The “Modern Geisha” Dress
Another favorite blogger of mine, Sunni from The Cupcake Goddess, is far more disciplined than me. The best proof of this? Her meticulous attention to detail during her Trouser Sew-Along! Sunni has a wonderful personal aesthetic and this week, with the help of The Lace, ventures into the world of trims. Her results are marvelous, I might add! Thanks for participating, Sunni!
Fabric: 3 different fabrics were used in the making of this dress – the body is a silk shantung $6 per yard from Joann; the lining is china silk $7 per yard from Hancock; trim and belt are made from Dupioni silk $20 per yard from Yellow Bird Fabrics
Pattern: Heidi from Burda Style
Year: I think this pattern came out 2008-ish
Notions: Lace from Mena, invisible zipper, hair canvas, eyelets, grosgrain ribbon and thread
Time to complete: this took me a full week, but I sew very slowly….
Wear again? Oh yes. Maybe even to sleep in as it's terribly comfortable.
Total Cost: A very shameful $49.50 – this for the fabric as all the notions and the pattern I had in my stash.
I was terribly excited to participate in this project when Mena asked me. Especially since it was based around the idea that I had to incorporate a trim into the sewing of a garment, which is actually a rarity for me. There's no use beating around the bush either, this was a serious challenge for me. In fact, so serious that I had no idea what I was going to do with the lace either. I pulled out patterns from my stash and nothing really hit me. I sorted through inspiration images and internet resources and even then I wasn't taken with any particular idea. I wanted a belt involved somewhere in the project so I took the idea back to my pattern stash and found the Heidi dress from Burda Style. Then it all fell together, though I'm still somewhat surprised by the result.
I've had the floral silk shantung in my stash for some time now and had always wanted some sort of dress from it. I bought it on an outrageous sale and think it's meant to be a home dec fabric. Putting the lace up against it really grabbed me. But then of course, I had to make it pop somehow especially with a color that really copper-tones up my hair. The chartreuse isn't even a color in the floral fabric, but that's the beauty of it I think. Completely artistic.
Hopefully, what I've achieved in this dress is just a bit of artistry. It's pure fluff, I have to say. Silk is my kindred cloth, I'm completely convinced since I hold it in such high regard. I do believe it's my most favorite fabric. I love wearing it and I love working with it and handling it.
I made a few alterations to the pattern itself, lengthening the torso since mine is abnormally long, plus widening the hip and bringing up the neckline a bit as the original was too low and on the verge of looking unsavory. I incorporated the lace into the neckline and the pocket openings while also using the chartreuse dupioni as an added bias trim which I non traditionally used with the raw edges facing out, as its something I've always wanted to do. The belt I went off a little in my own direction for. It hit me one night that I should make the back a lace up to add more to the modern geisha effect. To finish it off I made a silk flower from the lining and gave it a little lace trim decadence. The end result is terribly comfortable with all the romance of a beautiful spring day when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Sadly, the cherry blossoms here are still getting snowed upon which is why you see me inside today. One step outside and I nearly froze to death!
A huge thank you to Mena for seriously testing my creative abilities here! I had so much fun making up the dress and finally using a fabric, pattern and notions that I had lovingly stashed away for just such a project.