Saturday, July 25, 2009

Which fabric?

If money were no object, I wouldn't have to agonize, but since it is, I have some decisions to make. I want to make several dresses, and have found some great fabrics, but can't decide which fabric to do with which pattern, and which fabric I'm willing to sacrifice, in case I don't have the cashola to pick it up while it's still available. So any and all opinions would be appreciated....

I know for sure that I want to do this dress:
In this fabric:

But should I also do it in this?

Even fairly close up, you don't realize these are life preservers until you really look at them. I think this fabric would be good for an "everyday" version of this dress, whereas the Japanese floral is more of a "special occasion" fabric.

So all you sewing colleagues out there, should I do both? Should I grab the life preserver fabric while it's available, assuming that I'll always be able to find a pretty Japanese floral? There have been so many times when I've missed out on a fabric that I loved. And I have to remember that there are several other dresses for which I have the very same quandry...

How do YOU make those decisions?

This is just the first of my sets of decisions.... I'll post more later next week....

Any, opinions, ideas? Thanks in advance!


  1. This probably wont help, but... I absolutely love the Japanese floral for that dress, but I don't love the lifesaver one for it. I do however love the lifesaver fabric (just not for that)! To me it screams blouse rather than dress.

  2. OK, this is what I see for the lifesaver fabric:

    Good luck :)

  3. Hey Angela - OMG I LOVE that blouse, and I totally see what you mean about the lifesaver fabric. I've just been staring at it for so long that I couldn't see it anymore, if you know what I mean... I also just found some fabric in my stash that I'm considering for this dress. I'll have to wait until I see the yardage requirements to see if it's even possible though; I might not have enough.

    Thanks for the perspective! Yay!

  4. Definitely do the Japanese floral for this dress. I would use the lifesaver fabric for another project, something cute or a skirt.

  5. I too, love the Japanese floral. It would make a stunning dress. However, if you are going for a more retro or period style, then the lifesavers would be the better choice (though not as pretty.)

  6. Thanks, Trudy and Alexandra! Ok, it sounds like my first instinct is what others are seeing too; the Japanese floral will look amazing, although not as "period correct". The lifesavers need to be made up in something else..... Oh, gosh, time to look at more patterns.... ;-)

    Thanks, everybody!

  7. I agree...that floral is awesome. ALSO...if you are new to this,(and I have probably mentioned this before) go buy a bunch of cheap quilter's cotton from Joann's or something and make the dress up in *that* first. I've found quilter's cotton can be just as cheap as muslin when I am making a "test-run dress." That way I know what problems may arise before I cut out my fashion fabric. AND, if everything goes swimmingly, you have another lovely cotton dress to wear!

  8. Hey Miss Amelina, thanks as always for the tips! I'm still learning, and appreciate the help! Funny you should mention a test dress; last night I found some orphaned fabric in my stash that I was thinking of using as a "test" for this pattern. I've only got 4 yards of it, and I don't yet know the yardage required, so we'll see if I get to use it. It's a wacky large polka dot print in aqua, cream and green. The pattern may be in today's mail... keeping my fingers crossed!

  9. I agree with the others. Use the beautiful floral. My opinion--the lifesaver print would be great made with a more simple pattern; perhaps without scallops and maybe no collar. That way there is less dress detail and the fabric can really show itself off.

  10. Anytime, anytime. And I am still learning too...Always.
    Your test run fabric sounds awesome!
    After the pattern arrives, if you discover you not have quite enough yardage, hold one of the skirt pieces up to your waist and see where the hem falls. Sometimes those skirts are alot longer than you would actually wear them, so when you cut out the pattern you can cut the skirt out shorter, thereby using less fabric.

    Can't wait to see what you come up with!

  11. Thanks, Miss Amelina and Susan! I've relegated the lifesaver fabric to my list of "I want this fabric but I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet."

    The patterns came today, and I knew they were going to be in rough shape...sigh...I'm going to very carefully copy them onto some heavy paper and then put the originals into storage.

    And the shorter version of the dress calls for 4 1/2 yards, so I may be able to make it out of the aqua dots fabric...I want to copy the pattern pieces before I get too carried away, so it'll be a few days.

    Thanks, everyone, for your input!


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