The Embroidered Dress

Embroidered Dress


When digging through my mother’s old fabric stash, I came across this fabric. It was bought in Suva, Fiji in 1995, and was covered with details and embroidery. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make something with it. Although I actually hate the color combination, there is something about this fabric that I love, and I just thought it was so pretty. After finding it, it sat around for a while because I was really unsure what to do with it. However, the other day around 11pm, inspiration finally hit me and I put the whole thing together in about 3 hours.

There were three pieces of fabric, all with different textures and embroidery details. One was made to be an a-line skirt, and the embroidery and cut were already done. I decided I didn’t want to change this, and so I sewed the seam and elasticated the waist. Also, please excuse some of my photos of this costume – I did almost all of this late at night, and my camera wasn’t liking the colors.

002After I ironed out all the creases, I began to work on the shirt. This fabric had one main strip of embroidery, so I made my design around that, and cut out a long rectangle. Then, I hemmed off the edges. Next,  I inserted three eyelets into each side of the back, and gave each an individual ribbon tie. It looked horrible on my mannequin, but luckily it looked good on.

013After this, I went to work on the shoulder sash. This fabric was originally at least 40 inches wide, and I wanted to get it down to about 4. I did some very deep pleats, pinned them, and sewed them down, taking care to leave the gold borders in tact.

022Around this time, I decided I definitely needed to sleep, and the sleeves of the bodice would wait till the morning, hence the quality improvement of my pictures.

035The outfit looked nice without sleeves, but felt like it was missing something. I decided to do a sort of capped sleeves design on the bodice, and so pleated down large rectangles of fabric at each of the shorter side ends. I actually tried gathering them first, but hated the bulky look it created. They were pinned onto the bodice to check the fit on, and then I sewed them down.

046Finally, it looked like this!

057One of the sleeves can be tucked and folded under to add on the shoulder sash, but unfortunately I forgot to take photos of it. Luckily, I’ve actually already taken final photos of this dress so those will be up soon. This dress was really quick to make, and very basic – besides the skirt, it was essentially a lot of rectangles. However, it was fun and the end result was really pretty.







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