Friday, November 9, 2012

Sewing Inspiration: Bernie Dexter

    I rarely let myself by RTW anymore. I just can't afford it, plus it fits better if I make it myself. That doesn't stop me from browsing online stores, scouring for inspiration. Lately I've been obsessing over Bernie Dexter's clothing line, specifically her dresses. For any of those that know of her, she's a modern pin-up model with an uncanny likeness for Bettie Page. Her clothing line is 50's inspired, full of Rockabilly goodness. Everything is made in the USA and I just love it all. Unfortunately, her prices are so high, I can't ever justify purchasing anything.

    Her dresses in particular are to die for. From what I understand, Bernie has a hand in everything her line produces and if so, I'm impressed. Her eye for elaborate prints is amazing. I especially love the fabrics she chooses that depict a scene. I'm a little afraid of prints as a whole. I don't mind wearing them, I love looking at them, but I'm terrified of creating with them. I live in fear of going *too far. Bernie Dexter's dresses DO go too far...and look fabulous anyway! I would never dream of making these fabrics into the elaborate dresses she does and yet, it works! I mean, look at these!




  
 I'm totally inspired by it all. The one dress that has really caught my eye is her new Christmas dress. I must have it and since I can't afford $225, looks like I'll have to make it myself. I'm having a hard time sourcing appropriate fabric. I figured it would be no problem finding a quilting cotton in a Thomas Kinkade-esque scene, but it's proving difficult. I'm not giving up, though. I have a goal of recreating this and wearing it to my husband's annual company Christmas party. That's the only time of year I get to really dress up, ha!



 It's not just the prints I love, though. I also adore the style of the dresses, these two in particular.


 




   So help me out, dear readers. Have any ideas for patterns and fabrics so I can recreate any (or all) of these fancy schmancy dresses?? What do you think of them? Are they too over the top?

16 comments:

ShanniLoves said...

I think you should go for it. You'd be the talk of the party.
I think this fabric is really pretty

http://www.fatquartershop.com/store/stores_app/Browse_Item_Details.asp?sid=72811191449547281&Store_id=499&page_id=23&Item_ID=77697&Parent_Ids=

They had it in red too but I think it's sold out.

Elisha said...

I bought some Thomas Kinkade (RIP) quilting fabric to make a peplum top from Fabric.com. You have to buy it by the panel as opposed to yard.

I saw Laikadoll make a dress a lot like that first one: http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/tea-party-garden-party-covered

Sue said...

I must admit I've spent many an hour drooling over Bernie Dexter's dresses. I think you could totally make the christmas dress... you might even be able to find the perfect fabric at G. Street in Rockville (when there's a MD/VA/DC area sewing blogger meetup, organized by Lisa of the blog As I Said (http://lifeisexamined.blogspot.com/2012/11/oooh-lookfabric.html)... just saying. :)

I can't wait to see what you come up with for recreating the dress...it's such an adorable idea, I know it'll turn out amazing!

Cynthia said...

I think I found it, it's by Michael Miller http://favoritefabrics.homestead.com/zoom_mm_snowchat.html

Tiffany James said...

Those dresses are amazing! You'll be a walking work of art. I love the neckline and bodice shape of the last one with the roses, but they're all such pretty, classic shapes.

Can't wait to see what you make!

Ruffles Gazebo said...

i have drooled many a time over these dresses, and same as you, cannot justify buying one. I know with the first print with the cherry blossoms, a long time ago you could buy that fabric, but now it is impossible (believe me, ive tried!) i think it was by michael miller (dont quote me on that tho... id have to double check) so maybe you might be able to track down some of the more recent ones?

I was in a shop the other day and a girl was wearing one working there and i was like...OMG! she got her's off ebay at a pretty decent price, so i have added that search to my watch list and get emails now when they are posted :)

Jamie said...

ooooh, I love that fabric! It's definitely getting added to my list of options...Thanks!

Jamie said...

I did find lots of quilting fabric by Thomas Kinkade on Fabric.com. Unfortunately it wasn't exactly what I was looking for but I'm still thinking it could make a pretty dress for another season.
And oh, gawd. That dress Laikadoll made is to die for! I can't believe she managed to track down a whole bolt of that fabric! ::swoon::

Jamie said...

I soooo wanted to go to the meet-up but my babysitters (aka, Grandma and Grandpa) are on the West Coast for Thanksgiving with my mother's family and they are actually returning on December 1st. I'm disappointed because A) 20% OFF at G Street?! B)I'll miss the pattern/fabric swap and C) I won't get to hang out with everyone :(. BUT, Lisa is in Richmond and she suggested that she may come up in March after tax returns to shop at one of the NOVA G Streets and we could get together then...would you want to join us if that happens?? (ps--say YES! ha ha ;)

Jamie said...

Yes, that's it!! But, Waaaah, they are all sold out. At least I have a name. I'll add it to my watch lists on Ebay in case any shows up. Thanks Cynthia!!

Jamie said...

Thanks, Tiffany! That last dress is my absolute fave, also! I have a thing for collars, heh ;)

Jamie said...

Yes, it's Michael Miller! Actually, after all the research I've done, I think Bernie uses a lot of Michael Miller fabrics. That makes my search much easier. The watch list idea is great, I'm going to use that for the fabric AND the actual dresses. Woot! Thanks!

Sue said...

YES! soundz like a plan.

Bec Wagner said...

I just stumbled upon your page through another page.. dont you love that:)
Such cute dresses, fabric is crazy awesome!!

http://becstiches.blogspot.com.au/

Cherie said...

I find myself drooling over those dresses, too. Thanks for the great post... I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award.

Anonymous said...

Loads of rare Michael Miller fabrics which Barnie Dexter uses are here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlueFountainPlaza

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