Friday, September 07, 2007

Is it a bad idea

to make this pattern:

with this fabric?

I don't mean print-wise. I happen to think a wood-grain print dress is a simply wonderful idea (wait, if you feel very strongly that my style is straying to the 'hey, that chunky-knit twinkle dress is cute' side of quirky*, please speak up).

It's just that the fabric is quilting cotton (as are all the best prints), and I'm worried it'd be too lightweight. I've made this mistake before. I have a lovely structured vintage-pattern shift with a peter pan collar hanging half finished at mah mum's place, because I foolishly made it out of a cotton so lightweight you could almost call it voile. I'm thinking I could get away with quilting cotton weight if I made the full-skirted view. That'd accomodate softness, flow and drape a little better than the more structured wiggle-dress. Any opinions?

I'm so pleased to have found this pattern. So rarely do I think about what pattern I want and then seek it out. This was almost unintentional. I was dreaming about both a certain skirt style (blogging later); and a kind of shift dress that had a gathered seam under the bust in a nod to the empire lines so fashionable right now, but that demonstrated that I do in fact have a waist (as empire and trapeze lines do not). I couldn't believe it when I actually found exactly what I was looking for, and with a nice full-skirt variation I hadn't thought of to boot.

* My stitch'n'bitch will understand. I am somewhat infamous for declaring an intention to make a knitted dress so chunky it used 15mm needles... upon closer inspection I was forced to agree that yes, it would make any human being, including the model, look chunky and that perhaps my sense of taste had strayed to the dark side of quirky momentarily.


christina said...

My opinion is that the cotton alone is going to be too limp for this dress. Does the pattern call for a a lining? I think if you *must* make this dress with that fabric, line or underline it.

I understand what you mean when you say all the good prints are quilting fabrics...

Geek Sewing said...

This reminds me of that what-do-you-see test. I don't see wood grain but eyes.

(Okay, I'm going to speak up. I've been lurking awhile now ever since Christina of Assorted Notions nominated you.) IMHO, I think quilting cotton for your pattern will steer the look towards summer rather than fall. If that's the look you're after, then so be it. But I think quilting cotton will not lend this look a nice drape, rather, the look will be stiff and wrinkly. Maybe after many, many washes, it will get soft. But do you really want to wait until then? The print's color would have faded too.

I encourage you to try a wool blend like wool/rayon (very drapey) or lightweight wool. Buy 1/4 yard of one that interests you and play with it; gather it against your body/bust and see how it drapes; then wash a large swatch and see how it reacts to water. If you plan to dry clean it, then do that right before you cut it.

As for the print? Okay, speaking up again. I'm full of it today... digging my grave right now. Wood grain? It might, I say might, make you look like a walking tree trunk. Just because a print looks good on the bolt doesn't mean it will also look good on a person. Please don't hate me!

Bibnbub said...

Finally got to catch up on your blog today... CONGRATS ON THE JOB!!!

I agree that the fabric may be too light weight for the dress. Kowing your style I think the print would be a great match however.

See you Monday at SnB.

Clementine said...

Yeah, I gotta agree with everyone else— too lightweight. perhaps you could inster some kind of panel though?

Or failing that, I've made heaps of skirts out of quilting fabric— they hold their shape better than dresses.

Clementine said...

jeez, i can't type. inster = insert.

KnitXcorE said...

i adore that fabric!!!!!! i hope you can find a way to use it.

Spiralling said...

I have a woodgrain a-line kind of dress by Isaac Mizrahi for Target. Actually, I have an a-line skirt in the same fabric from the same range. I LOVE them both, but they're a lighter wood. You'll definitely need to line your dress but I say go for it, I get loads of compliments and comments whenever I wear mine.