Do you ever have a specific color in mind when looking for fabric for a specific type of dress? I am usually open to changing my mind if something else wonderful appears, but this time I really, really wanted to find a blue fabric for a cocktail dress. I started out thinking I would like a pale or periwinkle blue silk to pair with white lace, having Susan Khalje’s new Cocktail Dress pattern in mind.
I sent off for swatches – and more swatches – and even more, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for. This is what happens when one lives in an area which is devoid of fine fabric stores. ARGH! Then I found this lovely lightweight silk/linen/viscose blend at Emma One Sock. The color was just what I had in mind and I loved the feel of the fabric. The delicate woven design within this fabric catches glimmers of light.
I really loved it. BUT – I knew it wouldn’t look good paired with lace. So-o-o-o, I thought to myself, maybe I’ll save the lace idea for another time. Maybe I should look at my pattern collection and see what other cocktail dress patterns might be more suitable. I picked out two more designs and gave myself some thinking time.
Since the yardage needed was about the same for all the patterns, I felt confident ordering the fabric and making my decision after it arrived. Can you guess which design I finally chose – and why?
The Vogue Couturier Design by Jo Mattli was the winner. I felt like the vertical “stems” and “leaves” woven into the fabric would be shown to best advantage by a dress that did not have a whole lot going on in it in the way of seams and tucks and gathers. I also like the fact the Mattli design very cleverly gives the feel of a two-piece dress, but in reality, it is one-piece. In fact, only the front of the dress looks two-piece. Here is the back view:
The lightweight nature of this fabric also means that there will not be an excess amount of bulk in that double layered front. The fabric is ideal for underlining in silk organza, with a lining in luscious china silk which Emma One Sock helped to select for me.
I spent several days working on a muslin (toile) for the dress, making some subtle changes which I’ll cover in a future post. The dress itself is now “under construction”! Of course, the longer I work with this beautiful fabric, the more I wonder if I should order more of it….? A coat with a lining to match the dress would be quite something, wouldn’t it? (Any coat would not be finished in time to wear to the early September event for which I am making this dress, but would I let a small detail like that keep me from a vision?) What do you think? Coat or no coat? And if I did make a coat, what color should it?