Italian Brocade Sheath Dress

About this time last year, Mood fabrics got in a wide array of Italian brocades with raised floral imprints. They were divine and I had a really hard time picking the exact one I wanted. Eventually I settled on this one in aqua with red, yellow and navy color accents. It looks like an abstract painting and the red bits look a little like dripping blood. It’s so interesting and unusual. Then, because I loved it so much, it sat around in my to-do pile before I could finally muster up the courage to cut into it. Unfortunately, after all that sitting around, it has completely sold out. You can see similar brocades from Mood fabrics here.

italian brocade silk dress
I only got 1.5 yards so I knew some sort of sheath dress was in order. I didn’t want to cut up the large aqua flowers (which you can see in some of the other pictures) so it had to be relatively simple. Also, I try to make things that are interesting and that have some sort of design detail at the neckline. I combed through my pattern stash and Burda magazine collection and then my pattern stash again, at last settling on New Look 6643. I made view D with the keyhole and bias bound neckline/armholes, using the same fabric for the binding instead of a contrasting color like the envelope picture.

italian brocade silk dress

After making a muslin I had to remove 1″ from each shoulder. I also widened the shoulder straps inward by 3/4″. The bust measurements printed on the pattern are incorrect – I suggest you flat pattern measure or make a muslin if you want to attempt this design. Since I could walk easily without it, I omitted the back slit. There wasn’t enough fabric for one anyway.

italian brocade silk dress

The bias binding really wasn’t very difficult, especially because the fabric was not in the least bit slippery. I just love the keyhole detail. You can see the raised aqua flowers better in this picture:

italian brocade silk dress

Dressform pictures:italian brocade silk dress

italian brocade silk dress
italian brocade silk dress

Originally I was planning to use a princess-seamed sheath dress pattern. It called for a side zipper which I special ordered from NYC in the perfect shade of aqua. After I figured out I needed something with darts and went with this pattern, I didn’t want to have to special order another zipper. That is why the zipper is on the side, even though there’s a perfectly good center back seam that it could have gone into.

italian brocade silk dress
A lining was definitely called for, and I found the perfect color match among all those Thakoon fabrics Mood listed this past spring. It’s silk crepe de chine, a fabric I’ve used only one other time which ended in disaster. Gosh, it is beautiful stuff. It feels so delicate and soft and I was a bit afraid of ruining it. I went slowly, taking my time and not rushing through. Now that the dress is completed, the silk feels strong and really makes a perfect lining.

italian brocade silk dress

This was a fun dress to make once I got past my nervousness about ruining the fabrics. And lest you worry about the seasons changing, rest assured that it will be hot here in Texas for a few more months. I’ll have plenty of time to wear my new dress.

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Comments


  • Peter
    August 15, 2013

    Truly gorgeous. Love the binding trim and that keyhole detail!

  • Lori
    August 15, 2013

    Very beautiful and you choice of pattern really shows off the gorgeous fabric.

  • Carolyn
    August 15, 2013

    What a wonderful fabric choice! I think no matter what you made from it the garment would have been amazing. This is lovely on you.

  • Carol
    August 15, 2013

    As usually a remarkable dress! You could almost wear this on the lining side it is so beautiful. Your work and attention to details are always impeccable!!

    • Amanda S.
      August 15, 2013

      Haha, thanks Carol!

  • Gayana Bagdasaryan
    August 15, 2013

    love the fabric and the fit!

  • Sarah
    August 15, 2013

    It is just so beautifully made. Lovely lovely dress.

  • Ginger
    August 15, 2013

    Absolutely love it! It’s fantastic!

  • Amy
    August 15, 2013

    Absolutely perfect. You always do a great job finding a great pattern for your fabric choices, and what a choice! The colors… Those raised flowers… No wonder it was hard to cut into! Your details are perfect as well.

    • Amanda S.
      August 15, 2013

      Thanks so much Amy!!!

  • crystalpleats
    August 16, 2013

    This looks wonderful. What a beautiful fabric.

    • Amanda S.
      August 16, 2013

      Thanks Crystalpleats!

  • Diana
    August 16, 2013

    This is so absolutely beautiful! All the details such as the bias binding , the invisible side zipper , the key hole detail, the crepe de chine lining and especially the unique fabric, make this a couture look dress. Wow!

    • Amanda S.
      August 16, 2013

      Thanks so much Diana!!!

  • Sarah Gunn
    August 16, 2013

    Amanda, your dress is lovely! The fabric is so contemporary and fresh – and what a luxurious lining! I’ve just completed a silk crepe de chine top – have never used it for a lining!

    • Amanda S.
      August 16, 2013

      Thanks Sarah! I am definitely using silk crepe de chine again now that I’ve conquered my fear of it. The other colors from Thakoon are just gorgeous. Are you using any of those?

  • DebB
    August 23, 2013

    A perfect pattern choice for that beautiful, busy fabric. It looks great on you and your execution of the bias bound details is exquisite!!

  • Alyce Ferguson
    August 24, 2013

    Beautifully done!