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SewStylish Summer Fashion Challenge 2013

YSL Mondrian dress

Jun 06, 2013
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Copy of 1965 YSL Mondrian dress

I have always loved this iconic dress, from Yve St Laurent’s 1965 collection. He based that collection on the paintings of modern Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. He owned a Mondrian which was displayed in his Paris apartment.

Initially I tried adapting my own shift dress block to create the design, using no darts, as achieved originally by YSL. This was not very sucessful – as he was working with wool jersey I am assuming the main bust dart was shrunk out in some way. In the end, after producing five toiles, I relented and decided to use one discrete side seam bust dart.

My version is made from linen rather than wool jersey as I struggled to find the right colours in the right weight of wool. Personally I like the whiteness of the linen whereas wool is often slightly creamy-yellow.   

In order to get an authentic 1960s shift dress look I adapted a vintage pattern from YSL for Vogue – Paris Original V1556. In the commercial pattern the front yoke crosses the bust point, with the bust dart lost in the seam.

In copying the original red, blue and yellow version I left out the vertical stripes at the underarms and used dark navy for the stripes rather than black, but otherwise the design is very similar to the original.

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  1. User avater georgeshort7 January 26th

    I'm impressed

  2. Senoradulce August 21st

    I saw this post too late to vote. I hope you win. The dress is beautiful and looks quite smart on you. You say it's "easy," but it looks challenging to me. Kudos to you! Now you've made want to make a similar dress. How did you find the pattern?

  3. User avater sewold August 7th

    This is so retro it's back in! Looks like a fantastic job and the colors are so clear and clean looking. The mirrored image is nice to see the back and front together!

  4. User avater FabricKate July 24th

    Wow - a message from Claire Shaeffer - that means so much to me (I have made a couple of your jackets in the past). Many thanks!

  5. User avater Claire_Shaeffer July 22nd

    Congratulations! Your dress is fabulous!Claire

  6. User avater Melaniemac July 16th

    Amazing job! I've always wanted to do this same thing, but never had the courage. What an inspiration.

  7. User avater ElenaYDesigns July 14th

    I think your dress looks just great. I remember being a fan of Mondrian way back when!

  8. User avater FabricKate July 1st

    Hi Mignsew. The dress is seamed, not appliqued.

    Actually it was quite easy to make up. I drew straight chalk lines 2cm apart on 5cm wide torn strips (along the grain) of dark navy linen, and joined them to the colour blocks, on to which I put a seam allowance.

    The back zip is placed slightly off CB in order to run between a navy stripe and the white and is stitched in two different colours so it nearly invisible.

    Hope this helps!

  9. User avater Mignsews June 30th

    This is just stunningly fantastic. How did you get the individual lines on the dress-are they actually pattern pieces or were they appliqued on after construction? I would love to see a step-by-step post about making this dress!

  10. user-2000450 June 20th

    Great job--looks authentic! Maybe the original didn't have darts because the Twiggy-type models didn't have boobs back then LOL.

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