Hurricane Dress

As the owners of one of very few houses in my vicinity with electricity, my family and I have been busy this week. However, I did occasionally manage to steal away from our constant company to work on a new dress.

I love, love, love this fabric. It’s a novelty fabric that alternates white and dull metallic. The white is almost certainly wool, judging from the smell when it’s wet. The fabric reminds me of the Prada fall 07 collection. When I saw this collection in a store way back when, I was SO JEALOUS that the Prada people can get cool fabric specially milled for them. I’m still jealous of that ability, of course, but happy that I could get some similar fabric for me. I bought it as a remnant from a place that sells mill ends.

I frankenpatterned 2 patterns from the book Home Couture by Machiko Kayaki. The collar is a bias tube. I know that I cut it properly, but somehow there’s a fold at the center front. However, the more I looked at it, the more I like the fold there, so I did not try to fix it. The only thing I can think of that might have caused the fold is that the fabric is a twill weave, and I know that sometimes the grain is funny on twill. That might have something to do with it. So anyway, when you’re looking at the pictures, be aware that the fold in the collar was unplanned, but appreciated.

One change that I made is to take the darts and make them curve slightly inward at the waist. I think they look more fashionable that way. The only reason that I could do this is because the wool fabric is very forgiving, and will press into pretty much any shape I want. I don’t think this would have worked at all on, say, a shirting cotton.

Here’s how I changed the dart so it curves. I moved the ends of the dart 1/2″ toward the side, and the middle 1/2″ toward the center. This causes the 2 sides of the dart to be unequal lengths, so it can only be done with very forgiving fabrics.

back view

side view

here’s a closeup of the fabric where the gold color and the white meet.

curved front dart

collar detail

shoulder detail

curved back dart

silk charmeuse lining

Prada Fall 07 dress made from a similar fabric to mine. Image from



  1. akismet-21b053fec805c8711a1f608da8cdd26a
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 1:57 am | Permalink | Reply

    WOW, I love this dress. The fabric, the pattern, everything. Would love to see it on you. So beautiful.

  2. Shams
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 5:23 am | Permalink | Reply

    Oh, that is SO SO cute. I can see why you love that fabric. I also love the fold at the neckline. The curved dart looks great – very clever.

  3. Posted November 5, 2012 at 6:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    wow, this is lovely! what a great use of a fabulous fabric find 🙂

  4. Posted November 5, 2012 at 6:13 am | Permalink | Reply

    That is awesome fabric. You have made a perfect dress to showcase it. I love the collar fold, exquisite.

  5. Posted November 5, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    That is so beautiful! Where did you find such special fabric?

    • Posted November 5, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink | Reply

      I got it at London Textiles in Cherry Hill NJ. I hesitate to recommend this place because shopping there feels a bit like dumpster diving. All the fabrics are thrown into huge bins, and you need to go through a lot of cuts to find something worthwhile. Then again, that’s how I shopped for fabrics growing up, so I feel pretty at home there.

  6. Posted November 5, 2012 at 9:07 am | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful style! Lovely fabric too.

  7. Posted November 5, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    I LOVE your dress & you took such good pictures. How clever to curve your darts.

  8. Posted November 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love it. The fabric is amazing. The fold on the neckband looks totally purposeful; it looks great.

  9. Posted November 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow. THat’s beautiful fabric. What a great way to use it!

  10. Posted November 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Brilliant dress, great fabric, like the fold in the collar – all good.

  11. Posted November 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That is beautiful! I am so showing this to my daughter. She’s constantly finding dresses for me to make for her.

  12. Crystal
    Posted November 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Awesome dress in such a unique fabric.

  13. Posted November 5, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Permalink | Reply


  14. Posted November 6, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    That dress looks amazing and I can’t wait to see it on you.

  15. Posted November 6, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Love, Love, Love this.

  16. Posted November 8, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting about the dart. I can see the difference it made. Lovely dress.

  17. velosewer
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    So lovely and stylish.

  18. Posted November 13, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wow! What a beautiful dress.

  19. Kathryn
    Posted November 26, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink | Reply

    Gosh, Claudine, where do you find your unique fabrics? This dress is a perfect way to showcase that great piece. Thank you for the darting details. I learned something new. I love that! Marvelous dress indeed. I’m glad you left the collar as is. Serendipitous perfection.

    • Posted November 26, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thank you! I buy almost all my fabrics as remnants. Most of them, including this one, are from London Textiles in Cherry Hill NJ.

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