Fashion Challenge Diary #2: Pretty with a Twist

Week 2 of the Fabric Mart Fashion Challenge, voting here
Pattern: Salme Pattern's Yoke Dress
Fabric: 2 yds cotton velvet, 1/2 yd silk organza
Cost: $41

This week's Fabric Mart Fashion Challenge was to use Salme Pattern's Yoke Dress to create a unique garment that reflects my personality, and describe it using two words.

Now, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed by the pattern selection, not because Salme Patterns aren't absolutely stunning, but because the pattern resembles the Colette Macaron Dress, which so many of us have already sewn (Kathy, Shanni and I have all made up versions). And even though I love pretty little dresses, I'm shifting away from them because they just don't get worn in the foggy Bay Area. So how do I make something pretty but add my own little Bay Area twist? I knew this would definitely take some thought...

Pretty quickly, I fell in love with the concept of appliqueing a floral print to the yoke of the dress instead of following the traditional sweetheart neckline. You could almost say it's my 'signature' (heh heh) to not follow pattern instructions, so this was very me. Unfortunately, I don't actually like floral prints (and the pink, baby blues and violet colors and sun-dressy fabric they come in), but I was so in love with the idea that I knew I had to find something to make it work. So I searched two different fabric stores in two different cities for several hours trying to find the perfect fabric for me.

Finally, I found the perfect fit at Stone Mountain and Daughter in Berkeley! The rich velvet had a beautiful raised floral pattern, but in a dark color that suited my coloring and in a heavy weight fabric perfect for fall, which really is our best season around here. A coordinating silk organza for the yoke was nearby.

So, this is how I turned a pretty little summer dress into my own twist: I appliqued the raised velvet pattern to the silk organza yoke in order to show off the organic shapes in the fabric. The sheer yoke is bound with matching bias tape and finished with french seams at the shoulders, and the dress closes with a (really invisible!) invisible zip. I lengthened the bodice to fit and the skirt for more formal occasions. The result is pretty, but with my own little twist. ;)

Making the garments really reflect me has been a big part of these challenges so far, both with this and the recycled materials challenge. It is so tempting to just make something cute, but that would never get worn. However, I am glad I have persevered, and made something I will totally wear to my next special occasion. It has also been really fun to see how each contestant interprets the challenge for her own, and this challenge is not exception.

The other truly challenging part of this challenge is to get the perfect construction and fit, which I totally got docked for on my place mat jacket (and rightly so!). For this challenge, I spent a lot of time in front of the mirror making sure every seam and curve fit me in just the right place! I look forward to hearing the feedback from the judges (and you!).

I am saving this for some special occasions, but I know it will stand up to the chilly nights out ahead!

Now head on over there and vote for your favorite look!

P.S. This is what your place looks like after sewing like a mad woman all week! I had lots of cleaning to do...


  1. Wow!! This is so elegant and so well done. I love it!

  2. I think it fits you perfectly! And it's beautiful! Great job!!

  3. This is such a gorgeous dress! I love the fabrics that you chose and the applique. Stunning! It looks like it would be the perfect holiday dress.

  4. This dress is amazing! Great work!

  5. oh oh OH. i'm in love. meg, this is stunning!!!

  6. Congrats Meg. You deserved to win! It was a lovely dress and so creative. SEW ON. Peg

  7. ooohh gorgeous dress!!!! Great job, all the details are very well finished!

  8. Congratulations on the win - this is a thoroughly lovely dress & looks great on you! :)


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