This Dress Refuses to Blend In

A fabric this wild and bold needs a simple style. Wouldn’t you agree? (Many of you did, and at least one of you wasn’t even sure this would turn into a decent-looking garment!)

wild and crazy fabric!

This is the awesomely wild fabric I posted about here. It’s 100% polyester, from Télio, and when I saw it hanging in the showroom I had to have it! Here’s what I did with it:

wild fabric made into sixties style dress

I chose Simplicity 8498, which you might remember from my not-loved dress I posted here. As you can see I took none of my own advice (making it in a solid fabric to show off the lines) but I did take your advice when you said to make it shorter! For a very short moment I debated making it long sleeved. (Too much intense fabric in one garment, Tasia. Keep it simple!)

fabric with felted yarn bits, simplicity 8498

I did topstitch the centre seam and curved seam, which I thought you’d barely be able to see but you can in fact see it! It’s subtle but it adds a vertical line. I like it. It would be even better in a solid fabric, the topstitching, or even large topstitching with thicker thread. Hand-topstitching, maybe!

simplicity 8498 sixties inspired dress

This is the most fun dress. Love, love, love! I know that classic prints and solid colours make timeless garments. But this makes me happy to wear!

simplicity 8498 vintage dress pattern

It was really cold so I wore my coat on my way to take photos, and my coat and scarf were a great match for the dress. Got to love when a new item goes with your current wardrobe!
simplicity 8498 with coat and scarf

Short skirt, and a long jacket…

simplicity 8498

The key is to keep the rest of the look simple, I think. Black tights, black pumps. Sure, the dress is a bit eccentric. But the shoes are simple and black tights keeps the focus on the dress. (I just thought of coloured tights, wouldn’t that be .. colourful? Actually, maybe navy would be ok.)

simplicity 8498

Cutting embellished fabric can be hard on your scissors – and your hands! Cutting through the felted yarn bits took extra pressure. I could feel it when I was cutting through a thick lump. I thought it would be harder on the rotary cutter but perhaps that might have been a better solution.

yarn felted bits

A bonus of using wildly-printed fabric? Your hand-stitched hem will never show through to the right side! I probably could have machine-stitched the hem and it still wouldn’t show. Instead I used taupe seam binding, machine-stitched it to the hem, then hand-stitched the other side. (Much like I did for the Lonsdale Dress sew-along here.)


This realization inspired me to catchstitch the neckline facing to the dress. This keeps them flat, in place, yet none of the hand-stitching shows through. I just tacked the armhole facing to the dress at the top and bottom of the armhole.

Plenty of room for a big meal. You can see the side view, there’s plenty of space around the midsection  but then again, you have to stand up straight or risk ‘bump-watch’ commentary. (No bump here, just a yummy lunch and slouching posture.)

simplicity 8498 in bold print

I really liked the fabric, but I love this dress. After seeing the photos especially. Even if you don’t blog, it’s really useful to take photos of your finished projects. It helps to see them at a distance and evaluate proportion, colour, flattery. This dress works with dark tights and dark shoes, and bare arms if it’s warm enough to keep the attention up top.

i love this dress! simplicity 8498

Here’s the back view, it fits through the back better than my first version but there’s still a comfortable amount of ease.

simplicity 8498 vintage dress sewing pattern

simplicity 8498 vintage dress back view

I’m thinking a cosy ivory cabled cardigan would be nice with this dress. Something to calm the crazy print and make it wintery and warm-looking.

simplicity 8498 vintage sixties dress

I also  realized that I meant to wear a chunky gold necklace for these photos and forgot! I didn’t notice at first because the dress itself makes such a statement. Black tights and pumps are all it needs. (And my favourite teal scarf.)

simplicitu 8498 vintage dress

What do you think of this fabric? It’s OK if you hate it, it’s not to everyone’s tastes I’m sure. How about the finished garment? Personally, I loved it as fabric, and love it even more as a finished sixties-style dress!

awesomely bold fabric!

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76 Responses to This Dress Refuses to Blend In

  1. Carolyn January 20, 2014 at 6:08 am #

    Absolutely LOVE this!! I love bright, colorful dresses, and the print was a great match for this simple 60s style. Great job, Tasia – hope you get a ton of fun compliments wearing this dress around town! :)

  2. Vicki Kate January 20, 2014 at 6:12 am #

    That is one mental fabric which works really well as a dress! I Iove it with the teal scarf, it balances it (for me) somehow. It’s nice to have some colour in winter!

  3. Sam January 20, 2014 at 6:22 am #

    Stunning! I absolutely love it.

