Thursday, March 21, 2013

There's nothing quite as thrilling as a new frock

If you follow me along on facebook, you'll already know that I wore out a new dress on Saturday!

Tada! Rebecca correctly identified it as a Bernie Dexter dress.

As a seamstress, I don't usually buy dresses so this was quite an indulgence for me!

I wore it out to a bar to hear a great band play. It's called Sibling Rivalry and the girls asked for a shot with me!

It was a great night out! It was a bit chilly so I wore the dress with a newly shortened cardigan. Once the band got rocking, the bar warmed up enough for me to take it off!

As a rule I don't wear green on St. Patrick's day, but on St. Patty's day eve, I let a bit slide in with the cherry leaves. I so popped in the sea of green!

And I think I need more yellow in my wardrobe. I had no idea it would look so good on me!

Love these shoes!

Now for the dress review part. This dress did not fit me all that well when it arrived, but I really expected that. If this had been a backless/halter/strappy type dress, I probably could have gone down a side, but I went with a large because a too big dress is better than a too small dress.

I too some out of the center back at the zip. I also took a bit out right under the arm. Lastly, I made the princess seam curve more at the top so the neckline wouldn't gape. It's kind of a reverse FBA. It fits pretty well right now except that the back of the armhole does something a bit funky when I slouch. Just have to remember to have good posture!

 Since I did do a bit of remodeling, I got a chance to see the inner workings of the dress. It's really nice. Everything was clean and of good quality. I love that there were pockets! And there was a bit of boning in the bodice inset which gives a nice shape. The belt also seems pretty good quality. The only thing I didn't like was that it had a tiny hem and I would have loved if I could have let it out a bit since it's a bit shorter than I prefer. (And I'm not that tall either....)

One bummer with this dress is that they only ship one day a week and I happened to buy it the day after the weekly shipment went out so it was almost a week before it shipped.  (I bought it directly form Bernie Dexter's website as opposed to a retail place that carries the line like Mod Cloth.) So keep that in mind if you have a specific event you'd like to wear it too. It's 100% cotton but is labeled dry clean only, which really annoys me. They are probably worried about shrinkage but for cotton, the most delicate I'll do is hand washing.

Bernie Dexter Clothing is a small business and they do produce the dresses and run things here in the US which I love! These dresses are great but being a seamstress, I know I could easily make a similar dress for much cheaper if I could find a similar fabric (because then there'd be no labor costs/shipping/etc). Bernie tends to use a lot of Micheal Miller fabrics so I'll probably keep an eye out for these fabrics rather than buy another dress even if I have to get a different color way. For no sewers, the price is pretty reasonable since it's comparable to what I'd charge to make a dress like this with this fabric especially when you take into consideration the overhead for making this dress. (Being married to a small business owner has been quite an eye opening experience especially with pricing!)

With all of that said, I adore this dress and I'm going to wear it till it falls apart! Going into this purchase, I wanted a quality repro piece even if it meant paying a bit more. Grad school has kicked into high gear and sewing time is quite rare right now. I'd definitely recommend this brand to anyone. I'm sure you guys will see this dress loads this summer!


  1. You look lovely Stephanie! You pull off yellow so great and that pop of red in it, make it!

  2. Really cute on you! But I can't do boning in bodices, it really tends to make me...ahem.. appear larger in that area, which is exactly what I do NOT want. I hope Bernie has dresses without it, cause I do love her fabrics and cuts.

    1. There's just one piece on each side along the princess seam. Although, the bust seam actually runs over the bottom of my bust rather than under it which de-emphasizes the chest (you can really see it in the pocket picture) so the two factors may balance each other out.

  3. Yellow is definitely your colour!! You look fabulous and I love your hair flower and pretty red cardigan. I love, love this dress and have it pinned in my Pinterest. I will be sewing my version, though.

  4. This is adorable! If they are using Michael Miller quilting cottons it is probably recommended for dry cleaning because of color fading.I made an apron from Michael Miller fabric and was a bit disappointed to find the color started to fade after a few washes, which really surprised me as a quilt will definitely be washed more than a few times. Of course, a dress won't be put through the stress of an apron, but better safe than sorry with washing dresses.:]