Have you tried out any of the Milly designer fabrics yet? I had not heard of Milly, but really liked the colors in this print and thought it would be perfect for a wedding that I am attending in Germany. The wedding will be in a very old church, and the bride chose blue as the wedding color scheme, so I wanted something with blue in it. When I received the fabric, I actually gasped- it is probably the prettiest fabric I’ve ever worked with!
The type of fabric was unfamiliar to me- it was very heavy and fully interfaced on the back. I quickly googled Milly’s creations, and found this…
$925!!! Wow, I knew it was nice fabric! You’ll see that they call it Cady fabric, so I had to look that up too. According the Threads magazine: “The most useful understanding of cady for a home sewer is that it’s a woven fabric that has the look and hand of two-, three-, or four-ply silk crepe with a bit of stretch. It can be made from fibers such as silk, cotton, rayon, wool, polyester, and acetate-often combined with some spandex.” Mine doesn’t have any stretch whatsoever though.
I tried to find a sleeveless dress pattern similar to the designer original, and I came across a Cynthia Rowley pattern from a few years back- 1104. This is a neat design because even though it might look like multiple pieces, the front and back are just one piece each, and they are shaped with pleats and darts. This was important because I really didn’t want to break up the print any more than possible.
This is not my normal style- I would normally wear a straight dress like a sheath, but I wanted to use every inch of this fabric, and I had 2-1/2 yards!
I did a full bust adjustment, and added some length- not much, I can’t remember how much I added, but the pattern itself was pretty long. I also added side seam pockets. I think that this pattern is very nice for alterations- you can make the darts or pleats a little larger or smaller, and tweak your fit without too much trouble.
Since you never know what the weather is going to be like, I also ordered a Milly lace to make a shrug. I think that the shrug really adds a lot to the outfit. Because the weave so open, I knew that I needed a style with few seams. I found McCalls 6461 which just has a shoulder seam and an underarm seam.
I used my coverstitch to finish the edges, as it would provide just another row of stitching to hold the open weave in place. I also added a piece of twill tape to the back neckline, so that it wouldn’t stretch out of shape.
Unfortunately, the fabrics that I used are sold out, but you can find a whole lot more Milly fabrics here.
Here’s a close up of the fabrics and the accessories. The blue chiffon clutch was my late Mom’s- probably from the 50’s. And the shoes were an Italian designer shoe that I found at a consignment shop for $3! I think that the shrug “bookends” the shoes to pull everything together.
I haven’t made a fancy special occasion dress for a long time, so this was a really fun project for me. Have you tried any of the Milly fabrics yet? What did you think? I just ordered 3 more, so you can say I’m smitten.