Outfit: The perfect smock and how to design it

This must have been one of the hottest days of the year. We set out to visit my Gran who is currently in the hospital, recovering after having undergone a series of surgeries (that's about as much as I wanna talk about it on the blog, so). The hospital grounds are quite out of this world and I fell in love with this nook we found and decided to take photos in. If I look flushed or if my face is similar in color to my hair, here's your explanation: the heat and the stress. I am glad I chose to wear this smock dress that day. Nothing beats a smock on a hot day, if you ask me. Well, that's if you really need to wear clothes at all. I've been wanting to construct a pattern for a dress such as this one for the longest time. In retrospect, I can say I worked on this design for a year.

In fact, it all began with this dress. I was looking at a lot of Korean clothing back then and my gut was telling me that a smock dress just had to happen. So I did this simple sack dress and I liked it for the most part. After some tinkering with that original draft, I created the Late For Tea dress that you guys helped me name! That one is a great piece for colder months. After I finished that one, the idea lay idle in my head until it resurfaced in the summer. Then, I decided I wanted something else. Some more drafts followed, out of which I decided to show you just one --and that one I'm not too fond of!

See, this design process is a mix of many things for me: the basic idea combined with looking for inspirations to make it stand out, then a lot of drawing and redrawing and taking measurements and then drafting the pattern, fitting, redrafting, fitting... adding details, changing my mind, adding different details, changing my mind again... rinse and repeat. For me, it's greatly hit or miss. Whatever I draw on paper does not translate to fabric as easily as one might think. The type of fabric plays a huge part here: finding the right weave, pattern, hand and weight are crucial. Some fabrics just don't work will every design. And while my latest rendition of the perfect smock dress, seen in this post, is far from perfect, I think I'm right on track to finding the correct solution.

I made two more dresses after finishing this one and both look much neater (this one is just a rough sketch, really) --but there are some minute details that need to be corrected. Things that are both vital and completely non-visible, like for example the armscye depth in the front which allows for a comfortable arm movement. You couldn't tell if it was on a hanger but if you tried it on, you definitely would feel that something's off. See, clothing is not just about the visual side of things. It's not just about feeling good in a dress in an emotional way: there's so much more to it that doesn't meet the eye. I've found out it's actually required to think about the practical side of things before I think about the visual --at least when it comes to designing. I am learning about all these hugely important things like the fit and the comfort of wearing as I go. It's a pleasant, though very slow journey.

I'm wearing a smock dress that I designed and made, no name sneakers, Wanderlust pin (sold out, other from KWT designs), thrifted vintage backpack.

Photos by my boyfriend.


1 comment

  1. That dress is lovely! ^^. I love the shape and I think it's perfect for hot days :D

    I'm sorry about your grandma *hugs*. I hope she gets better soon!