Bird and Butterfly Cobalt Jacquard from Fabric Deluxe

We are excited to be working with Fabric Deluxe to showcase this beautiful fabric for this project. We really wanted to make something from the range of Fancies and Textured fabric from the Fabric Deluxe selection.  When we came across their Bird and Butterfly Cobalt Jacquard and knew that was it! 

Fabric Deluxe is a fabric store based in Melbourne and has an online store. They aim to stock lovely, wearable fabrics that fit into the real life of their customers. Their stock is a variety of different fabrics including linens, viscose and wools for everyday wear to more special occasion pieces, which they like to call fancies.  The approach of the Fabric Deluxe team is first that they are sewers too and understand the dedication of making a handmade garment. 

Fabric Details

Fabric Deluxe Bird and Butterfly Cobalt Jacquard v1579 - Two Sewing Sisters
Vogue Dress Pattern v1579
Vogue Dress Pattern v1579

This fabric called for something special! The cobalt and blue tone pattern against the black background is such a strong design. The pattern within the design features a repeat of birds and butterflies amongst leaves and flower shapes.

To highlight the detail of the fabric, we needed to select a style that would best showcase this. It needed to respect the fabric and not cut through the pattern of the fabric. This means considering bust darts over princess lines, how a sleeve is drafted and if the skirt will fall straight or if a fuller skirt will showcase the pattern better.

We have previously made Vogue 1579 and loved how the cape falls over the shoulders. The cape is attached to the dress around the neckline of a sleeveless bodice. This was a great pattern to use for this jacquard fabric as the birds and butterflies could fly around the capeline, and it becomes a smooth showcase of the beautiful detail of the fabric.

Construction

We wanted to make sure we got the pattern placement and matching correct This means making sure there was a bird directly in the middle of the bodice and in the back of the cape. The bird appeared to be the most dominate feature of our eye. They repeats down the skirt with two mirror image birds sitting on the centre front.

The pattern design asks for the front and back to both be cut on the fold with an underarm zipper. As the skirt has a split in the centre back to allow for enough movement to walk it has a centre back seam. Check out our video to see how we shuffle the pieces around to achieve this cutting layout.

Constructing the bodice

Bodice construction of Vogue Dress Pattern v1579
Bodice construction of Vogue Dress Pattern v1579

The instructions list this as an “average” in terms of skill level required. If you can conceptualise how it comes together, it all makes sense. Even for an experienced sewer, it is worth stopping by the instructions for this one to make sure you have the openings in the correct spots and understand how the neckline finished under the cape.

The armholes are finished by leaving the shoulder seams open. This is a great method which used a lot for sleeve garments because it means you do not have to try to contort the garment to pull it through to stitch.

Hemming the Cape

Fabric Deluxe Bird and Butterfly Cobalt Jacquard v1579 - Two Sewing Sisters

As the cape was the hero of this design, it deserved to be beautifully finished. The jacquard fabric could easily “bruise” with a top stitch line, we chose to hand stitch the hem. On the underside of the fabric is contrasting, and because of the shape of the cape could be seen from some angles. To keep a smooth edge and prevent any stray threads from the jacquard weave showing we used a bias tape. This sits on the inside of the hem and using a pick stitch to catch the outer layer.

Hand stitching bias hem
Hand stitched hem cape of Vogue Dress Pattern v1579

Center Back Split

Fabric Deluxe Bird and Butterfly Cobalt Jacquard - Two Sewing Sisters

The original pattern finished above the knee, however we chose to length this. We wanted this dress to have a longer line to show off the fabric. The pattern is a straight skirt, so this is an easy pattern hack to do. Keep the right angles of the side seams measure and mark an even amount down from the hem.

Inside split of Vogue Dress Pattern v1579

The Fabric Deluxe Team recommend lining this fabric as the underside is very textured and may feel rough against the skin. We defiantly agree with this recommendation, it is lovely quality fabric, but this is a natural trait for this type of weave. You want your garment to be comfortable and easy to wear, and a lining will help with this.

As this was a fitted dress, we would have lined the skirt anyway to help it set well while worn and move easily when walking, not cling to the body. This is how we finished off the inside of the split.

Finished Dress

The Bird and Butterfly Cobalt Jacquard from Fabric Deluxe was beautiful to work with.  It has a natural body and structure to it.   This was a great combination of fabric and dress pattern.  We how the cape sat out around the body and just as we had planned the bird was placed on the centre focal points.   

Fabric Deluxe Bird and Butterfly Cobalt Jacquard v1579 - Two Sewing Sisters

Photography Notes

Photographer: Ben Chrisite Media
Modelled by: Lauren Ritchie
Dress Pattern: Vogue 1579
Dress Fabric: Bird and Butterfly Cobalt Jacquard from Fabric Deluxe

This garment was formed through a partnership project between Fabric Deluxe and Two Sewing Sisters.

Fabric Deluxe Bird and Butterfly Cobalt Jacquard - Two Sewing Sisters

This dress was featured in the Lauren J Ritchie Millinery Taminick Spring Collection photoshoot. See those images on Lauren’s website here.

Boater filled Derby Day

Derby Day at Flemington Racecourse is part of the Melbourne Cup Spring Racing Carnival. Traditionally the dress code for the day is black and white with all race goers wear the mono chrome palette.

This was not the original plan. It is not often when we decide to abandon a project because it is not turning out how we want it or we will not get it finished in time. However, this was one of those rare times where we abandoned the project the day before… this meant we need a new vision quick smart! Insert short amount to time collecting some images on Pinterest and away we went.

Flash forward to 8 pm Friday night before the races the next day. Erin on video call with Lauren is walking around Spotlight collecting every viable black and white fabric option available. After a solid 30 minute debate over patterns, fabric and ‘visions’ it was time to check out and get sewing.

As the photos showed, the dress was finished. With two of us with hands on deck, we even managed to be in bed by midnight.

Pattern: Vogue 1566
Fabric: Spotlight, South Melbourne
Boater Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner Shoes
Gloves: Millinery Online
Earrings: Northside Southside