So I saw this dress on a blog a while back. It is the SUPER cute Mclain Tunic Dress from Devon Baer. She has her own website and is on Etsy with gorgeous dresses, tops, accessories, etc.
If I could afford it I’d be ALL OVER her stuff, but unfortunately $250 for this dress was just a little (ha) outside my price range. But I had recently made a dress with a similar cut and knew JoAnn’s had a Lisette fabric that looked a lot like it. Thus, my first attempt at a
knockoff professionally inspired recreation was born.
I wore the dress Saturday to the “Taste of the Garden” event at Elkhart’s Wellfield Botanical Garden. The gardens are just spectacular and one of our family’s favorite places to take a walk. It’s become a tradition now for my mom, grandma (right) and younger cousin (right) to go to this event together each year.
Sidenote: I LOOK SO TALL IN THIS PICTURE! Fact: I’m 5’2″. My cousin just happens to be TINY (she’s almost 16!) and Nana shrunk down below 5′ years ago so they are two of my favorite people to photographed with. Seriously, this NEVER happens.
Back to the dress: I stayed up all night Friday finishing this dress so I could wear it to the garden Saturday. So do you think there was anyway I’d change into something else when I realized temperatures were going to top 90 that afternoon? Of course not. It was definitely too hot for a longish sleeve twill dress, but I’m so thrilled with how it turned out. It got a ton of compliments and I even heard a few people saying things about it as we walked around – kind of a statement piece I suppose but I think I can still throw a jacket over it and get away with it at work.
I honestly love this dress and love the Lisette pattern (the Diplomat dress). I’ve made it twice now, the first time from this great nautical quilting cotton on sale at Crimson Tate (the BEST fabric shop I’ve been to, though they only carry cottons). This time I tapered in the skirt some, so instead of continuing out from the hip its more straight. I like the shape better on me and its more true to the McLain tunic dress I was
copying inspired by.
Here are closer front and back views, though you’ll have to forgive the heinous wrinkling. This is post-90 degree three-hour jaunt through the park and pre-wash and iron.
The front is two pieces instead of one like the Devon Baer dress, but that doesn’t bother me at all. I also went without the collar, but I didn’t want to mess up what was shaping up to be a great dress by trying to draft my own collar. Maybe I’ll give that a go next time, as I’ll definitely be making this again. I actually bought the same fabric in yellow, though it might be a bit extreme to have two of the same dress in the same fabric… We’ll see!
Have you ever tried to recreate an item you’ve seen before? How did it work out?