Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Multiples of Three

Last month I met up with Mari while she was in the Bay Area and she generously sent me home with this lovely cotton.  Thank you, Mari!  

My first thought was that this was a batik wax resist print.  Upon closer inspection, I found a few leftover threads that appear to have pinched and folded the fabric closed while it was dyed.  The pattern repeat is not exact or symmetrical which makes me think this was probably done by hand.  I suppose that makes this more of a tie dye?  I would love to hear if anyone knows exactly how this technique works!

Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that I was wearing this dress on my afternoon outing with Mari, but I could not get the idea of making another Butterick 5209 out of my mind whenever I looked at the yardage.  

There was not quite enough fabric to make this design, but I stubbornly went ahead with my original plan for it.

I ended up removing two inches of width in the skirt pieces and the back half of the bodice is lined in plain cotton voile because there was no way to squeeze it out of the fashion fabric.

The red dye bleeds a bit, so I am hopeful that the white cotton lining will turn a bit pink when I wash the garment.

This is my third version of the dress, and I still love it - in fact, the reason I wanted to make another is so that the others do not wear out too quickly!

I will be moving on from this pattern for a while, but I can imagine making another in the distant future because it is so easy and comfortable to wear.  Can you really ever have too many cotton day dresses!?!  My closet might disagree with me, but I say the answer is "no"!

Dress:  Made by me, Butterick 5209
Earrings:  Made by me
Shoes:  Banana Republic


  1. gorgeous dress - and the fabric suits it so well. it sounds like the fabric may be shirbori dyed with is a japanese technique. a running stitch is used to gather the fabric so you end up with a controled tie-dye effect. you could steam the dress after its next launder to help fix the dye.

  2. Beautiful dress. I love cotton dresses the more the better!

  3. Of Hug-Snug and catch-stitches; this is a lovely frock, but I will not be thrown off the scent.

    You are up to something, bigger, with some serious yardage involved - I can feel it.

  4. Hahah, oh dear. Long time reader, first time commenter. Blogger has eaten my comment twice already! Third time's a charm.
    I think the fabric you have is indeed a type of tie-dye. It looks like Shibori or something similar. Shibori is a Japanese-style tie dye that involves a lot of intricate handstitches and knots to create tiny-scale patterns. Having followed your blog for a long time, I think I can confidently say you would really enjoy researching Shibori and trying it out for yourself!

    1. This style of tie dye is also common in Indian fabrics- google bandhani saree. Of course now most of the sarees are machine printed rather than hand tied, but if you buy an old used saree it might be hand tied.

  5. Kathryn is right, it has your name all over it, and I do suggest making sure you have access to a large dye-friendly sink before you go there. A bath in vinegar/water would help to fix the dye. And then a trip to the Internet to read up, and then a long thought about how much time you like to spend wearing mad scientist gloves.
    (and it would be so worth the effort)

  6. That looks comfortable and we always grab the clothes that are easy to wear. You have a nice selection of cotton dresses in your bulging wardrobe (but you can never have too many clothes). I feel a fancy time consuming outfit calling your name and saying make me very soon. Never mind all the gorgeous stuff you have. More creative ideas appear the more you use your talents.

  7. Very, very charming dress! It looks like something that would be comfy and accommodating enough to (swing) dance in, if so desired.

    ♥ Jessica

  8. I have this pattern. The first time I made it with a bourdeaux satin and I didn't like the fit. But I think perhaps on a stretch cotton it would be lovely. It really suits you!