Do you ever spot a fabric that you want desperately, but don’t really know what to do with? I usually try not to buy fabric if I can’t come up with a specific plan for it as I don’t really have the space to store it, so I said no to this amazing silk crepe de chine TWICE. Finally, on a third visit to Mood Fabrics NYC, I had a vision of myself wearing it from head to toe and snatched it up to make a maxi dress! Editor’s note: Take a look at all the silk crepe de chines we have at MoodFabrics.com.
I know in my heart that “less is more” is a good mantra, but I’m just more of a “go big or go home” gal! I will probably scare people and stand out like a lunatic when I wear this, but the bright colors really make me happy. I found out on Instagram that Oona picked out the same pattern and a fun silk print for her Mood project this month, and we decided to embrace it as a happy coincidence instead of pouting like two girls in the same prom dress (which totally happened to me at my junior prom! My senior year I begged my mom to make me a dress so I knew I’d be the only one wearing it).
The fabric was really nice to work with, especially compared to the silk charmeuse I used earlier this month to line a jacket. I used my walking foot, which helped to keep things from shifting around, and I pinked my facing to keep it from showing through on the front of the dress. I also stabilized the zipper opening seam allowances before I inserted the zipper, which makes it way easier to avoid rippling in a fabric this light. You can baste strips of organza to the seam allowances, or you can iron on some fusible interfacing. I’ve had good luck with both of these methods (but please share if you have a better/different way!).
I used the By Hand London Anna Dress pattern, a new one from an independent pattern company. It’s a little hard to see the design lines in this wild print, but it has a seven-gored skirt and pleats below the bust instead of darts. One of the most daunting things about sewing a maxi dress is the amount of fabric that’s required, but I was able to fit everything onto 3 yards of this 60″ fabric. I had a really hard time deciding on the hem length. I wanted a really dramatic, ground-sweeping hem, but the thought of dragging this lovely fabric around on filthy NYC sidewalks just didn’t seem right, so I sacrificed a bit of the length for the sake of cleanliness. I feel like I took off too a little much length, but I could hem and haw about this for ages and not be totally content, so I’m choosing to just move on with my life!
This dress is a bit of a departure from my usual style, but it’s really fun to wear. I felt like I should be going to a fancy dinner in Waikiki when I put it on for the first time! Hmm, I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii… Sadly, no trips for me in the near future, so I’ll have to settle for posing in front of my neighbor’s hibiscus, but if I close my eyes, I can *almost* feel the ocean breeze. 🙂
I really enjoyed making this dress, and I’m so glad that I waited before buying this fabric because I like this project way more than I like my original half-baked ideas for this fabric.
How about you guys? Do you buy fabric without a concrete plan in mind, and if so, do you cut into it right away? Do you give special fabrics time to tell you what they want to become? Or am I the only crazy lady muttering to my fabric stash, “What do you want to be when you grow up, my pretties?” Please don’t say I am…