A recent contest on Pattern Review is the Bargainista Fashionista contest, where you find a designer (or not) look you like and make your own inspired-by look.
I'm not a huge follower of fashion, but thought the concept sounded fun, so went for a bit of a Google image surf to find something that took my fancy.
The criteria for my search was it had to be an item I would not generally be able to purchase at designer prices, and just for fun I decided it should be a New Zealand designer.
I eventually settled on a Trelise Cooper design - the Madcat Charm dress - regular retail $659.
My first challenge was to find fabric. You would think a simple monochrome fabric, preferably floral, wouldn't be too difficult to find. After a bit of a search, and even a desparate look at online fabric sources, I changed tack and settled on a white and wine floral cotton twill I found on the Spotlight clearance table!
For the dress, I used the dress from Simplicity 2372. It had the loose silhouette of the original, with a little bit of waist shaping. I added a full bust and full butt adjustment, and then sewed it together in no time flat. This is a lovely pattern, and I believe I will be making it again in the future.
Next challenge was colouring the flowers - I had been given some fabric paints which worked well, but were slow going. I didn't have quite enough co-ordinating colours though, and I wasn't sure what I was going to do about the glitter flowers.
A trip to Made on Marion, and the lovely ladies had me all sorted out - Martha Stewart does a craft paint range that includes glitter paint and can be used on fabric. I was away!!
The painting took two weeks of evenings and weekends to do, but I'm really pleased with how it has come out.
If you would like to read my review and contest entry, you can find it here.