Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Home Grown Orchids

It has taken far too long to make my orchid dress.  

Almost two years ago, I designed this orchid print.  My Fabric Designs reproduced the print on fabric thanks to the crazy world of digital printing that we have available to us today.  

As you can see, the color is not quite as bright on the fabric as the original design was on my computer screen.  That may have something to do with my fabric choice, which was the basic combed cotton yardage.  There can be a significant difference in color depending on the fabric content and weave.  It also probably has a bit to do with my computer screen as well.  The fabric itself is a little papery feeling which I do not get with the unprinted fabric swatch from the company - I suspect it has something to do with the dye itself.  It is not something that would dissuade me from using the fabric, just a little unexpected.  Actually, the crispness of the textile lends itself well to the structured silhouette I had planned for the textile.  Their cotton sateen, on the other hand, has a lot of drape, even when printed.

With so many pieces of fabric, I hem and haw over what to make with them.  For this one, I knew exactly what I wanted to do when I ordered the yardage from My Fabric Designs.  

The bodice of Vogue 8701 was something I wanted to use again as soon as I had completed this dress.

But this time around, I thought it would be fun to use the skirt pieces from Vogue 4203 to give the finished dress a slightly different silhouette than the original.

Part of the skirt poof comes from an added piece of cotton that acts as interfacing along the hipline and is treated as a single layer when it comes to darts, pleats, and gathers.  I borrowed the idea from a vintage 1950s pattern I made up many years ago.  I previously used a Pellon interfacing which worked quite well, but a single layer of mid-weight cotton is almost as good.

I went with a hand applied lapped zipper, and also added lingerie guards to each shoulder.  The bodice sits rather far out on the shoulder (which I love because it helps to balance a full hip!) so this keeps bra straps from peeking out.

I debated about adding a belt or not.  In the end, I applied a length of petersham ribbon over self fabric to have the option.

All the better to match a birdcage veil I made to wear with the dress!

[Disclosure:  My Fabric Designs provided me with a coupon code which was used to purchase this fabric, but the opinions posted here are my own.]


  1. You did it again, Laura Mae (he sez, in a punch-drunk-from-her-incessant-output-which-exhausts-one's-jealousy-reflex-and-leaves-one-woozy-and-out-done tone).

    Now, onto the belt. Petersham, but what about the internal waistline cincher you typically insert out of petersham tacked into the side seams. What about that, huh?

    Not that I would be rooting about trying to create you some busy work, or spotlight an oversight (not my M.O.; just an advocate for quality assurance, as I've been for lo these many years. A volunteer of sorts, the kind who shows up rain or shine, gives of his entirety, and all for the good of the cause. Not that I'm redefining the words selfless or caring; just instilling them into your blog's comments section to keep the tone at a sociable and mannered level. From the looks of things, it's been working to a marvelous effect. Why, I consider myself the body glitter of Lilacs & Lace - that finishing touch you didn't have time to include, or scarcely imagine!).

  2. A truly lovely project! You never disappoint! I wish you taught on Craftsy--you are truly an artisan! I always look forward to your posts.

  3. I love reading your blog & I enjoy all of your creations so much! You are an outstanding dressmaker & I will refer to your techniques when the need arises! BEAUTIFUL dress!

  4. Gorgeous details, and it’s great to hear about the qualities of the fabric. Beautiful print!

  5. Birdcage veil--are you getting married?!