Eureka! (Well… maybe.)

Finding the right pattern can be hard sometimes.

When my mother & I heard there was going to be a sale in Róisín Cross Silks, we knew there was no point denying it: we had to pay them a visit. We first discovered the place when my sister got engaged last year. Once it was decided we’d be making the wedding & bridesmaid dresses ourselves, silk was really the only way to go. Or so we convinced ourselves. (Honestly, how many times are you able to justify buying top-quality material like that? Who among you could resist it?! 😉 ) Judith, the owner, was incredibly helpful and didn’t seem at all perturbed by our 2+ hour rooting sessions in the shop. (We got what we wanted in the end & the dresses turned out beautifully.)

Anyway, to cut a long story short, when my mother and I returned to the shop for the sale and I found nothing I could really think of a use for on the shelves, I hit the remnants basket. And hit the jackpot. I found 7m (!) of printed silk for €40 (!!!), neatly folded and secured with tape. This is stuff that is usually closer to that price tag per metreNaturally, I snapped it up. Let’s face it: it would have been morally wrong, as a home sewist, to do otherwise. Here is what it looks like:

Printed silk

It’s not quite as dark as this, & the grey has a sort of purplish hue. Isn’t it amazing? It drapes beautifully and feels like only 100% silk can: amazing. There are some minor printing flaws in a couple of places which presumably explains the reduction, but nothing a bit of careful pattern placement can’t overcome.

Of course, now I had to figure out what to do with it. It’s such a unique print that I don’t think I could justify having too many things in my wardrobe made from it, even though I have 7m of it. I couldn’t see myself wearing a blouse made with it, either, at least not in the patterns I’ve bought. I was pretty stumped. It’s proved surprisingly difficult to find a dress pattern that could be made in silk, would suit the modern print and, most importantly,  I would actually want to wear!

Well, I think I’m close to a breakthrough. I came across two patterns last night and I think they could be what I’m looking for. The only thing is, they’re both maxi dresses, which means I have to choose..!

In the red corner: The Anna Dress from By Hand London

What a gorgeous pattern! I’m usually not exactly crazy for thigh-high splits (shaving your legs to wear a maxi dress sort of seems to defeat the purpose, no? 😉 ), but somehow this dress still looks classy as hell with one. It’s long, it’s fitted, and it has a gorgeous neckline and sleeves. The pattern also has great options for a V-neck and above-the-knee hemline.

I think this dress is actually best shown off by one of the sewists who made it: Sallie from

In the blue corner: The Drew backless dress by Named Clothing


I love this dress. It’s modern, and the little cutout at the neckline is a gorgeous detail. A coordinating plain silk around the neckline / as the tie on the back would look great too.  I’d have to redraft the back to bring it up above bra strap level, though, and buy more material for the tie. I’m also a little nervous of bare shoulders, as ten years of lifting amplifiers and heavy instruments has left me with fairly hefty ones 🙂 (Then again, the model in the picture has strong shoulders, and she looks great. Hmm.)

Decisions, decisions… Which would you choose?


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