Monday, January 31, 2011

Birthday Dress Dilemmas

My sweet friend who acted as the model for my ruffle dress is having a birthday. Modeling not be as big a deal if you’re an accomplished sewist, but with me it basically means that she was a human voodoo doll. I’m getting better at not sticking people, but pins are prone to that. Anyhow, she's earned a treat!

She picked out a cute halter dress pattern with a full skirt and I got some fantastic cotton (both pictured above) in a warm red color suitable for her jour de née being so close to Valentine's Day.
image via here
The fabric is light and sheer enough to need to be doubled-up for decency’s sake.

In my head, it was going to look like the lovely sweetheart dress from Habitat Clothing (left) or the white one I've written on (right). I’m not sure the fabric will lend itself to this, but I’m going to see what I can do.

The real rub is that this pattern apparently requires boning. How does one address sheer fabric with boning? Can you layer the channels twice? Coat the boning strips somehow?

After reading this, the birthday girl drew what it was I was trying to describe (left), which I think means she's a mind-reader, 'cause it's exactly what I hope to achieve!

She’d like to have chocolate brown (fabric as yet undetermined) incorporated somehow. My style trends a bit color-block-y, so I need help figuring out how I could add this into the design.

image via here
The dress above was actually made using the pattern I'll be using, which is nice for reference. The piping around the waist band, if it was chocolate and red instead of black and white, is very do-able. 

I could also add an underskirt of brown, or a brown waist band, or brown ribbon or trim around the base. I can't decide if more is more here or not.

What do you think would look best for adding a contrasting brown piece?
 Any suggestions for the sheer fabric + boning situation? 


  1. I can't help you with the construction situation - definitely NOT my ball field! BUT I do like the idea of a chocolate brown waist band, i.e. a tie that goes around the waist, not necessarily part of the dress PLUS the underskirt of brown.

    Just my two cents =)

  2. ooooo, how fun! Now I see what you are saying with the sheer collar thing, how pretty! and thrilled you are wanting to stick with the color block style. Once again, I'll love anything you make because you are creative and awesome. I'm drawn to the brown waistband idea because it kinda falls into the blocky-category (that picture is the shit) but by no means is that a must-have. Id be just as happy if you sewed a brown loop or random patch on the hem of my dress. he. In reference to your "more is more" question, my rule of thumb comes from the fabulous Mies Van Der Rohe, "Less is more". I felt inspired after reading your chain of thoughts on the blog to try and doodle a version of your design you are cooking up. It was the perfect excuse to procrastinate : ) Anyway, it was fun to draw, so I thought Id send it to you for giggles and continued inspiration.Lastly, I don't know anything about boning other than in bed, so good luck with that.


Let me know what you think; comments make me happy!