  4. Zete January 20, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    I’ve seen this kind of fabric used as accented panels in solid black jacket. That is the only use i can imagine for this – as an accent on something solid.

  5. lisa g January 20, 2014 at 6:46 am #

    okay this turned out fabulous! i’ve been into the shift dress shape recently and this is a perfect match! as much as solid colored dresses may go with more things, it’s always fun to have a colorful dress.

  6. Samina January 20, 2014 at 6:49 am #

    Ok, you win (again). I would have never seen that fabric as a dress, let alone one that wasn’t hideous, but you actually turned it into a cute & flattering dress. It’s very mod & really looks great on you.

  7. Kate McIvor January 20, 2014 at 6:50 am #

    Love this, Tasia! I think the fabric is classic. You will love this dress for years to come.

  8. Emily January 20, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    Love, love, love! The orange in the dress really does bring out your coloring – wonderful choice. I was thinking you would use this fabric in a structured jacket, but the choice is dress is daring and creative – a surprisingly perfect match. Now I want to make a dress out of some crazy fabric, too! Or even make my own embellished piece…

  9. Linda Turske January 20, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    I love your dress. The fabric is to DIE for! Since I am older (50), I would make a skirt with the fabric so to not look like “She’s 50 and thinks she is 20″…… :) Great job!

  10. Alice January 20, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    To be honest, I really DON’T like this fabric. And I was quite convinced nothing could be done with it that I could like. Turns out I was wrong ! Although this is definitely not my style, I think the dress is quite lovely and looks very good on you !

  11. Ashley January 20, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    Love, love, love it! Really happy and bright. And the yarn is such a cool detail!

  12. Heather January 20, 2014 at 7:39 am #

    I love it! This dress looks absolutely gorgeous on you!

  13. Violeta January 20, 2014 at 7:41 am #

    Wow! I love funky fabric, too, and it works so well when you choose the right pattern!
    A question: how was actual sewing over the bumpy parts? Any skipped seam or anything like that? Did you have to use a larger size needle?

    • Tasia January 20, 2014 at 9:12 am #

      It wasn’t too bad! I didn’t have any skipped stitches and I didn’t use a larger size needle. I sewed it just like normal – there were few instances where a yarn bump crossed the seam, and even fewer where the yarn bump was the really thick section. I noticed the lumps in the cutting more than the sewing.

      • Violeta January 21, 2014 at 7:48 am #

        Thank you for answering my questions! Next time I come across this type of fabric, I will give it a try without worrying too much. :)

  14. Kathleen January 20, 2014 at 7:55 am #

    I LOVE the fabric and that pattern is the perfect choice. You look great in it.

  15. Kelly January 20, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    I would never feel comfortable in a fabric like that, but you look great! You do look happy, and it’s most important for our clothes to help us feel relaxed and happy.

  16. Nothy Lane January 20, 2014 at 8:17 am #

    I love the fabric and the dress! Bravo!

  17. Natasha January 20, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    I wasn’t sure about the fabric, but the dress looks great and really suits you. You look so happy in these photos.

  18. Amy January 20, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    I love that you made yourself a fun dress out of a crazy fabric. I do hope you get lots of wear out of this dress. And, smile every time you pull it out of the closet!

  19. maddie January 20, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    I think this looks great on you. The fabric is divine. I love a good, textural fabric, especially one with a vintage vibe.

  20. Sassy T January 20, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    Absolutely gorgeous a simple pattern lets the fabric do the talking. And that fabric has a lot to say.

  21. MrsSmith January 20, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    You definitely made that wild fabric work!

    It goes perfectly with the solid color scarf and coat. So cute!

  22. Tiffany January 20, 2014 at 10:01 am #

    Nice dress! Keeping it simple was a good idea.

  23. Sewbussted January 20, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Such a cute dress.

  24. Andrea January 20, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    I have made this pattern up but my fabric was not quite as wild as yours. I love your fabric. Orange is not my colour but I so wish it was!

  25. Joyce Hamilton January 20, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    Tasia, I’d go for a fuschia cardigan to go with it, lol! Love all the color!

  26. Katherine January 20, 2014 at 10:22 am #

    Beautiful dress! I am sad you don’t love the first version, it’s absolutely gorgeous too! I do like how you shortened the second version.

  27. CosIadoru January 20, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Just stunning!!!Congratulations!!!:)

  28. Graca January 20, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    I love the fabric now that I see it all done up into a dress. It is very pretty, well done.

