Thursday, January 4, 2007


This dress was soon nicknamed "Hawaii". Lynne and I had spotted the fabric on our monthly fabric search. I immediately loved the printing, but wasn't sure if it would also suit an irish dance dress. We both agreed it would need some shine to it, and decided that an overlay of 'candy' organza would do. The organza also has a little bit of a crinkle, so it catches the light in a nice way. To create some contrast a blue organza was used as well. This was also my first adventure with the "patch" method. I had already designed the shape earlier, but never knew what to do with it. Once I combined the fabric with a paper test-patch I discovered it would work really well together.

Making a dress with patches is difficult to do. There has been some discussion on the Voy boards about how easy it is for dressmakers to just create 50+ patches and "scatter" them around a dress.* This is not how it works*. Ok, you do make the 50+ patches, but you have to take very good care in how you arrange them to make it look balanced and flattering. In fact, I think it took me more time to find a good arrangement for these patches than it took me to embroider them onto the dress. It is the same process as a "normal" way of designing a dress, only you use repetitive shapes. This limits you in what you can do with your empty spaces on the dress. In a 'traditional' design you can make up a new shape or adjust one to make sure the space is used correctly. With patches, you have to stick to your chosen shapes and often a limited range in size. Just something to consider before you start your own Patch-dress :-)