Carolina Herrerra Silk Metallic Brocade – three piece!

I confess I’ve had this fabric for months and the indecisiveness nearly destroyed me. It was so different to anything I had sewn previously and I was a little stumped… and terrified. 2.5m of Carolina Herrera silk metallic brocade from Mood Fabrics NY!

the outfit changes colour completely in a different light. Here the sun is behind me.

the outfit changes colour completely in a different light. Here the sun is behind me.

So I spent lots of time draping a fabric over my dressform, wrapping about myself, sewing some small swatches and ironing them helps me better understand what type of garment the fabric might suit best.!

I nearly made a Pauline Alice Quart Coat.  It would have been perfect… the fabric does crease beautifully into pleats… however I just faltered at the last step and suddenly changed my mind.

This brocade pleats beautiful and presses easily.

This brocade pleats beautiful and presses easily.

Due to the body of the fabric and the structural way it fell, I was haunted by the urge to make a cropped flared jacket that emphasised the body of the fabric. I finally settled on Vogue 8145. This was one of my very early pattern purchases, I’ve long adored the flared back of the jacket. This pattern is an unlined jacket. As the fabric is somewhat coarse in texture I used a lining from the stash. I underlined the body of the jacket and lined the sleeves. I used a bias tape to turn up the hem to minimise bulk.

Vogue 8145 jacket, back view

Vogue 8145 jacket, back view – humidity plays havoc with my hair!

Once the jacket was complete… another bout of indecisiveness followed… should I make a long pencil skirt or a mini skirt? So I took the very practical approach of wrapping myself in fabric and the was very apparent that a long fitted skirt would be a nice counter balance to the very dramatic flared jacket.

A three piece 'suit' in Carolina Herrera silk metallic brocade

A three piece ‘suit’ in Carolina Herrera silk metallic brocade

I really loved the fit of the By Hand London Pencil Skirt – which I first made in 2012 just after it was released.

I lined the skirt with more stash lining and added a walking vent (yes, a lined walking vent no less!) following A Fashionable Stitch tutorials. You can learn how to draft the walking vent here and how to line a skirt with a vent here. Thanks Sunni!

Carolina Herrera silk metallic brocade, Mood Fabrics NY. sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy

I added a walking vent to the skirt.

While this skirt pattern calls for fabric with some stretch, the long walking vent makes it perfectly easy to walk in and I actually adore the firmness of the fabric. It feels amazing to wear and I find the high waist is very comfortable.

Carolina Herrera silk metallic brocade, Mood Fabrics NY. sewn by Sew Busy Lizzy

A By Hand London Charlotte Skirt and a simple Burda top

The top is a Burda 2964. I loved the square neck, princess seamlines and cropped length. I think the shapely yet slightly boxy fit suits the fabric and works beautifully with the high-waisted skirt. The top is a slight miracle of pattern cutting Tetris – I wiggled and jiggled the pieces onto the scraps of my brocade.

The pattern is unlined, features a side zip and slits in the seamlines. It also comes with long or short sleeves and in a longer length.

THE FABRIC

Carolina Herrera silk metallic brocade

Carolina Herrera silk metallic brocade

This fabric freaked me out for a while as it was so unfamiliar. However… I’ve fallen in love with silk brocade and would now love a sheath dress! The fabric is just fabulous to wear.

The oversized print is spectacular and the almost grungy blend of colours is quite unique. It does amazing things in different lights and settings. It’s just gorgeous. I’m never 100% comfortable in ‘pretty’ things however this rather masculine yet feminine blend of colour, print and texture is very appealing to me.

The fabric also changes colour in different lights and depending on whether the light is coming from behind or in front of you. You will notice that the outfit looks completely different in the first shot where is sun is behind me, much darker and moodier.

I’d read much about the frantic fraying nature of brocade but didn’t find this fabric at all troublesome. In fact it was one of the easiest fabrics I’ve ever worked with. That’s not to say it doesn’t fray but it wasn’t shedding like a beast.

I would advise lining this fabric.

Slip stitching the fabric is a joy as the stitches just seem to disappear.

I think this would make an amazing trench coat, cocktail dress and so many more decadent garments!

 

Hard to believe but it’s late autumn here… and it’s still very hot. We took these photos about 4.30pm, it was about 30 degrees Celsius and very humid… so I was feeling a little overheated and sticky in my outfit!

 

Fabric: Caroline Herrara Silk Metallic Brocade

Pattern, Jacket: Vogue 8146
Pattern, Skirt: Charlotte Skirt from By Hand London
Pattern, Top: Burda 2964

The Quart Coat will happen sooner or later… it’s just a matter of fabric…

33

Comments


  • Mary Beth
    March 26, 2015

    That is gorgeous…great decision to let the brocade be the star of the show…

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      Thanks Mary Beth – with such glamorous and bold fabric I really had to let it shine

  • sallie
    March 26, 2015

    Wow! So elegant! What a lovely fabric too! I love the body of the cropped jacket.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      The jacket took me forever to decide on and I was soooo nervous cutting it out! Looks like all the indecision was worth it!

