Hot! “Go for Brocade” Dress. An Adaptation.

A personal goal of mine is to try (I mean really try) to dive into my fabric stash and use what I’ve got.  Years ago someone sent me a rather large brown metallic brocade 1960s dress.  At some point I cut the dress down to a skirt, which I then never wore.  That skirt was then packed away with my collection of fabric. My adaption of the “Go For Brocade” Dress finally put that dress/skirt/fabric to use.  As the original dress had a straight skirt on it, there was nowhere near enough fabric to do the whole project in brocade.  I opted to do the bodice in the brocade and add a solid colored skirt.
Fabric:  Brocade (that used to be a too-big 1960’s dress) on top, Double Georgette for the skirt, and satin for the lining.
Pattern:  None.  I searched my collection of patterns (which I am also trying to put to good use) and couldn’t find a single one with princess seams on the bodice.  Not too surprising, though, as  I tend to have trouble fitting princess seams.  Rather than taking the time to draft something from scratch, I used the bodice of a dress I had recently taken apart (upcycle!) as a guide.  As expected, I had to make some modifications.  Surely I am not the only person whose chest has issues with this cut. Surely.
Year:  Bodice fabric – 1960’s/Style late 1950’s/”Pattern”- 1990’s
Notions:  Zipper and rust colored satin piping which was salvaged from the original dress.
Time to complete: About 10 hours (including picking apart the “original”) (oh and I was watching a movie while doing the hand stitching, so . . .).
First worn:  Today.  Just to snap some quick photos.
Wear again?  The next time I have a fancy event and the mood strikes me . . . yes.  Although, I can’t say I am completely sold on this dress.  Maybe it’s the color – too much brown? Maybe it’s the cut – is the skirt too full?  I’m on the fence with this one.
Total price: Double Georgette – $11.98/Satin – $9.98/Zipper – $1.26/Thread $2.65 for a grand total of $25.87.
I am such a sucker for fitted bodices matched with full skirts, but I am coming to terms with the fact that it is just time for a more grown-up (and slimming) go-to style.  More wiggle dresses in 2012!  Alas. A wiggle dress would not have worked for this project.  So, if I were to tweak this dress and still keep it keep the silhouette and style of “Go for Brocade” I would probably have made the neckline just a tad deeper.  I also would have done something more interesting with the back.  You can’t see it, but it’s just real high and real snoozy.  (But effectively guards against drafts and sunburns.)  I do like the vintage brocade very much.  I will have to keep my eyes peeled for vintage dresses for the purpose of re-purposing.  I mean, after I use all the fabric in my stash, of course.



Liz makes her home in continuously gray, but lovely, Portland, Oregon. The cloud cover and raindrops only contribute to her dressmaking habit. Liz believes that all dresses should have pockets and all pockets should hold kittens.


Comments are closed.

  1. You Go Girl, love the Brocade look.

  2. Cute dress, it suits you. :)

  3. Oooo! I love brocade and I love bronze! You look absolutely divine.

  4. Very nice – I think this colour is great on you.

  5. I agree. It’s lovely.

  6. Great upcycle – the bronze is a refreshing colour change from the usual fancy dresses you see.

  7. The dress is lovely and judging by the photos the bodice fits like a glove!

  8. I think this color looks so rich on you, and the style suits you as well :) I feel weird in full skirts, but every time I see something like this, wish I could pull it off half as well.

  9. Get off the fence — it’s beautiful! I think it would be incredibly lovely for a fall event….

  10. Very lovely dress and colours! Suits you very much!

  11. Love the combination of fabric, it looks great on you!

  12. I think the color is fantastic on you. Beautiful.

  13. I think you made it really modern! The brocade top matched with the matte of the double gorgette has really given the dress a great Anthro vibe. To me it’s just begging to be styled with a jean jacket, a great chunky knit cowl in a multicolored wool and a cute pair of boots..

  14. Love that bronze color on you! I think the fitted bodice and full skirt look is plenty grown up, but then I might be biased since that’s about 75% of my me-made clothes!

  15. That dress looks great on you! It would be awesome styled with a bright blue color os a dark teal. Like a cute cardigan or a belt. I am jealous!

  16. I really like the colour it is unique

  17. Nice job modernizing vintage fabric! It looks great!

  18. I love your version even more than the original – good job!

  19. Wonderful use of your stash! I’m a big fan of repurposing and trying to narrow down the stash. I enjoyed your journey through this dress project. It really is quite lovely!

  20. Absolutely stunning, brilliant use of stashed fabric. Just love it.

  21. I Love the fit of this dress. I think this aqua cinch belt from etsy would look great with that. It would help marry the transition between fabrics and also provide a great contrast.

  22. Ohhhh! So cute. I love that brocade. Good use of an out of use dress.

  23. Stunning! What a gorgeous shape and colours :D

  24. I LOVE the bodice! And I think it works fabulously with that full skirt! Go dancing and swish that skirt around, I say :)