  29. arlene franks January 20, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    WOW !! Terrific !!
    I love the fabric, and the pattern was a perfect choice for it. The scarf and coat were also right on to make it a wonderful outfit and highlighted the dress t perfection!
    That pattern looks really good on you and I think it would look great with contrasting thread top stitching to highlight the seam lines.

  30. Suzie January 20, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Wish I had more vision and imagination, as I wasn’t seeing the potential when you previously showed us the fabric, but I really love the finished dress! :)

  31. Emmely January 20, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    The dress looks great on you! I am glad you made it sleeveless though because a print this busy is usually too much when long sleeves are added.

  32. daiyami January 20, 2014 at 11:14 am #

    Looks fabulous!

    I’m developing a theory that when you have wild fabric, it’s better to go all out and make a dress from it than to use it as an accent, or color-block or mix it with something to calm it down. I feel like this fabric actually looks less loud as a dress than it would as a structured jacket with a black skirt, somehow. (I buy a lot of loud fabrics, so have been pondering various approaches.)

  33. Jo January 20, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    I think you really did the fabric justice. I love it paired with the solid coloured accessories :) how fun! And no one will be able to tell if you make another dress from the same pattern, the print makes it so unique :)

  34. Lynne January 20, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Oh my goodness! I love this dress!! I think the fabric is gorgeous, and am no stranger to a bold print myself! You’ve matched 60s style fabric and pattern perfectly. Happy wearing! :)

  35. Lara January 20, 2014 at 11:52 am #

    I love this! I wasn’t sure in your first fabric post – but this is amazing! It looks like a really expensive vintage dress. It will also look great in the summer (if the fabric isn’t too thick) with a broad rimmed hat and flat sandals. Love it! x

  36. Bev January 20, 2014 at 11:54 am #

    It looks terrific and suits you to a T!

  37. Helen January 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    I think you look great in it. I think you really got the right shape for the fabric. I wouldn’t wear I personally – I love the print, but not the embellishment – but if I saw someone wear it IRL, I would admire it, as I do on you!

  38. zilredloh January 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    So… at first glance at this fabric the other day I was quite skeptical. heh I have to eat my words and say, this turned into a great little dress! :D The shorter length and sleeveless is perfect for such a loud fabric & it really does look like fun. Cheers Tasia!

  39. Christine January 20, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    that fabric is insane! but I must say, you rock it lady!

  40. Bridget January 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    Adorable! It’s very 1960s Miami. I love the occasional loud print.

  41. A Bouquet of Buttons January 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    Wow! This is super pretty!!!

  42. Ash January 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    I think this rocks hard and isn’t too bold at all!!! I love it, and as usual you look fantastic!

  43. Nikki January 20, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    I have been eagerly waiting to see what would become of this incredible fabric. I love the dress you have chosen, it really showcases the gorgeous fabric. And the colours on you are ah-mazing!!! :)

  44. Candis January 20, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    The perfect pattern for the fabric. And inspiring craftsmanship. Thank you for sharing your work of art.

  45. catherine January 20, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    This looks great – the topstitching does add definition so that was inspired. A wonderful choice, I love it. You made me laugh with your ‘bump-watching’ comment!

  46. Adele January 20, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    I think it is fantastic!! Love it! You always look so great in those lovely bright colours and that style is perfect for the boldness of it. Goes great with your scarf too. Could you wear a long-sleeved merino top under it to keep you warm?

  47. Laura January 20, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    Love, love, love! I think everyone needs at least dress in their wardrobe that they love, but is just on the borderline of “too much”.

    This is perfect! And I love that teal scarf too.

  48. Bec Stitches January 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Love it, very mod :)

  49. Nicole January 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    I’ll be honest, I didn’t care much for the fabric but somehow it works as a simple dress. It’s colorful and textural; in the photos it’s hard to tell it’s even yarn sewn onto the fabric as opposed to part of the print. It works really well with the black tights and scarf, too… I think the solids help to balance the print. Honestly, though, I think it will be cute by itself for summer, too!

  50. Helen January 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    The dress looks absolutely great on you and if you love it even better!

  51. Susan January 20, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    I have to say I was a bit worried when you posted about the fabric… It wasn’t my style for sure. But that dress! Perfect for the fabric. It looks amazing on you and you look so happy in it! Just proves that crazy fabric just needs the right style. Completely changed my mind.

  52. Debbie Iles January 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    There isn’t anything I don’t love about this dress. The wild print, simple lines, hem length are all fabulous and I love the pairing with the black tights – I think this makes it. The fabric is not something I would ever choose, and on it’s own, I’m not so sure I like it, but you have worked wonders and obviously seen something that I never would have. It’s fabulous!

