Out on a Lim

Crepe dress by Phillip Lim

Crepe dress by Phillip Lim

PR has again its Bargainista Fashionista contest in progress and I’ve run up a Phillip Lim inspired dress for dd.  Its not an exact copy – the original is more resort wear and this one is another in a long line of office dresses. I lifted the idea of wavy bands forming the armhole and shoulder piece, but constructed them differently, and of course used a different fabric.

I drafted this pattern on Monday, using a basic dress block in dd’s size, giving it a slight A-line at the hem, and placing the shoulders together to draw in the wavy bands. I rarely do a rip off, its usually easier to work up an idea a with the person and purpose in mind. The main challenges for this version were getting a reasonable smooth wave around the J shape front armhole curve you get on a pattern with a bigger cup size, and avoiding cutting too low underarm or too high on the shoulder for ‘normal’ foundation wear. (Its photographed on a different size dress form btw.)  Getting the waves to sit well on the larger cup size and not hit a difficult place came into play too. The result is inevitably a bit of a compromise.

The original looks as though it has the band cut in a single layer, presumably facing back the armhole edge, finished with what the Nieman Marcus site describes as embroidery. Its made in  crepe. Mine is in a firmer twill weave poly, which didn’t lend itself to the same kind of finish. PL’s is pretty mini on the model, mine’s longer.

A line dress with wavy bands

A line dress with wavy bands

I constructed the bands as a double piece, stitching them in a tube, then stitching the ends together at the underarm. Then I set them onto the dress and top stitched. This top stitching is a WIP – I’m considering adding another row or two.

Wavy bands forming armhole

Wavy bands forming armhole


The idea of the comp. is to compare the original price with what you have made your version for. The price for the Philip Lim dress was around the $770 area. You will have guessed I used about one and a half yards of a fabric which looks a bit like wool but is pretty certainly a poly. It had been lurking in stash since I bought a few yards at £1 a yard from the East London market stall where I get most of my experiment fabrics, and those destined to provide grist for the mill workwear. I’m almost embarassed to list this in my competition entry details. Should I pretend its made from something a little classier do you think?

For fellow pattern nuts, this was what my working pattern for the waves looked like.






About jay

I design and draft patterns
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4 Responses to Out on a Lim

  1. sew2pro says:

    I like it, it’s subtle and an LBD unlike any other I’ve seen. Nice job on the wavy armholes/straps. Your daughter will look great.

    Good luck with the contest.


  2. fabrickated says:

    This is an interesting armhole/strap arrangement and I think your interpretation is spot on. Nice work Jay!


  3. Amanda says:

    Oh this is great! I love the wavy arms and am intrigued to see how you sewed them on. Did you bias the armholes first?


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