Two days ago, I came across the Straight Grain blog (yes, I’ve been living under a rock with regards to the sewing/blogging world:), which had a post about an improvisational pleating challenge.
I followed the link to the tutorial, and thought to myself “this is awesome… I have to try this”. I love how these techniques add so much textural interest to an otherwise simple project. I am often drawn to fabric with a very sparse pattern, or solid-coloured linen with texture in the weave, which would really showcase the pleating. So, at the eleventh hour, I decided to try making a dress for E using the origami pleating tutorial. An’s Hanami dress pattern is so well-suited to showcasing this technique, because of the dropped waist, so I bought the pattern and went for it.
The beautiful fabric had been languishing on my shelf for the last year, and seemed a good choice for showcasing the pleating. It’s the Urchin Shells pattern from Birch Fabric’s Storyboek 2 collection. It’s the most beautiful warm grey colour, and the fabric is soft and drapes so nicely. I decided on the crossed-back option, and went with a plain sleeve so that nothing would compete with the pleating:) The bodice is lined with a turquoise and greyish shot cotton, which is the lightest and most appropriate lining fabric I have in my stash at the moment. The Hanami pattern sewed up nicely, and resulted in a sweet little dress, of which I am somewhat jealous and wish I had one to fit me.
The dropped waist gives such a nice shape to the dress – E’s other dresses all have a high bodice, so while it is debatable whether it was really necessary to add another one to her wardrobe, it really is quite different from the others:) And the crossed back detail is very sweet and summery.
The dress has four buttons to close the crossed back – I used plain mother-of-pearl buttons.
From the moment I started ironing the pleated strip, I was totally hooked. I LOVE how this turned out, and have many other ideas about how to apply decorative pleating. Next up, I am hoping to try the bamboo pleating technique on some natural-coloured linen, perhaps on a top for myself if I’m feeling adventurous. Thank you so much to An for the tutorials, and the inspiration to give this a try!
And now for the outtakes. As usual, photographing the dress was as challenging as the sewing. E was in the mood to provide action shots today, which was pretty hilarious, but not terribly useful for photographing the dress. Please tell me I’m not the only one this happens to:)