  53. Rochelle New January 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

    I love this, Tasia! The dress pattern you picked is perfect for such a colorful print. You really know how to put together an outfit! :)

  54. Shannon January 20, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    Wonderful dress. You’re so fearless–I could never pull off that fabric. Love the Cake reference! :)

  55. Lorinda January 20, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    I had my doubts about that when you wrote about the fabric but it looks great. I like it best with the teal scarf and black coat. It is youthful.

  56. Brianna January 20, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    That fabric is brilliant, and I love that you kept it simple to show it off!

  57. Kat January 20, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    That looks SERIOUSLY awesome! Love the colours and how you played them off with the scarf and the coat.

  58. Nieves January 20, 2014 at 10:58 pm #

    That’s so fantastic , glad it didn’t go to live in a fabric stash. Need to see what treasures I might have, very inspirational you look great in it.

  59. Sarah January 21, 2014 at 1:04 am #

    Wow what a funky fabric that is. I think you’ve really made it work well, kept the pattern simple and worn with the coat and scarf it looks great. It’s a brilliant find and a great talking point I bet.

  60. scuffsan January 21, 2014 at 5:04 am #

    I have to admit I never thought that fabric would make a nice anything, but that dress sure is cute on you! I’m still not crazy about the rainbow colored yarn all over it, not up close at least. From a distance it doesn’t seem to scream as loud as I thought it would. Even though this fabric is not at all my taste, I really do think it suits you and you did manage to make a nice dress from it.

  61. Amanda January 21, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    I actually really love it!! I totally admire your vision; this is one fabric i would have avoided personally, but you’ve really made it shine – it looks great!! :)

  62. Cathi January 21, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    Gorgeous! You have a vision I envy. I never would have seen such a great dress from that material. You look amazing.

  63. Laken January 21, 2014 at 9:33 pm #

    I think the fabric is absolutely gorgeous! Would fit SO well into my wardrobe and personality!I love the finished garment too :-) so cute on you :-)
    the pattern would look wicked made up on a cosy ivory cable sweater fabric… Its mid summer here but I’m apparently dreaming of cosy cabled dresses frequently!

  64. Lorna January 22, 2014 at 5:27 am #

    I LOVE this!!! You’ve made a beautiful job of it. I love the fabric, too. I’d wear it with royal blue tights, similar to the colour of your scarf, just to pick out the blue of the yarn in the fabric. Gorgeous, well done! x

  65. Virginia January 22, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    This dress is insane! (In a good way.) :-)

  66. Dana January 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

    Wow, this dress is definitely a head-turner! I think this fabric benefits from a little distance. In the close-up photos it’s pretty hard to take but as a garment there’s a little more perspective on the print and it looks great!

  67. Stacy G January 24, 2014 at 6:56 am #

    (To elaborate from Virginia’s post) …insane in the membrane! In an awesome way! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Yes!

  68. Ginger January 26, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    I love it! It’s so bright and fun! I think you chose the perfect silhouette for this fabric– it’s nicely shaped, but doesn’t break up the print too much.

  69. Scarlett January 27, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

    I had doubts about whether I would like this fabric- but you surprised me! I doubt that it would suit me but it definitely suits you!!! :)

  70. TÉLIO TEXTURES January 28, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    I fell in love with this fabric the moment I saw it, I even bought some that I am thinking of framing! Such a cute dress! – Jessica. P

    • Tasia January 28, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

      Thank you! This is totally a love it or hate it fabric, I’m thrilled that you love it too! It would make great art too, what a neat idea to frame it rather than wear it.

  71. anne jewell January 30, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    pretty! tasia, how would this work over a black turtleneck instead of under a cardi?–anne

  72. Abi Casey February 2, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    This is AMAZING! I’m definitely a sucker for crazy/wild prints like this, but it’s so rare to find other people who love them too. The shorter length also makes it work really well as a 60’s style Mod dress. If you have a long sleeved black top, you could wear that underneath for extra warmth and 60’s style!

  73. Edie Olson March 11, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    Very Cool! I’m actually taking a class where I’m learning to alter to patterns to fit my measurements. I was surprised to see your dress is made using the same pattern I am using. My build is so very different from yours. 5’9”, big boobs, thick waist, no hips. It is so cute on you. And I’m happy to say, it remains flattering after being made to fit my figure. It’s nice design and so very simple. I love your fabric choice of this dress (I also liked the fabric on one you made a couple of years ago).