The holidays are here, and you know what that means – time to bust out the sparkly garb! Or in my case – if you don’t have a sparkly party dress, it’s a great opportunity to sew one up 🙂
While I have a great brocade skirt that I got a lot of wear out of last year, I wanted something fresh for this season – so I timed my next NYC trip to include a change to shop at Mood Fabrics for a festive brocade.
I actually have very little experience with brocade – my lifestyle doesn’t warrant much need for fancy dress (waaah!), and even if it did, I generally prefer fabric with a softer drape. Brocade has a nice, full body, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when choosing a pattern. I also don’t generally gravitate toward fabrics that have a lot of texture and sparkle, so brocade wasn’t something that usually hit my radar.
I’m not going to lie – I spent over 2 hours perusing all the brocade at Mood Fabrics’ shop in NYC. There is sooooo much to choose from – all colors, all styles, all price points, everything! It was a bit overwhelming, to say the least. I’m so thankful I went on a weekday morning, because otherwise it might have been a nightmare! Just take a look at all the brocade options available on their website and tell me you wouldn’t have been overwhelmed, either!
After MUCH consideration, I chose this black/gold/silver brocade and purchased 2 yards. I actually liked the “wrong” side of the fabric better (I say “wrong” in quotes bc, hell, there’s no such thing as a wrong side if you’re the designer amirite), which is what you see in the finished dress.
The pattern I chose was Vogue 8998, view E. For size, I cut a 6 at the bust, graded out to an 8 at the waist and hips, and shortened the shoulder height by about 1″ (this is a normal adjustment for me; I am pretty petite around my arms/shoulders). I also shortened the skirt by 2″ prior to cutting. The only changes I made to the pattern were to omit the bodice interfacing (I get why it’s there, but my brocade was stable and structured enough so that I felt I didn’t need it) and make small pleats instead of gathers in the skirt. I used 2″ wide horsehair braid at the hem for some extra flounce, and added an invisible zipper to the back. The entire dress is lined in black silk charmeuse, also from Mood Fabrics, and the whole thing feels LUXE!!!
Even though the entire dress is lined, I did serge all the edges of my brocade, to keep fraying to a minimum (this one frayed a lot!). I used my regular iron to press things, but also used a press cloth to prevent the poly in the fabric from melting. Other than that, no other special considerations were needed to work with this fabric. Brocade is super manageable!
Here’s the inside of the skirt, so you can see the “right” side of the fabric. I don’t hate the right side, but I much prefer the wrong side – I think it looks more elegant. It also goes better with my turquoise heels 🙂
I’ve already gotten quite a bit of wear out of this dress, and the holidays are not over yet! I’m definitely the most overdressed out of every party I’ve been to – but that’s ok with me 🙂
Happy Holidays, everyone!