Ginger Made: The “Climbing Mt. Fuji” Dress

Well, whaddayaknow?  It’s a fancy new dress, my latest Mood Sewing Network creation!  Now, I’m not usually a print gal, but when I saw this Oscar de la Renta raw silk at Mood, I HAD TO FREAKIN’ HAVE IT.  No question about it.  I brought it home, petted it about 1000 times, then… could NOT decide what to do with it!  My original plan was to make Simplicity 1873 (how cute would that have been?!), but the selvedge was only 36″, so I couldn’t quite make that happen.  I knew I didn’t want to break up or detract from the print, but I also didn’t want my dress to scream “kimono” or look costumey, so I had a tough time choosing a new direction.

Capes and hats and gloves, oh my!

My sister actually dug up the pattern on one of our “shopping trips” (i.e., talking on the phone and sending Etsy links back and forth on G-chat… #hipsterchicks).  It’s Simplicity 5359 from 1964, a simple shift dress with a little button-tab self-belt.

I spent AGES matching up the print and attempting to avoid any unfortunate pattern placement scenarios, with a reasonable degree of success, I think (if you need help figuring out pattern matching, check out Tasia’s post here).  In a perfect world, the side seams would match up as well as the back, but… well, this ain’t a perfect world (or lactose intolerance wouldn’t be a thing).  I removed much of the ease from the back– I like the idea of gathering up the excess with the little belt, but in reality, it just looked messy and unintentional when I tested it in muslin.  I could probably stand to tighten the belt just a tad.  I also shortened the dress by 6″– maybe a little much, but hey, what’s a little leg between friends?  It’s fully lined and I spent like a gazillion hours hand-stitching (LIKE A BOSS)—with fabric this special, it only seems right to treat it like a lady!

This is really different from what I usually wear, but I really like it! I’ve been trying to try new things and meet new challenges in my sewing lately, in no small part due to seeing what the other Mood Sewing Network gals have been up to. What about you guys– trying anything new lately? And how do you feel about large-scale prints?  What would you make with a fabric like this?

145 responses

  1. I saw once on the Science channel (yes, sometimes I watch the Science channel–my geekery has never been a secret!) where these people did an experiment in which a woman wearing a white dress asked for help from strangers (I think she was trying to borrow money for bottled water). Then they did the same test again with the woman wearing a red dress. This time she got a much greater response. Therefore, I think that every woman should have at least one amazing, but not over-the-top, red dress in her wardrobe. For those days when she needs to feel a little powerful. Or she needs to borrow money for water–you know, whichever 🙂

    I think yours is an excellent “power” dress.


  2. I love this dress so much! That fabric is really gorgeous! I’m trying to find something kind of similar for a dress for a friend’s wedding in December… not had much luck around here.


  3. It’s stunning girl – a great colour – really suits! I’ve somehow only just come across this post – don’t know how I missed it but my blog reader is seriously overloaded. I hope you’ve survived Sandy and are doing well!


  4. What spectacular fabric! Seriously – I understand why you could not resist – the design is fabulous. LOVE it made up as this pattern!! The button belt is perfect, making this a most marvelous piece! I’m pretty sure I’m drooling over here omg.


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