Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dress and Coat Set – Harmonious Hues or Color Clash?

This dress is the oldest survivor of the black hole known as my UFO pile.
Partly sewn
I’ve said that about other items, but this is truly the oldest. I purchased the fabric in May 2011, and cut into it soon after that.
Painted, embroidered silk shantung
This was long before I had any knowledge of fitting techniques or even muslin making, so my attempts at adjusting the fit were made with the pieces pinned together. (Yes, it’s true. If I ever get this done, I may name it The Dress of A Thousand Mistakes. That’s worth an entire post in itself.) After a few frustrating sessions, I put the whole thing away for a very long time.

I always had the plan of making a coat to go with the dress – not in the same fabric, but a coordinate. I even mentioned it back in my early blog days when I was swooning over dress and coat ensembles. I won’t even get into my endless vacillations over the coat style, suffice it to say that there will be eventually be a coat!

Now that I’ve decided to finish this thing once and for all, my fabric hoard has thwarted my efforts in the most vexing way. I cannot find just the right fabric for a coat to coordinate with this dress!

Here’s the suiting I originally bought (online, of course) for this purpose. Even though the color is called “gold”, it’s obviously butter yellow, and putting it anywhere near the peachy gold silk is enough to make people ill.

This is also a nice lesson in the effects of lighting as each fabric looks different in outdoor light (left) and indoor flash (right).

Here is a tan silk/linen that is just not quite the right color, plus the coarse texture looks wrong to me.

Here’s a peach rayon suiting that picks up the overall pink-gold hue of the silk, but is too… pale? flat? chalky? It seems to look better in the camera flash than in natural light, but it’s still not good.

In desperation I tried a contrasting color and was pleasantly surprised. This is a blue-gray cotton shantung, and it looks nice with the blue flowers. Then I started dithering again – maybe it was too much contrast.

Belatedly I realized that fabric shopping was my only option. I grabbed my scrap of embroidered silk and ran to the local SAS Fabrics Superstore, a sprawling warehouse without air conditioning where my physical stamina doesn’t always match my fabric enthusiasm. I was able to endure two hours of the heat, and even more amazing, I found a fabric that I think will work.

I really would not have imagined that a multicolored cotton basketweave suiting would be the answer to this problem, but I can’t argue with the evidence.

I definitely prefer this to the other options. But now I have to actually get to work and finish this project before I change my mind again!




  1. Your fabric shopping score is a definite win! I also really like the blue cotton/silk, maybe as a lining for the coat?
    Happy sewing!
    (and yes; you can expect to see me blogging again soon!!)

  2. I rather liked the blue and that is what I would have gone for.Would make a nice lining though.I am sure it will all work out in the end!!

  3. I scrolled down and liked the 3rd one - until I saw the blue - that's it! That's the winner to me.