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