  • Cissie
    March 26, 2015

    What a beautiful outfit! You certainly got a lot of mileage out of 2.5 meters of fabric. I’ve long admired that fabric.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      I kept coming back to it on the site… and finally gave in to the urge to have it in my life… then I was so in awe it took me a looong time to make up my mind how to use it.

  • Debbie
    March 26, 2015

    WOW, this is a stunning outfit, and I think it suits and fits you just perfectly! Beautiful use of that fabric. I love that the pieces are all quite timeless too – the cropped top/jacket and high waist skirt is so now, but also those styles are so elegant and versatile long term.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      I thought so too. I can see that I will wear them all as separates which added to the appeal of the makes. I would imagine a silk brocade dress is a little more limiting.

  • Hilary
    March 26, 2015

    Wow! This looks amazing! I love the structure and femininity that the fabric lends with its body and print. Beautiful work!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      Thank you – I was nervous that people might think it a little ‘too much’ however I think they all work as individual pieces so it made the bold decision a little easier

  • Amy
    March 26, 2015

    All three pieces are spectacular! It is a fantastic fabric, right?! I have this fabric as well and was stumped for so long as to how to best use it. When I bought it, I was thinking brocade pants. But, when it arrived and I fully appreciated the scale of the flowers, pants just seemed wrong. I decided recently that it’ll become a sheath, and I’m so glad to hear you think it would make a great cocktail dress. Now I just need to make time to make it!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      I do think it would be fabulous as a sheath dress. The skirt feels amazing on, it’s structure makes it amazing to wear as a fitted piece – while it works beautifully as a flared jacket – it was a really interesting experience!

  • Lori
    March 26, 2015

    All of these garments are so stunning. You did a perfect job matching the garment style with the fabric and you look fabulous!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      Thanks so much Lori – the jacket took the longest to decide on. How much flare to use and how cropped to make it. Once I figured that out, the skirt and top seemed like obvious choices.

  • Sarah Gunn
    March 26, 2015

    Lizzy, you are drop dead gorgeous in your 3 piece Carolina Herrera brocade. Truly stunning!

  • Peter
    March 26, 2015

    What a sensational outfit — I LOVE the fabric and the pattern you chose. Great job, Lizzy!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      It’s a statement piece! Thanks Peter… I think I love this sort of sewing. Fortunately I have a job that allows me to wear it!

  • Amanda S.
    March 27, 2015

    Lovely outfit!

  • carolyn roemer
    March 27, 2015

    Wonderful design I looked thru your creation three times. And liked it better each time.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      I puzzled over it for such a long time, I even carried a piece of fabric in my wallet to ponder in spare moments. Thank you for taking the time to read it three times.

  • Erica B.
    March 27, 2015

    This is beautiful from head to toe! I love everything about it!

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      I think you would rock this type of outfit – it is very strong – like you!

  • DebB
    March 27, 2015

    This outfit is absolutely stunning on you! Congratulations on a perfect combo of fabric and patterns. I would love to know where you will be wearing this beauty! You will certainly be an attention-getter in the best of ways.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      Hi Deb! Well I work in a cultural centre so gallery and theatre events are regular outings in my life – providing a great opportunity for some OTT dressing. I’m a lucky girl

  • Rosie
    March 28, 2015

    Wow can’t fault this, three perfect pieces! Classic elegance right there, beautiful.

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      I actually don’t think I’ve owned a THREE piece suit before! And I’m so happy my first one is silk!

  • Win
    March 29, 2015

    Great ensemble, very stylish. What is the fabric content please. I think your pattern choices are spot on

    • Sew Busy Lizzy
      March 31, 2015

      HI Win, thank you – the site says it is 100% silk. It’s quite different to most silk I’ve encountered – quite coarse with a stiffer drape. The gold does change tone quite dramatically in different lights making it interesting to sew and wear.

  • Ginger
    March 31, 2015

    Wow! You’ve really done this beautiful fabric justice! It’s nice that you’ll be able to mix and match these pieces if you like, or wear them all together- so versatile!

  • Fiona
    April 1, 2015

    The back of that jacket is so stunning Lizzy! The whole thing suits you down to a tee. I love the proportions of the skirt and jacket together and wish I could pull off that length of skirt as well as you!

  • Peggy
    April 17, 2015

    While I agree the choices of fabric and mix of patterns is bold, it is absolutely gorgeous. Not to mention your sewing skill, although the choices were hard to make,it couldn’t have turned out any better. Congrats on all levels, it’s one of the most beautiful suits I have seen in a long time!