Knock it off - Belgian style

August 12, 2014


Last year when I was planning what to sew for my friend An from StraightGrain's series, Kids' Clothes Belgian Stylethis is the image I wanted to cre-create.  The Belgian designer's name is Dominique Ver Eecke and the dress is featured in this collection. I loved the romantic look of the girl (who reminded me a bit of Isabella), the cardigan paired with the beautiful bird printed dress, and I planned on taking Isabella to an art gallery for my photo shoot.  I searched for quite a few nights on the internet for a bird fabric that would be similar to this one.  I could not find one! So, then I decided to try to make my own bird fabric....


(Thanks Issie for giving me your best non-smile!)...So a year and a bit later, I am sharing my bird dress during Heidi from Elegance and Elephants "Knock it off" series.  Heidi has run this series for the last three years (as far as I know) and I love the idea of being inspired by a designer outfit and trying to recreate it in my own way.  I also love the idea of saving money by making the clothes for my children (not that I would ever pay designer prices anyway!).

So back in May last year, I purchased a blue sheet from the op shop that had a subtle floral pattern on it.  I then mixed up some fabric paints and set about painting my pattern pieces (the pattern is the sleeveless version of the Fairytale dress by Oliver & S - lovely fit with bodice darts).  I painted on the birds, leaves and flowers and sponged the bottom of the dress to get the blue effect in the inspiration image.  This cardigan I hacked up this afternoon when Issie got home from school - a knit top of mine (given to me by my sister), I cut it up the middle and took it in and shortened the hem. 



The dress fits perfectly and did so when I made it, but I wasn't entirely sure it was 'good enough' for An's series, so I ended up making two dresses for her series which you can see here!  I decided this bird dress was for the dress up pile.  Isabella has reached for it often and worn it in public and had many lovely comments on it, which made me think, maybe it wasn't as bad as I first thought! PS. this outfit cost me $1 for the sheet, $2 for the ribbon and about 50c worth of fabric paint!! Oh, and an invisible zip, they are not cheap...at $3.50.  So a total of $7... not too bad. I could not find out the cost of the original dress for comparison.  Sorry no pics without the cardi as it was too cold for miss Issie:)















Make sure to check out Knock it off at Elegance and Elephants for more lovely recreations!!

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30 comments

  1. i love this dress Suz. You have done a great job painting the birds! I think the fact Isabella reached for this dress again and again is the biggest compliment one could ever get ;)

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  2. your bird fabric is divine!! How fun that you made you own ;o) love the whole outfit...

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  3. Thank you... I think you are right Jenya!!

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  4. Wow! That is gorgeous! How on earth could you think that is not good enough? It's one of the nicest, most original things I have seen recently. Did you paint freehand? I wish I could do that! I want one for me!

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  5. Wow, those are some insane painting skills! It looks amazing.

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  6. Gosh, I think it's gorgeous. What an amazing dress, the fabric is lovely and the fact that you painted this yourself makes it even more spectacular. I wouldn't hide it, but flaunt it!

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  7. Wow... this is just gorgeous. I love your fabric and your painting is absolutely amazing... What a talented lady you are!

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  8. This is gorgeous, really. I love this unique fabric, fabulous!

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  9. wow, it's beautiful! I love your painted birds fabric!

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  10. Wow, I don't know what to say, the dress is gorgeous!

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  11. This is beautiful Suz! You are truly, truly talented.
    Love Clare x

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  12. Not good enough? Are you crazy? That dress is sooo amazing! Super beautiful! I love it!

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  13. Wow Suz! The dresses you ended up using for the series were amazing, but this one is equally spectacular! How could you think this wouldn't be 'good enough'?? It's totally awesome!!
    Oh, and a new Dominique Ver Eecke dress costs al least 170 aussie dollars ;-)

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  14. Thanks An! There you go! cicely - yes i free hand painted the fabric. I do dabble a bit in oil painting, pastels and illustration but have not done any for a long time. I love it though:)

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  15. Incredible!!! You've done an absolutely amazing job and as someone who can't draw or paint to save their life I am awe-struck by your talents! :)

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  16. Beautiful. Lovely job painting! At first I thought you bought the cool fabric, didnt' realize you actually made it! :)

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  17. Suz, this is gorgeous! And inspiring! I too spend hours on the internet searching for prints which exist only in my head...but now...perhaps I should get painting! It never crossed my mind before...(although I am trying to be more realistic about my time availablity).
    And for a dress which I'm guessing has been worn and washed a few times before this photoshoot it looks like the fabric paints hold up pretty well to washing?

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  18. oh it's lovely, suz! glad you ended up posting about it. that fabric you created is great.

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  19. I like Olga thought that you had bought the fabric that way, can't believe you painted it!!! You are a true artist!

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  20. Thank you so much! It is actually one of Isabella's most worn dresses!

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  21. Wow, Suz! Just wow. I missed this because you posted it the day after Hazel was born. I'm so glad it was featured on O+S. This is amazing! I can't believe you painted it! I really couldn't love this more! Isabella is gorgeous and so are your photos!

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  22. Like others, I'd assumed you had bought the perfect fabric. Clever you! It turned out perfect. Great job.

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  23. Awesome job with the fabric paint, Suz!!! You've created a beautiful dress that you should feel proud to show off in public.

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