Saturday, December 15, 2012

Channeling Dorothy Dandridge... or Vogue 8711

So Dorothy Dandridge... fabulous or super fabulous?  Before you answer please read this post about her life from The Hairpin and watch this glorious clip from Carmen Jones.  And now having watched said clip, can you continue on in life without that outfit? That gorgeous red skirt? 
I used a tomato red ponte knit purchased a JoAnns.  The fabric was a good weight and had the perfect stretch although it didn't press particularly well. 
The drape across the front is created by through both pleats and gathers.  Step one involved creating the pleating and gathering on each portion of the front faux-wrap.

I then basted the front sections together...

Before attaching the front yoke panels.


 The back of the skirt boasts both princess seams and a curved yoke which I have to say is quite flattering to those of us with a curvier backside.  

I attached the front and back panels, matching the yoke along the side seam.

Finally I attached the waistband.  The waistband on this skirt is about an inch thick to accomodate elastic.  This sadly leads to some bunchiness and I think that if you used a sufficiently firm knit, the elastic could be eliminated.  I tried on the skirt for final fittings without the elastic and it fit smoothly but I added the elastic as directed out of fear that the fabric would stretch with wear.  

See what I mean about both the bunching waistband?  But also see what I mean about looking nice on one's caboose?


 I paired the skirt with a draped black top for the sultry Carmen Jones feel.  This is an outfit in which you can look at someone disdainfully and say, "You make sounds I don't like." 

I also paired this skirt with a white cami and black cardigan for work which toned down the sexiness factor to more appropriate levels.  Although if you don't want to tone down the sexiness just yet, I'll leave you with this picture of Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte.  Because seriously, did you know that in olden days Harry Belafonte was also super beautiful?  He was much prettier than any garment I could possibly make.  Enjoy!


  1. Love the sexiness of this skirt. Nice job.

  2. VERY, VERY nice! I've had this pattern in my stock for some time now and don't know why I have not made it yet. That will change now!

  3. Wow great job..Love the color

  4. I absolutely love Dorothy Dandridge.