Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Zara's Blue Wren Shift

One of the great things about making custom clothes for people is the opportunity to make things from other peoples' imaginations. 
When Zara contacted me with her dress request (which is part of the July teatowel-a-thon), she came well prepared, with a selection of pictures of frocks and details she liked. This gave me a great foundation from which to start working on a shift dress for her. 

Some things, she was quite definite about: she wanted doily pockets, for example. 
Other details were a little more general: native flora and fauna was put out there as something she might like, and lacy details were also mentioned with some enthusiasm. She also definitely wanted a shift dress, which was fun, because I've only ever made one before, years ago, for a friend's daughter's year 12 formal. It was gold lamé, and she looked awesome. Zara's dress is a few steps away from the uber glam nature of the last shift I made (just a few...) but no less awesome. 
I am so happy with how it turned out, so pleased with how it looked when I hung it from a tomato stake in the veggie garden to take the photos, and so grateful to Zara for taking me out of my comfort zone. 

I've never made a dress completely from teatowels before, which is somewhat bizarre. I love the look of the finished teatowel 'patchwork' that makes up the dress. I think the pretty little wrens and wildflowers look perfect alongside the doily cap sleeves and pockets, and gorgeous polka-dot bias trim.
As you can perhaps tell, I'm a little bit in love with this dress, and am thinking something similar may well be on the cards for myself, one day, if I ever got time to sew something for myself... I can always dream, eh?

So thanks Zara - I feel like this was a beautiful collaboration between your ideas, and my sewing skills and fabric collection. Nice work! I hope you love it even half as much as I do.


  1. oh its beautiful! (as is the lovely Zara)...Um I have a feeling you will be making a few more of these now!. Al x

  2. Love it! The wren looks like it's happily nesting in that cute little pocket. How lucky are you, Zara. Enjoy! xx

  3. Ohh Annie, it really is the most stunning dress. I love it and can't wait to wear it out and about. Thank you my dear. x

  4. Hey you clever girl, that dress is delightful, you never cease to amaze xxmm

  5. I'm wondering if you can make me a dress out of all these embroider doilies I've got maybe other scraps of material added I've seen them made before Let me know if you think it's viable thank you! !! Julie x

  6. This is just gorgeous! Did you design your own pattern, or combine a bit of this and that? So lovely! Glad I stumbled on to it. So many ideas!

  7. Love it! It's given me some great ideas to make one myself :D

  8. The dress is so pretty. I like everything-flora, fauna and doillies. Although you posted this 9 years ago, the shift is either still in or back. I am 77 years old and enjoy sewing for myself and I like to wear dresses and long tops usually with leggings
    Thank you for posting

    tops usyawith leggings.

  9. As a patches designer, you understand the joy of bringing others' imaginations to life through custom clothing. Collaborating with individuals to create wearable art is a rewarding process that showcases your skill and dedication. Keep embracing the opportunity to turn imagination into reality—it's what sets your work apart and makes it truly special! anwar industries