Hot! The ‘Tree of Life’ Dress

The Facts

Fabric: 3.5 yards Swirl Cotton Fabric $17 from
Pattern: Colette Peony, 2nd time making $0
Year: 2011
Notions:  1 22” zipper $2, 1 button from stash
Time to Complete: Approx. 6 hours
First worn: For pictures
Wear again: Yup
Total Price: $19

Being an Irish and Scottish dancer, I frequently attend events celebrating both cultures.  One of the theme’s that I love that is constantly reflected in Irish art and jewelry is the Tree of Life.  When looking for inspiration for this challenge, I stumbled across Gustav Klimt’s painting of the same name.  As soon as I found it I gave up the other artwork searches and began brainstorming for fabric and patterns.

I was really lucky in finding a fabric with a swirl print that really reminded me of the original piece.  I decided to do Colette’s Peony pattern, as I think it is a nice blank canvas dress, but that still has some pretty design characteristics to it.

I had hoped the dress would be a faster project as I’ve already made it, but it still took about 6 hours.  I made version 1 with the shorter sleeves but added in the pockets from version 2.  This time I decided to actually make the belt to go along with it.

I really like how it turned out.  The design is pretty but fairly simple, but I think it reflects the original inspiration piece.  I’ll definitely wear it again!  It would fit into my work wardrobe, and that print is subtle enough that it doesn’t feel costume-y.



Christine started sewing in late 2010, inspired by the many crafty bloggers and their gorgeous, self-made outfits. When she's not sewing, she's doing Irish and Scottish dancing, needlework or other various crafts, and hanging out with her hubby and fur babies (1 dog and 3 cats).


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  1. That is really lovely, the print reflects the swirly tree of life so well!

  2. Wonderful marriage of Klimt, fabric and Celtic dance. Great pattern choice also.

  3. Hey Christine, the dress turned out great, love the inspiration.

  4. Your fabric is a great subtle nod to Klimt’s painting. Great job all around!

  5. Beautiful, and like you said, not costume-y. The Collette Peony was the perfect choice.

  6. Lovely! I’m really liking my Colette Handbook, now that I’ve seen your Peony, I’ll have to add it to my list. Your fabric choice was spot on!

  7. Fabulous fabric! I’m really enjoying the creations this week.

  8. Wonderful job! Have you ever seen the movie, Book of Kells? Your painting and fabric reminded me of the movie…so beautiful!

  9. So very cute. Love how you poetically posed in front of a tree…as if your dress grew out of it!

  10. It certainly does match Christine, spot on, fabulous simple dress. love it!