If you are new to The Monthly Dress, make sure you check out my post on WHY I STARTED THE MONTHLY DRESS SERIES
THE SEPTEMBER DRESS
The September Dress is the final dress in my Monthly Dress Series. When I was sewing some of the last stitches of the dress, I had to stop because my hands were literally shaking from excitement. When I started this endeavor one year ago, I had a vision of what I wanted to do, but I could not have envisioned what would unfold over the next twelve months. So many of you have been with me through some or all of this process, and the posts are written in permanent Internet ink, but even so, it’s hard to even begin to put it all into words. I envisioned the September dress from the beginning, and finishing it and sharing it with you is nothing short of thrilling for me
THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE
September is fashion month. New York, London, Paris, and Milan host fashion week and Vogue publishes its biggest issue of the year. Vogue’s September issue is legendary–it sets the tone for the fashion world. It’s takes clothing and makeup and hair transforms them into art. Growing up, I always had an interest in fashion and beauty, but I didn’t have access to so much digital content or inspiration. Vogue’s September issue was an important part of my introduction to what would become an important part of my life, that is, the joy of anticipating new trends and reinventing my own look as I adjust the vogue to fit my personal style.
All of this is especially important for the September Dress. The September Dress is what I would submit for a Vogue editorial. Soft whites with gold embellishments are my vibe! If the Monthly Dress Series is my opus, the September Dress is the perfect finale.
The blazer I made for this outfit has been in my head from the beginning of the series. I didn’t have a clear picture of everything I wanted to create during the year, but when I sketched out my ideas for each month of the year, I had a clear picture of this blazer in my head. Years ago, I pinned an image (included on my inspiration board) that helped inspire me to make this blazer. Also, a blazer seems appropriate for back-to-school month. It’s an nod to the school uniform–both the mandatory and voluntary outfits that come to mind when you think of going back to school in the fall.
This blazer might be the coolest thing I’ve ever made. It was a bit of an undertaking, and it was definitely out of my comfort zone. Although I have made hundreds of cardigans (literally!), I had never made something as complicated as a blazer. It took a lot of cutting and pinning and measuring to get things right. All told, it took more than 28 hours from start to finish.
After a lot of searching, I found the most perfect Oscar de la Renta wool suiting material at Mood in LA. Unfortunately, they only had 1 yard left, so I didn’t have any room for error. I bought some backup wool fabric just in case. I perfected my pattern by cutting up an old blazer I had and making some design adjustments to get the asymmetrical hem and sleeve length right. In the end, I was able to make it work with the Oscar de la Renta fabric, which is absolutely gorgeous.
As an aside:
I have hinted before that Garrett has impressive knowledge of women’s fashion. One example is his love for Oscar de la Renta. When I was telling him about my trip to Mood, I didn’t realize I had completely lost his attention until I brought up the fabric and it woke him up. “Wait, Oscar de la Renta what? Your dress is like that, or just the fabric is made by them?” He’s got good taste!
One last note about the blazer: It might be subtle or it might scream at you, but this blazer is also a small tribute to my favorite musician/artist/performer/entertainer of all time: the one and only Michael Jackson. I am not sure people know this about me, but I absolutely love Michael and all of his gold-embellished blazers. I like to think he would appreciate this one.
From the beginning, I was dead set on shooting in a library, which led me on an fun journey to the best location imaginable.
I wanted to shoot at the Admont Abbey library in Austria. It is a gorgeous library of white with gold embellishments. It’s basically my dress in a library. After seriously thinking we should do it, I eventually came back to earth and started looking for beautiful libraries closer to home. After a frustrating search, I remembered the home where I shot The July Dress and wondered if it had a library (I mean..look at it! Don’t you want to know what it looks like inside??).
I’d never been inside, and I know the owner has done a lot of renovating and improving, so I wasn’t sure if it had something that would work. The owner–a kind and dear friend I am lucky to know–immediately sent pictures of her library and offered to let me shoot at her house for a second time. The library was perfect so we planned the shoot and showed up with all of our equipment.
But this is the best part: Right as we walked in the front door, we realized the house is basically decorated like Admont Abbey library in Austria. It’s white with gold embellishments from head to toe. Look at this giant mirror! Look at this living room! Soooo perfect for the dress. It felt serendipitous, but after having this happen so often during this series, it felt like more than a coincidence. It felt like the realization of a vision that started more than a year ago.
The dress itself took about 12 hours to complete, bringing the total project to around 40 hours of work–significantly more than any other dress in the Monthly Dress Series.
The dress is made of nine yards of a light-weight fabric with horsehair lining to give it the curved structure you see along the bottom layers. There are five layers of fabric, each with horsehair lining. Each layer is made of nine triangular panels cut from the whole and sewn together to create the layered shape.
A FULL YEAR OF DRESSES IS COMPLETE
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following along as I’ve made this dream a reality. Your excitement and comments have fueled me as I made these dresses. I feel like I’ve developed a unique bond with you as a reader, and I’m really grateful to have had this experience.
If you are new to this series, I announced a few months back that I will be taking all 12 of these dresses on a Monthly Dress Tour. I want everyone to have a chance to see these dresses in person, and I’ll be displaying my dresses in a Met Gala style exhibit in Pasadena in January and in Utah in February. I’ll be speaking at one of the nights of the tour and doing a meet and greet on the other night. I’d love to meet you and I hope you will come! More information on ticket sales to come in the next few weeks!
And now for the time lapse for The September Dress:
Worn during the pinning: RUFFLE SLEEVE GREEN TOP(wearing a small) || DISTRESSED DENIM JEANS (on sale for 40% off! One of the most flattering pairs of jeans I own, I want to grab a second pair!) || OPEN TOE BOOTIES (on sale! runs tts)
THE INSPIRATION BOARD FOR THE SEPTEMBER DRESS
The September Dress sketch done by Jill Paz Illustration
If you are new to this series, I have all of the previous links to the monthly dresses below, or you can view them all easily RIGHT HERE. Also, my PINTEREST MONTHLY DRESS BOARD is a great place for more images (follow along there if you aren’t already!) and make sure you follow along with my on INSTAGRAM for more details on The Monthly Dress Tour.
DON’T MISS ANY OF MY PREVIOUS DRESSES FROM THE MONTHLY DRESS SERIES. YOU CAN FOLLOW ALONG ON INSTAGRAM AT #THEMONTHLYDRESSSERIES. OR CLICK ON ANY OF THE DRESSES BELOW TO VIEW THE FULL POST AND TIME-LAPSE VIDEOS FOR THAT MONTH.
VIEW MY OTHER BEHIND THE DRESS EPISODES BELOW:
- January Behind The Dress
- February Behind The Dress
- March Behind The Dress
- April Behind The Dress
- May Behind The Dress
- June Behind The Dress
- July Behind The Dress
- August Behind The Dress
THE MONTHLY DRESS TOUR
If you haven’t heard, at the completion of The Monthly Dress Series I will be taking all of my dresses on The Monthly Dress TOUR to Pasadena and Utah County! We are still finalizing dates and will let you know all of the dates and ticket sale information shortly! I can’t wait to meet you and I can’t wait for you to see all these dresses live in person!
Want to learn how to sew? Let me teach you with my online video sewing courses! I offer a beginner course and an intermediate course. I walk you through every step of how to create and sew your own clothing. In addition, the videos never expire, so you can watch and re-watch them at your own pace. Also, they make for a great gift!