Simple Design for a Dramatic Result

You know that dress you have in your closet that makes you smile when when you have occasion to wear it? Its the one the makes you feel like your best you when you put it on. For me,  this is the purest form of confidence. The older I get, the more comfortable I am with wearing what I really want to wear, and this is at the core of why I sew my own clothes. It's an affirmation of my personal style, and there is no better moment than when I can follow a compliment with, "Oh thank you! I made it!!" IMG_1705.JPG

So when Alison Glass asked if I'd make a dress using fabric from her new line to show in her market booth, I was EXCITED! This line is fresh and different from anything I've seen on the market- it's technically quilting weight, but the hand dying process makes for a softer, drapey-er feeling fabric.  It's kind of like sheets that have been washed time and time again, or that favorite woven shirt you have, that's never seen a day of starch it its life. When we saw the strike offs at market, we knew we had to have it. And the printing is especially fabulous.  I went through a batik-ing phase in my early 20's.... I batiked everything from pillows to placemats, and so I have a bit of a soft spot for batik.  That said, I think this is the most modern and graphic batik collection I've ever seen in the market, and to me, anyway, it conveys more like art than fabric tends to.

IMG_1712.JPG Alison wrote a great post on the Handcrafted collection right here.  The process of how it came to be is super interesting.  Each piece really is handcrafted.  Alison sent me this gorgeous charcoal flying geese print.  The sharp contrast and long repeat is so dramatic, I knew it was going to be a formal dress. So, I started with the Anna Dress Pattern.

IMG_1702.JPG Of course I had to have an open back (insert mischievous smile here), and I wanted it to mimic the angular pattern of the flying geese in the fabric.

IMG_1710.JPG I love the bespoke feel of this fabric line, so I thought a button closure would be a nice touch. I use a turning out tube tool we sell at the shop to make teeny tiny button loops. Oh, and one big plus: no zipper!! Yay! I kept thinking of this project as the Anti-Formal Formal....  a cotton dress, elevated by its painstaking and time consuming dying process, the simplicity of a row of buttons, a slight bustle and train....  the result is truly one of my favorites.



And what could be more perfect than a friends' wedding last weekend- it was the perfect opportunity to test it out on the dance floor! :)

If you'll be at to market, be sure to come to Alison's booth to see the dress and all the other beautiful things people have made with Handcrafted. Her booth is always fabulous, and I know it's going to be especially so this year.


This fabric is slated to arrive somewhere around the 20th of October now (I heard that it got held up in transit...), and as always, I'll be sending preorders out as soon as we get the fabric in the store. You can preorder it here. If you want to meet Alison in person, we have 3 spots left in her embroidery workshop on the 15th....  She'll be doing a trunk show - I can't WAIT to see what she brings!!  It's gonna be awesome!


the Finch