This past May I had the privilege of designing a show piece for the TNNA fashion show using Anzula Luxury Fibers! When we were discussing what sort of garment they would like the only guidance I received was a dress, more specifically a showstopper.
As I started designing the dress I was taken with the idea of a simple shape with a lot of smaller details. More and more I was becoming inspired by the over the top dresses of the 1940’s. While I collected my inspiration for a mood board I began to notice all of the incredible art deco style buildings in my neighborhood. The straight lines and little details of those buildings only helped to solidify the final design in my mind.[title text=”Yarn Choice” style=”bold_center”]
After I figured out what sort of look I was hoping to achieve I chose which yarns I would use to make this dress come alive. I opted for a bodice in Anzula Cloud which would fade down to a skirt in Anzula Milky Way with details and turban in Anzula Nebula.
I chose Cloud for the incredible hand feel and light weight and the Milky Way for its shimmering quality luckily both also feel incredible on the skin. Nebula I chose because it’s my favorite yarn ever and I want to use it for everything! Also it worked nicely into the 1940’s style which generally has a lot of beading and sparkling elements involved.[title text=”Design Details” style=”bold_center”]
Using the 30 Day Sweater Framework this dress was knit from the top down in one piece. Because I wanted a back opening and didn’t want a dropped neckline I had to change up the cast on a little bit.
Instead of casting on a small number of stitches and increasing the neckline gradually I cast on all of the neckline stitches leaving an opening in the back instead of the front. Essentially it was constructed like a reverse cardigan. I then increased the body and sleeves at the raglan continuing to work flat until I achieved the desired depth of the back slit.
After reaching my desired body length I added a piece of the second yarn (Milky Way). The top of the dress is knit at a fairly loose gauge which makes it almost transparent. When the second strand is added it makes for a tighter gauge and a more solid fabric around the lower waist and hips. This change of gauge actually helps to support the weight of the dress taking the pressure off the shoulders.
After the hip section the color transitions once more, this time into two strands of the Milky Way held together. This section is the longest section but is broken up by duplicate stitch lines dropping down from the hip section and four sections of drop stitches.[title text=”Finishing Touches” style=”bold_center”]
As mentioned before the finishing details on this dress are what really make it special. At the we top we have a simple beaded neckline and two small back closure buttons. The buttons cleverly conceal a hook and eye set which does all the hard work.
The real focal point of this dress is the belt. This belt is sewn separately and adorned with strings of beads that match the beading on the neckline. I specifically wanted to make this belt removable just in case vintage showstopper wasn’t within your style goals for the day. It could easily be traded out for a much simpler belt to dress down the whole look.
To top off the whole look is a sparkling turban style headband knit in Nebula. This little number is fantastic! It can be worn with the whole ensemble or anytime with a pair of jeans!
You can get the pattern to knit your very own Marcella Dress HERE
Find out more about Anzula Luxury Fibers HERE