I am not a number

29Feb12



My husband’s first comment on this dress was “It reminds me of something.” He can’t remember what, but I have a feeling that it’s the costume Patrick McGoohan wore in The Prisoner – a dark blazer with distinctive cream trim around the edges. If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, there’s a page of pictures at this site http://homepage.ntlworld.com/sixofone.society/prisoner-costume.htm. And while The Prisoner is an iconic piece of TV, Patrick McGoohan’s very prim and proper 60s secret agent is not quite the look I was going for.

The construction of this dress is pretty neat. I guess it’s probably standard for a cheongsam style, but I’ve never even worn one before, much less made one. The long white stripe on the side is mostly sewn into the side seam. Where it curves off onto the bodice it’s sewn down to the front in the ditch for a few inches, and the free end is held in place with snaps so you can open it to get your head through. There’s an invisible zip in the other side seam to give enough space for getting in and out. I’m amazed how unobtrusive the snaps have turned out to be. I’ll post more details about the construction next time as I haven’t taken any pictures of the inside yet.

The pattern is model 111 from the February 2012 issue of Burda. The long and wriggly pattern pieces for the white bands were a real pain in the neck to trace and cut out. Burda recommends block fusing interfacing to the fabric before cutting, and that turned out to be a big help.

Here’s a back view. Not much to see. The contrast collar and sleeve bands save it from the coffin back effect though.



I’m actually very pleased with this dress, despite the accidental Number Six effect. It’s smart but unexpectedly comfortable!

Be seeing you.





35 Responses to “I am not a number”

  1. Wow! This dress is a complete knock out. I love it!!! It looks fantastic on you as well!

  2. Like it – that style would look cute shorted to a top (perhaps with a peplum to?) over trousers or a pencil skirt :)

  3. It is perfect. as usual you know what suits you. it looks so well made.

  4. lovely dress! Your shoes are fabulous too :)

  5. What a great dress. You look terrific in this. What fabric did you use?

    • Thanks! The fabric’s a stretch cotton drill, probably a bit heavier than Burda intended. Might as well not have used stretch fabric for the bands as they’re interfaced.

  6. What a fantastic dress!

  7. That is absolutely STUNNING!!! I love it. I bought that issue of Burda and am planning to make that dress. I look forward to the seeing the inside. You always do such fabulous work and those shoes are awesome.

  8. It’s beautiful! I really like the contrasting trim. How lovely to see this garment made up “in real life”. I love your shoes, too!

  9. 11 Jane's sew & tell

    Another beautiful dress. Love the shoes too – where did you get them?

  10. Even if it is slightly reminiscent of Number Six, you can’t say they weren’t stylish on that island! The black and white really looks great.

  11. Wow what a stunning dress and it looks so beautifully made. I think you look much better in it than Patrick McGoohan would have!

  12. 15 K Patrick

    I love this dress on you! It is very clean, smart… I am impressed (but not surprised) by how you were able to apply the white borders with such uniformity. With such contrast as white on black, even a little bit of wiggliness would be obvious at first glance. Brava!

  13. 16 Clio

    OH I just LOVE this dress on you! Fantastic! I can’t wait to see the construction deets!

  14. Outstanding! I love everything about this dress. Not the least the awesome precision of that white edging strip… very impressive indeed!

  15. The dress is striking and the fit is spot on. There is something a little reminiscent of the 60s about it (maybe the colours?) but I think it looks great in a “stylish without even trying” kind of way..

  16. That is an AMAZING dress. You are an AMAZING maker of dresses. You were born to wear this. I love the contrast band.

  17. As usual the dress is wonderful and you look great in it.

    For some reason it reminds me of a James Bond film but I can’t remember why. Very Evil Bond Girl, I think.

  18. Cool. Curved seams. Those shoes are awesome too. Haven’t seen the original of The Prisoner but I really liked the remake with Ian McKellen as Two (Ian McKellen=perfection + the costumes are really well done-guys in linen suits and panama hats and the ladies in-well, sort of retro lady-like attire. Also there’s a cute bicycle).

  19. 22 Kung

    This is a real winner and not at all No. 6. (I named a character in my Chinese prison play after No. 2, Lao Erh but nobody gets it) but it is really a dream dress. I must say, however, the photo setting is a little Prisoner, but I guess that’s an accident!
    You’ve made the most out of that Burda issue and I’m so envious. All the dresses I would if I had time…

  20. Beautiful dress, well done!

  21. I am speechless! Great dress!

  22. Oh gosh, it looks great. I really want to make this dress but I was really confused by the instructions so decided to bench it for now. I’ll be looking out for your construction details post!

  23. Oh wow, lovely just lovely!!! You look awesome great job!!!…I’m a beginner sewer, but I would love to make something like this!!!….

  24. 27 Gail

    I really really really really (well you get the idea) love this dress.

  25. This dress was so totally designed with you in mind. It looks amazing on you. I can quite believe how tricksy that edging was but you have made it look like a doddle!

  26. The dress looks wonderful on you. I studied the pattern when my magazine arrived and wondered if it would be a pain to cut and sew the contrast trim piece. It really makes the dress unique.

  27. Wow! And beautifully done, as always.

  28. This is stunning…bold and graphic but completely feminine. Nice work, Catherine Daze…in fact, uou look like a 10!

  29. Gosh! This is amazing! It is absolutely stunning

  30. 33 Missey

    Amazing! The tortuous details and precision work on that dress would kill me! NICE WORK!!


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