A Perfect Storm

by Erin on October 27, 2006

mccalls 5403

Okay, which one of you folks sent this link to me? It obviously worked, I bought this pattern (how could I not?) but I can't find your name in my email. Probably because searching on "pattern" "ebay" "midriff" returns about eleventy-billion results.

Of course, if I were trying to design a dress that included all my current fave elements (midriff band, contrast banding, kimono sleeves, full skirt) I would never have come up with anything as great at this.

My only question now (besides who to thank for pointing it out to me) is: what fabric? I kinda want something with a nap or a right-side/wrong-side contrast so I can make the banding only slightly different. (Although, knowing me, I'd cut it out the wrong way twice before figuring it out. I'm not good with "directional" fabric.) Ooh — maybe stripes! That would be easy to keep straight. Okay, that's it. Stripes. Now, what colors? Suggestions gratefully appreciated.

And if you sent this link to me, step up and take your bow!

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

htwollin October 27, 2006 at 7:49 am

Hmmm, if it were me, I’d do it in one of those “two different colored threads that make up one color” silk dupionis. I think if you use the opposite side, it will look slightly different. And, my favorite color at the moment is rust.


Robinson October 27, 2006 at 8:13 am

I love that pattern. How about polka dots?http://emmaonesock.com/fabrics/coatupholsteryfleece12560.aspThat fabric is probably too heavy for what the pattern recommends. But, it’s polka dots! And it’s reversible! And way out of my personal price range. Is there a rule for using a beefier fabric with a pattern that calls for a lighter fabric?


Anonymous October 27, 2006 at 8:27 am

Robinson – The rule with using a beefier fabric than what is called for is to tread carefully. A beefier fabric will hang less fluidly, and it will be bulkier in areas with gathers, pleats, etc. Which isn’t to say it’s impossible, it will just look different from the pattern envelope.I would love to see this done for winter in one of those suede-like washed rayons with satin trim in a matching color, either in a dark rusty red or chocolate brown. One of those embroidered border prints at JoAnn’s would also be fun.Amy


Anonymous October 27, 2006 at 8:36 am

I think this would look great in a rich deep solid satiny fabric – almost like a kimono. Stripes might be a little – well – busy?


Anonymous October 27, 2006 at 8:41 am

Stripes may be a bit much…I actually like the idea on the envelope – using two almost identical colors…


Anonymous October 27, 2006 at 8:55 am

The latte/expresso shown on the envelope is a no-brainer. You could test the pattern in a cotton stripe or plaid and then make it up in silk. Yummy!


Ginger October 27, 2006 at 9:07 am

I like the solid idea better, too. Maybe try making the stripes with velvet ribbon, for lots of texture. I love wool and velvet!


oracle October 27, 2006 at 9:34 am

I can see stripes in the skirt and bodice, with a solid midriff (perhaps of the lighter colour). I keep seeing it with stripes about an inch wide.


nora October 27, 2006 at 10:14 am

Wowza! A perfect storm, indeed! AND in a good size (i.e., not B32–which is of course a perfectly good size to be). Quelle coup!So, what do we call this kind of neckline that also keeps popping up – the sort of raised-slash collar? I love it.I was also sort of thinking, with Oracle, that it might be nice to have the midriff be the same solid as the contrast banding. I love the brown, too, and I love brown as the background for colorful stripes…the wool-with-velvet banding sounds heavenly too though, Ginger…Whatever you decide, it’s bound to rock. Please post a picture when it’s sewn up!


kmkat October 27, 2006 at 10:32 am

What I want to know is, are going to wear the six or eight crinoline that the skirt so obviously requires? If so, make at least one of them that fabric (taffeta, maybe?) that makes the delightful swishy sound when you walk.


gaile October 27, 2006 at 11:11 am

I’m pretty sure I saw some reversible silk prints on sale at fashion fabrics club this week, maybe you could find something there that would be fabulous?http://www.fashionfabricsclub.com/Catalog_items.aspx?Query=silk+print


Marji October 27, 2006 at 12:00 pm

I see others beat me to it, but think about this dress for a moment. The Claire McCardell dress you love from several days ago is solid, the illustrations on this pattern envelope are solid, with just a textural difference for the contrast – This dress is crying out for solids. Maybe a cross weave silk shantung for a bit of irridesence, but I would choose a strong color and let the design lines do all the talking here.


