22 December, 2009

Pepper Paisley: a new Coat-Dress in action

What, surely you weren't expecting a finished dress, snapped in mid-swish?! The pic above is about as close as it gets to a true-colour image of this thick, soft, woven paisley Ralph Lauren wool-silk blend, all 3 yds of it, acquired for a winter version of the dress I already made in its summer iteration.

Any changes, you ask? Yes, full length sleeves of course, with oversize French cuffs and snaps to hold them together, hidden under decorative buttons on the outside; the undersized pockets will be absent; and the hem? perhaps 1 or 2 cm longer - it's winter, after all!

The ruler in the pics below is 40" long, to give you a sense of the pattern repeat - pretty big, isn't it? Matching up all these curves would make me look like I'm wrapped in a Persian carpet, I thought. But I'm not Cleopatra. And, and.....

.....and the pattern runs selvedge to selvedge! So instead of forcing a pattern peg across a paisley hole, I decided to make each pattern piece L-R symmetrical without matching on the seamlines (except on the top sleeves) and to break up the paisleys, by laying it all out on the cross-grain, for a predominantly vertical pattern. The stuff has the same amount of give in either direction.

The extra spaces near the selvedge in the pic above are just enough for an under-collar and four very large, musketeer-wannabe cuff pieces.

I just received some new to me interfacings from Pam (Erny, Off The Cuff), so I used this dress to play with them. I fused the collars with Pro-tailor deluxe; the fronts with the very lightweight Pro-sheer elegance, since I intend to make standard machine buttonholes and thus needed to stabilize the heavily-fraying fabric; and the cuffs and facings with Pro-weft. I like the wide choice of weights these interfacings give.

I hope to have this baby finished by the weekend.

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for joining up to this little head-scratcher, and may we all have a productive, fun, enjoyable 2010!!!!


  1. Your pics just don't do that fabric justice! Can't wait to see the dress. Merry Christmas DIGS!

  2. Beautiful fabric, and I also have been using Pam's interfacing and love it :)

    Merry Christmas!