    LOVE the lining method you used on this dress.

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:17 PM

      Heh! I know… I’m 100% honestly don’t know how I’m sewing so many completed items. Pure craziness! I just hope I’m able to continue on this way, happily.

  10. Sarah January 30, 2012 — 10:14 AM

    Great dress! And, I love the leopard shoes and belt. I bet you get a lot of wear out of the dress – I have a lightweight denim dress that I wear all the time. I would really like a tutorial on the lining method, if you have time!

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:19 PM

      Thanks Sarah. I’m actually wearing this dress today to work, which I have covered with a leopard cardigan and black belt.

      I love that denim is a staple in many people’s wardrobes, so that I can pair it with any number of colors.

  11. meredith January 30, 2012 — 10:15 AM

    Your dress is fantastic! I love “fancy denim” and it looks fabulous with leopard accessories! Congrats on a wonderful creation!

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:20 PM

      Thanks so much Meredith! :) I didn’t really care for leopard-printed stuff until very recently. But now I love it!

  12. Leah January 30, 2012 — 10:55 AM

    I love this dress, so classic! I feel like you will get a lot of wear of out this creation. And I would adore a tutorial on anything you would like to teach to the world!

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:20 PM

      Thanks Leah! I’ll be putting up a tutorial next time I go to use the method again.

  13. Kat January 30, 2012 — 1:47 PM

    I love that dress pattern! I made the bodice with a modified skirt last year and it fit me so well. I think it is going to become my go to bodice pattern.

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:21 PM

      It is a great bodice pattern, isn’t it?! I think it will be one of my go-to patterns for spring and summer dresses since I can’t wear sleeveless-anything at work. The cap sleeves is the perfect solution.

  14. Qui January 30, 2012 — 5:39 PM

    great dress Liz! I used that Burda pattern and had a little gaping at the neckline too… I don’t know how you fix that… I saw a tutorial that showed how to pinch out the extra fabric and the adjustment ended up being pulled out at the bust dart… I think. I haven’t tried that type of adjustment before. Probably cause it requires a muslin ;) but I love my dress anyway :) Your denim and leopard are so cute together!!

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:23 PM

      I’m wearing it right now and my neckline is gaping worse than ever. I almost feel like my silk organza stabilization is backfiring on me. :(

      Mine isn’t gaping so much as curling outwards… I may end up sewing some decorative ribbon on the neckline to help stabilize it some more from the outside.

  15. Stacie January 30, 2012 — 7:01 PM

    What a great dress. Nice work!

  16. Awe, don’t you look like a doll! I am really loving the way your hair looks curled – so lovely. Big wow for the dress, it looks fantastic – I love how simple and casual it looks. Yet, because it is a dress, it automatically means you can dress it up as well.

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:24 PM

      Thanks so much. My hair looked completly different when I left the house vs. these pictures. The humidity from the conservatory (where I took these pictures) did a number on my hair. But I just found a new, and easy way to curl hair that I’m hoping to post up soon(ish).

  17. karen January 30, 2012 — 8:55 PM

    It is beautiful, especially with the leopard accesories!

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:25 PM

      Thanks Karen!

  18. melanie January 31, 2012 — 12:19 AM

    Such a pretty dress! the Talbot one is in my Pinterest inspiration board as well! I tried making this burda dress last summer (the sleeveless one actually), and had so much trouble fitting the bodice properly! I actually gave up.
    but yours looks great! It,m making want to try and pick-up that failed muslin one more time…

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:28 PM

      I didn’t actually have too much trouble with the pattern myself. But the next time around I think I’m going to decrease the waist darts and add in side seam darts to distribute the fabric more evenly.

      Good luck on yours though! I find that I’m able find fitting solutions when I’m not emotionally involved in the project and can look at it objectionally. (IE After letting it sit for a while when I get frustrated.) :)

  19. Meg January 31, 2012 — 1:58 PM

    yay tutorial! It will be most brilliant, I am sure. I adore this dress on you – it’s a fabulous cut, and I love the color. Your techniques are perfect, and your bodice lining is immaculate – I absolutely love seeing your creations each week!

    1. Liz January 31, 2012 — 3:29 PM

      Thanks so much Meg! I too, love seeing your creations on sew weekly. :)

      I’m getting pretty excited for the valentine’s day and oscar’s themes coming up this month.

  20. Elle February 8, 2012 — 1:35 PM

    Where did you do the photo shoot? It looks a lot like Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA!

  21. Aidel K February 8, 2012 — 2:32 PM

    Clicked through from the Talbot’s facebook entry. You did a beautiful job and look great in that dress!

  22. Naomi February 8, 2012 — 4:30 PM

    Hi Liz – what a fun blog! How do I manage to follow you closer? I found you through a link put out by talbots.(LOVE the dress – tried it on but the fit wasn’t right, maybe I can recreate it too!

    1. Donna February 9, 2012 — 11:40 AM

      It turned out so cute. I love Talbots clothes but, sometimes the styles are for very thin people. It does look like Longwood Gardens.

  23. Louise February 8, 2012 — 6:08 PM

    Adorable! You are talented!

  24. Deana February 8, 2012 — 8:13 PM

    Love the old Vogue pattern, and the dress! I’ve lined a top like this and love the effect. I’ve avoided the zipper approach as it seemed like such a pain, but does look lovely!

  25. Naomi February 12, 2012 — 3:05 PM

    I’m interested to hear more about the Spadea Sewing Book you mention in your post. Could you elaborate on content. Do you refer to it often in your sewing adventures? It appears to no longer be in print and the current used price is running around $35

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