Black + White Geometric Print Dress in Wool Rayon

I am currently on the hunt for thicker-weight fabrics with draping properties to make winter dresses out of. This Marc Jacobs border print wool-rayon woven from Mood Fabrics caught my eye because I know rayon fabrics to have a great amount of drape and combined with wool I thought it would be perfect for winter. Also border print fabrics are fun to work with. I used Butterick 6409 for the pattern and made a few minor tweaks.


There are lots of ways to use this fabric creatively because it has a thick border on one side and a thinner one on the other. It also has areas of plain black along the selvages. I used the top half of the thick border for the bottom of my dress and the very bottom of the thick border for the sleeve cuffs. With the smaller border I made a belt.


This stuff sewed and pressed like a dream. It really is the perfect weight for winter, especially if you want to forgo a lining. If Mood had other patterns or colors I would snap them up in a heartbeat. The color is kind of a dusty black and can look like a midnight navy in certain lighting.


I cut a size small for this dress and I’m typically a 12 in big 4 woven patterns. The fit is perfect – not too much fabric through the bust with a bit of ease in the shoulders. I also really like the sleeves. Sometimes these types of sleeves have too much fabric in them but these have just the right amount. I left off the button and lapping cuff. That’s just extra work when the cuffs fit easily over my hands.


This design relies on a drawstring for its shaping through the body but I find those to be kind of a pain and take too much re-adjusting throughout the day. Instead I used the casing pattern piece and made an elastic waist.


I planned to wear a belt with it but I tried on every belt in my closet and didn’t like any of them. I then thought I might add the tie back in to the front but I never need bulky stuff going on around my middle. Somewhere along the line the idea to make a fabric belt popped into my mind and I LOVE how it turned out. Now I want to make fabric belts for everything.


I used french seams throughout because they’re pretty and there weren’t that many construction joints anyway. The hem I did by hand as I usually do. The stitches for that completely sunk into the fabric so I decided to secure the neck facing by hand instead of top-stitching it down.




I love to wear these types of dresses in my day-to-day life and am thrilled with this new addition to my closet. When it gets a little cooler I’ll pair it with tights and flats and be perfectly warm.



  • Karen
    November 23, 2016

    Lovely dress. I, too, live in Texas (Houston area) and sew rayon challis all the time. Now I need to find a rayon with some wool content based on this dress. Thanks for sharing.

    • Amanda S.
      November 24, 2016

      In Texas, it’s all about looking seasonally appropriate but not sweltering if the temperatures don’t cooperate. A rayon/wool is just the thing LOL. Good luck on your hunt!

  • Angela
    November 23, 2016

    What is involved in using the pattern piece to make the elastic casing? I love how that looks, you did a great job on it. The dress looks lovely 🙂

    • Amanda S.
      November 24, 2016

      Well, instead of making the button holes in the front of the dress for the drawstring to pass through, I just used the casing for a strip of elastic. Often times I have to draft my own casing on these types of garments but luckily enough this pattern came with that very piece. Thanks Angela!

  • PsychicSewerKathleen
    November 25, 2016

    I always love to see what you’re making 🙂 Your dress is so lovely! You’ve inspired me to think more creatively around border prints. I see them often and tend to steer away from them but when I see what you’ve done with this dress I’m rethinking my aversion to them!

    • I am the same way with panel prints. I think they’re neat but never know how to use them. I pin a lot of designer examples but still don’t take the plunge LOL. Thanks Kathleen!

  • Fiona
    November 26, 2016

    Wool rayon does indeed sound wonderful! The belt is exquisite and really pulls the whole dress together. Great use of a border print!