Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

A Simone Rocha X H&M Park Lane Hack! // Nina Lee

In case you missed it, there was a recent collaboration between designer Simone Rocha and H&M a couple of months ago. It was a collection full of ruffled, sheer and bejewelled pieces and I loved it all! Ok, I loved just a few pieces – some were just a bit too weird even for me!

Much like all their design collabs it sold out super fast! Even though I was prepared to break my clothes shopping ban to get my hands on it, I missed out on my favourite bits! It was probably for the best though as I think I would’ve felt really bad about it afterwards! (Not to criticise anyone, I just buy too much fabric to justify buying clothes too!).

I was still kinda sad I missed out. There were lots of style elements I really liked the look of! So after much deliberation, I decided to make my own version of one of my favourites!

My inspiration photo is this beauty…

From looking at photos of this white broderie anglaise dress, I could see puffed sleeves with a petal overlay and a gathered skirt which had an asymmetric frill inserted along the side seams. For me, that extra frill creates an apron style feel to the dress that I loved in a weird way!

I also chose this dress because I have a huge bolt of broderie anglaise that I got from my mum’s fabric stash a few years back that I keep forgetting I have! I’m not sure where she got it from but I imagine it was cheap as there were some subtle faults running through the embroidery in certain areas. There was 8 metres of the stuff though so I had plenty to work with!

For the base of the dress, I used the Nina Lee Park Lane dress. (Mostly because I already had it out as I made it just a couple of weeks ago…😂). The pattern had a few elements that I knew could work in my favour – the semi fitted bodice, short sleeve and extra frill in the shoulder which could be a nice substitute for the overlay in the original. All I would need to do would be to add a gathered skirt in place of the pattern’s A-line skirt and to add a long frill to the skirt. Simple!

For the skirt I cut 2 large rectangles that was 1.5 times the width of the bodice and the required length to make it midi length. I curved the lower edge towards the side seams. To make the frill, I measured the edge of the front skirt panel and multiplied this by 1.5 again and used this length to cut a wide frill (I had to use two piece stitched together to get the right length) and repeated this for the shorter stretch at the back.

I also added waist ties and pockets!

The tricky thing with this particular make was joint the bodice and skirt together at the front. I had the gathers from the bodice shaping attaching to the new gathered skirt piece which I forgot relied on the width of the original skirt piece to determine how much to get her it by. There was a lot of wiggling around and guesswork here!

Somehow it allowed me to get away without added a zip to this dress – it’s just got enough ease to it!

Does it look like the original? It certainly ticks enough boxes in my book to qualify! It’s a really really fun look but I’m super glad I didn’t spend a huge amount of money on it as I’m not sure how much wear it’ll get!

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