Sewing Adventures – Shibori Dress

By Susan | Comments: 2 | February 2, 2017

This one has been sitting waiting to be posted for oh forever. I’ve never been happy with the photos I get of this dress and well today I decided it doesn’t matter just go with it.

Sometimes it’s just ALL ABOUT THE FABRIC and this is certainly one of those cases. When we attended the Shibori workshop I knew I wanted to create a piece of fabric that I could turn into a garment. With that in mind I found some nice quality 100% cotton, pre washed it and took it with me to the workshop. It dyed fantastically well but it’s a super solid fabric so it has zero give in it, sometimes while wearing the finished dress it feels somewhat restrictive. You can see here how it pulls at the waist and the strain on the invisible zipper.

After learning about the techniques and having a bit of an experiment (the results of those I used here) I decided to go with an Itajme resist, where wooden shapes are used alongside the folding and pleating to create the design. It’s wonderfully effective and I loved the end result. What I really loved those was the pieces where the folds weren’t perfect and you go these cool spiderweb style designs.

In order to show it off I went with my basic bodice that I’ve been trying to perfect and a pleated skirt. The skirt is just 2 rectangles pleated. At the centre back I even had to cut down the centre of the rectangle to get an invisible zipper in. Not wanting to waste a single millimeter of this fabric I’ve used all the way to the selvedges, have tiny seam allowances and just let the fabric do all the work. The entire dress is lined in cotton voile to help make it more opaque.

I love it! It is beautiful to wear and the inky lines are so pretty. I think I can safely say this is not the last time I will be experimenting with creating my own fabric designs using Shibori techniques.

Pattern: my own bodice block, pleated rectangles for skirt
Fabric: 100% cotton shibori dyed
Changes for next time: increase size of bodice to allow for zero give in fabric as the bodice gets too tight.


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Hi, I'm Susan. A designer living in Sydney, Australia.

Here I share tales of my sewing, my pattern collection and insights into what it's like to work as a professional fashion designer.

Other recurring themes include cat photos and an ever changing hair style.



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