Posted: Jul 12 2013

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How the dream dress was made

Earlier this year, we offered our lovely bloggers a chance to win a season’s wardrobe of Dahlia clothing, and an opportunity to design their very own dress! Months passed and the lucky lady Kate Gabrielle of Scathingly Brilliant from the US finally got her dream dress made. We chatted to her and our head designer- Tracey about the competition and the inspiration behind the dress…

Tracey, how did you come up with the idea of this competition?

We have noticed over the last few years that a lot of the bloggers who follow and like Dahlia are a very creative and talented bunch.  Here at Dahlia HQ, we love reading their blogs, it’s one of our favourite pastimes. A lot of the bloggers had mentioned that they love to alter vintage clothes and make their own accessories.  We thought it would be a great idea to run the competition so that the winner could design their very own dream dress.

So Kate, what’s your inspiration behind the dress?

This is the design that I submitted.  I've sewn some of my own dresses before, but my skills pretty much limit my options to plain cotton dresses. So I really wanted to design something that I knew I couldn't make at home. I *definitely* couldn't make this at home, lol.  

I also submitted an inspiration board as well. I found products that were the same colors I had in mind -- I was worried the warm grey would be tough to pin down but Dahlia found the absolute perfect shade of grey for the lining of the dress! The sleeve inspiration is from All This Happiness (I die from envy every time that blouse pops up in an outfit post! gah!) I included some examples of swooshy skirts (two from ASOS, one from Fancy Fine) to illustrate the fullness I was going for and some examples of delicate vintage frocks that have been hanging out in my etsy favorites forever, even though they're too tiny for me. That's the sort of feel I was going for with this design and I think the finished product definitely fits in with their daintiness :)

And then of course, my cat- Hypatia. she passed away shortly before I won the competition, and I was having a hard time concentrating on anything at all. Around that time my dad had suggested (since I was having similar mental blocks with drawing and painting) that I use her as inspiration, and then not only would I be able to work but I'd be creating things that would always remind me of her. I took his advice for the dress, too, and I'm so glad I did. I think it really captures her beautiful colors and her sweet, fragile beauty.

Tracey, did you have fun working on Kate’s design?

When I initially saw Kate’s dress design I was happy to see that it was achievable! Kate could have literally picked anything, but being a Dahlia fan, I think she has quite similar taste to me. The colours of this dress were vitally important; it had to be the right tone of cream and warm grey to get the look that Kate specifically wanted. Our technician cut the pattern and the dress started to take shape. The collar was a little bit of a challenge! Although we have made scallop collars before, this one went a bit pointy on the first attempt! When I was happy with the collar and the finishing of the dress, we packed it up and sent it to Kate in the US. I really like the dress myself, but it was a few nervous days before she received the package and let me know that she loved the dress too! Phew!!!!

Read Kate’s blog post about her dream dress HERE


  • Such a lovely dress. If I was going to design one it would look exactly like this haha everything I love!

    Posted by Nola G. on September 25, 2013
  • What a dreamy dress x

    Posted by Morgan on September 24, 2013
  • Thank you very much for your query.

    Unfortunately the dress designed by Kate is not in production at the moment. However, we will let you know if it is available to purchase.

    We hope this helps xx

    Posted by Dahlia on July 16, 2013
  • So.. when can I purchase one? :)

    So.. when can I purchase one? :)im serious

    Posted by Claire on July 13, 2013
  • Lovely design! The bell sleeves are so cute. I like the fact that you picked grey as a colour, because you don’t see that very often I think

    Posted by Janice on July 12, 2013

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