Swamp Creature Dress

IMG_2835

Every year, I make a nice dress to wear to holiday parties. I end up going to several, and for the most part, the other people there don’t overlap, so I can wear the same dress a few times.

This dress will be this year’s holiday attire. It’s actually a dress and a blouse. The dress is made with silk ottoman, trimmed with cotton crocheted lace. The blouse is silk organza, trimmed with the same lace.

The idea came from a look from Alberta Ferretti’s fall 2015 collection, showing a dark sheer blouse under a sleeveless dark dress. It looked so cool and gothic that I wanted one. I picked some fabrics from my closet and dyed them. I dyed the silk ottoman and organza with acid dye from Dharma Trading in Moss Green. The cotton lace is dyed with Dharma Trading procion dye in I can’t remember what color.

I call it my Swamp Creature Dress because of the color scheme and because the lace coming out the hem (which is attached to the dress lining, not the blouse) kind of looks like seaweed or pond scum. Also, the silk ottoman changed dramatically after the dye process. I thought it might be ruined from the stress of multiple washings. It started out as a very formal fabric, with all the rows laying perfectly straight. After the whole dye process, the ridges were markedly wavy. I went ahead and made the dress anyway, and now I really like it. The lace coming out the hem (which is attached to the dress lining, not the blouse) kind of looks like seaweed or pond scum.

back view

back view

I self-lined the dress

I self-lined the dress

cuff

cuff

collar

collar

seaming

seaming

hem

hem

the crochet lace tablecloth that I cut up and dyed for the trim.  I bought it at an estate sale.  It's a pretty standard item that lots of old people have.

the crochet lace tablecloth that I cut up and dyed for the trim. I bought it at an estate sale. It’s a pretty standard item that lots of old people have.

patterns that I used.  The blouse pattern is almost certainly oop.  The dress pattern might still be available.

patterns that I used. The blouse pattern is almost certainly oop. The dress pattern might still be available.

Alberta Ferretti dress (lifted from Vogue.com)

Alberta Ferretti dress (lifted from Vogue.com)

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11 Comments

  1. Posted October 21, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I love the colours in this. Such a great use of the tablecloth.

  2. Posted October 21, 2015 at 3:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    What an appropriately named post for October/Halloween. You will truly be the best dressed swamp creature this holiday season. 😉

  3. Posted October 21, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    So much thought and time went into this unique dress! You will certainly get compliments and questions about where you bought it!

  4. fabricfan
    Posted October 21, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Beautiful, lovely colours and use of lace.

  5. Posted October 22, 2015 at 6:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    Lovely! The colors are just ethereal and calming. I need to dye me some tablecloths!

  6. Posted October 22, 2015 at 9:14 am | Permalink | Reply

    Very interesting dress. You are brave to dye silk ottoman and wash it multiple times! Isn’t it interesting what happens when you launder some ‘dry clean’ fabrics.

    • Posted October 22, 2015 at 10:59 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! I bought the silk ottoman with the intention of dyeing it. It came cheap at an estate sale, and the original color was a 1980’s orange-y tan.

  7. Posted November 22, 2015 at 5:16 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Claudine – I just love all of your work, including the reindeer & octopus holiday pillows you recently completed!!! Would you mind sharing what types of fabric, stitches, & threads you used? Thanks, and Happy Holidays!

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