MinaW October 27, 2006 at 12:20 pm

That Fashion Fabrics link has some of those iridescent silk dupioni fabrics, maybe shot fabric. Those would be gorgeous. I’m tempted by the blue/gold one, which is supposed to have a coppery overall color. If run in another direction, the color should read differently. That would make a great dressy version, I think.How do stripes work in something with skirts this wide? I can see that narrow stripes, with the contrast banding down the front of the skirt having them diagonal would be interesting. Kind of like some of those african print dresses with the subtle blue & white contrasts.


Jeanette in L.A. October 27, 2006 at 12:47 pm

Taking my bow… It was me! Glad to see that you got the pattern, and I’m dying to see what you make with it. I agree with the dupioni suggestions, maybe a golden brown with hints of green? I never can resist stripes though… maybe tone on tone stripes like this: http://www.fashionfabricsclub.com/catalog_itemdetail.aspx?ItmID=AA102. But I love the shine on the dress in the picture, so definitely something with some sheen.


Anonymous October 27, 2006 at 1:12 pm

The iridescent silk would work for sure, and here’s the funny story of how I know. In 1992 I was one of 6 bridesmaids in a friend’s garish wedding. We were dressed in iridescent taffeta: cobalt blue that turned to magenta in the light. (That is NOT the colorway I would recommend for this lovely dress.) The seamstress who made them was directionally challenged. Some of the dresses were cut one way, some the other. In real life it was no big deal, but in the photos, 2 of the 6 girls were magenta, the others blue.My point being, that fabric would be perfect for a subtle (but intentional!) contrast. :-)


Anonymous October 27, 2006 at 4:46 pm

Contrast makes me swoon! All these comments… dupioni silk, velvet and wool, satin trim… I’m drifting off to my special occasion closet and dancing around in heaven!


lucitebox October 27, 2006 at 7:10 pm

I like it as shown. I’d do a rich, deep ruby red that was a matte finish and trim it with something shinier for the contrast. Dupioni silk sounds wonderful! I’d love this dress to have lots of movement, so something bulky wouldn’t work for me. Holly


lucitebox October 27, 2006 at 7:11 pm

Just checked Jeanette’s suggestion–wonderful!


Anonymous October 28, 2006 at 12:12 am

I would do a white dress with a silk green and white striped midriff.


AdventureGirl October 28, 2006 at 6:56 am

OMG! I MUST learn to sew!This could maybe also carry off a Thai Silk if you could get your hands on some!


Kate in England October 28, 2006 at 7:55 am

I like the slubbed silk idea, but I’ve read somewhere that if you use dupion or shantung with the “lines” (sorry, can’t remember the proper word) running vertically, the seams tend to unravel. Have never tried it myself but might be worth testing…


Lisette October 28, 2006 at 11:37 am

This dress is stunning! but my first reaction was “it’s the fifties version of the “Duro”” or is that just me?


Gidget Bananas October 28, 2006 at 4:12 pm

I vote for orange silk in the same shade as the fabulous Mizrahi dress, with trim a shade darker. Would you look like a pumkin? Perhaps; but it would be the GREAT pumkin!


Minya, Warrior Seamstress October 28, 2006 at 4:45 pm

I’d make it up in crepe backed satin, crepe for the body & shiny contrast & midriff. Or reverse prints, like black/white & white/black floral, possibly pink on black/black on pink polka dots. But those choices are based on what’s available in my area.


Anonymous November 1, 2006 at 3:25 pm

Checks, maybe?


born2bead December 7, 2006 at 1:47 pm

What site did you find this pattern on?


Erin December 7, 2006 at 1:58 pm



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