Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Autumn Sunrise Dress

Once Will and I decided to visit New York in the autumn, I just had to make myself an autumnal dress! I designed a two-tone dress in coral pink and golden yellow, to be made in wool crepe fabric.

But wool crepe fabric is practically impossible to find in anything other than deep colours, so I had to buy ivory and dye it. I used Dylon cold water dyes (did not want to take the risk with machine dyes on the expensive wool fabric); wool doesn't take dye very easily, so these colours are the result of soaking the fabric in the dye for literally hours - the pink was in the dye bath for about five hours. And they're still not quite as vibrant as I'd originally envisaged, although they're still lovely colours.

I used the same basic pattern as both the Happy Apples and the Ballroom Belles dresses, making adjustments to the bodice pattern. I also redesigned the sleeve piece a little - the pattern comes with two sleeve styles, a shirred puff sleeve (which I used on the Apples dress) and a simple darted style. I used the darted sleeve but added more width the pattern piece to give it extra 'puff', and added a tuck to take out the additional width at the opening, the same as I did with Ballroom Belles.

I changed the colour of the top thread in my sewing machine when I sewed the zipper placket so it's pink on pink and yellow on yellow - a touch I'm rather proud of. The dress is fully lined in silk habotai.

Overall I'm very happy with this one. The fit isn't perfect (I normally prefer my clothes to be a touch more snug), but that's okay. It's very comfortable, great for work or a day out and about.

I'm thinking of opening up the centre front seam on the bodice a little to take the neckline a bit lower, which would also allow it to open into a slightly wider sweetheart shape.

Photos taken at Planting Fields Arboretum on Long Island.


  1. Beautiful dress, you are very talented, dear. And I'm so glad you are back. :)

  2. Hat off to you lady! Th dress is amazing! But how did you manage to dye the wool without it shrinking?

  3. It is adorable!! I definitely think this color combination suits you well and you look super cute!!

  4. You are v clever. It's a lovely, unusual dress. X

  5. The dress fits beautifully and looks grand on you. Well done!

  6. This dress matches your hair so well and makes me smile. My mind is totally blown that you made this dress and dyed the fabric, you are truly talented and an inspiration to novice seamstress.

    She Knits in Pearls

  7. Did you use any stiffening in the sleeves? They're delightfully pouffy!

    1. Hi Emileigh, no I didn't use any stiffening - the wool crepe has a fair amount of body as well as a lovely drape - one of the reasons it's among my favourite fabrics to work with!


  8. Fabulous dress, it looks great on you.

  9. It all matches!
    The dress, the hair, the garden.. I find it rather wonderful!


  10. That colour combination is amazing!

  11. Charlotte, that dress, and the color combo is just amazing!


I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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