October 5, 2012
Another hand-woven cotton and vintage fabric dress. The black fabric is hand-woven cotton, and the brown from a roll of fabric that I found nestled among countless delightful rolls in a quiet little alley. There is nothing like the feeling of pulling out rolls of fabric, each more wonderful than the next, and collecting them in your arms until you can’t hold anymore!
Initially I had planned on making a horizontal neck line for this dress. I tried the top part of the dress on and decided that it looked better at an angle. The line worked better with the strong vertical line of the brown section.
The brown fabric on the bodice is sewn at an angle onto the black bodice. The angles of the shoulder, neck, and front pull the eye into the waist and then opens up again with the skirt.
The brown section almost pours out of the waistline, and onto the skirt. I matched the brown panel from the bodice to the skirt. The black part of the skirt is gathered on the back to create more fulness in the skirt. It is a pleasant view to look at when sitting down…
The back of the dress is all black. Because there is so much going on with the pattern and embroidery on the front I left the back plain. It is important for me to have some major elements of simplicity in design. Things can get too busy.
I haven’t managed to buy bias tape to line armholes and the like, so I came up with some fabric left over from another project. So the armholes are lined with purple and black spots..
October 3, 2012
These dresses are all the same pattern, using different fabrics. Made with a combination of hand-woven cottons and vintage embroidered skirts, both from the hill tribes of northern Thailand.
There are three dresses. The first is red with blue and red embroidered bodice and trim. The red fabric is hand woven cotton. It is a thinner weave, and very soft. The embroidered fabric was originally a skirt. I took apart the embroidered and appliqued skirt, and only used one of the sections, pictured below. I have the bottom section left for something else. It includes a corduroy trim and more fabric patchwork.
The dress is billowy, and hits just above the knee (on me anyways). The gathered sleeves, cuffs, and bodice create a peasanty sort of look that I hope isn’t overdone…
The brown dresses are a little bit simpler. The bodice is all the same color. On the first brown dress I added a hem of another skirt. This particular skirt was all hand embroidered. I fell in love with the back of the skirt and used it instead of the front.
The above picture is of the “right side” of the dress, using the “wrong side “of the skirt border material. Below is an image of both the wrong side, top, and the right side of the fabric, bottom.
I am sure that some would prefer the right side of the hem, but I was really drawn to the muted colors and slight imperfections of the wrong side. I saved enough fabric to make another garment, and maybe the next time I will use the right side.
The third dress went along with the simple brown theme and was brown the whole way through, border and all. I made it simple to experiment with using only the cotton. I also wanted to try to belt this dress, and felt that the quieter brown would lend itself well to that. The plain brown one is also about an inch longer, to adjust to the belting.