Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lorelei's Yellow Dress (A Reproduction)

This was an unfinished project from the DRESS-OF-THE-DAY series last fall. I was over three-quarters done with the hand-embroidery when my tennis elbow/golfer's elbow/carpal tunnel/cubital tunnel (let's just say 'arm damage') was too painful to do anything anymore, and I abruptly stopped all sewing or any strenuous activity. Was one of the first projects I picked up when I finally seemed recovered enough to start easing back into my usual activities. And so, finally, here's...

(Brought to you by The Mentalist episode 5x08 'Red Sails in the Sunset')

 As someone who sews, and who watches a lot of television and movies, naturally costuming/wardrobe choices are something I notice. 

The main character, Patrick Jane, is basically a conman, and as such his appearance is well
put-together (oh, the classiness of the Vest), but he has numerous issues which belie this manicured appearance. And his wardrobe shifts to reflect the major changes this character goes through later in the series.

Likewise, the other lead, Teresa Lisbon is dressed in the typical 'sensible female cop in charge of her own team of detectives' attire, pant suits, buttoned up blouses, reserved, not flashy, practical.

This specific dress caught my attention, because it was not a choice made by a character for themselves, but one our 'Mentalist' chose for the character of Lorelei Martins, someone who he is playing a game on, manipulating to his own end. Does the choice of a garment that is undeniably sweet and innocent for a disturbed woman who associated with your psychopathic associate denote an attempt at appealing to her compassionate, unsullied side? Or is it simply the reflection of an ironic sense of humor (like the cowboy hat as he basically goes vigilante)?

At any rate...


  1. Analyze The style and cut of this garment is a relatively simply a-line dress, with a deep 'u' neckline and hem landing just above the knee. It has a bodice yoke, four darts in the front, three darts in the back, sleeves that gather with elastic.

    The designwork is floral, with vines and little leaves. The neckline is a buttonhole edging in red embroidery floss. The hem and outline are a zigzag design, which I chose to replicate with a herringbone running stitch.

    Now that we're really studying a single garment while rewatching the episode, we notice things such as two DIFFERENT garments were used for this dress. This obviously happens while filming, but in this case, a continuity person was off their game, or was ignored, because 'hey, who's going to pay such close attention to something like the color of the embroidery on the dresses?'

    *raises hand* 'That would be someone like me... :-)

    I decided to go with the dress she wears more, the one with the mainly, orange, navy and pink flowers.
  2. Sketch & Draft First, draft the pattern. This is a relatively simple design: Yoke Front (deeper 'u' than the back), Yoke Back, Front, Back, Sleeve. If using yourself, you just have to measure against yourself and use the original as a guide.Ex: The yoke meets the dress just above the fullest part of the bust, so measure from shoulder to above half an inch above the fullest part of your bust...

    Then sketch  the flower motif. I also labeled the colors according to the stills for each section of embroidery...

  3. Cut, Sew, Embroider Basically, make the garment.
    (Best part is that I was able to make this entire piece from my Stash! Win!)

1 comment:

  1. So clever! You're super-talented, Aimee. I admire you.

    For Halloween two years ago, I re-created the yellow waitressing uniform from "2 Broke Girls." It was a fun project and I learned stuff in the process.