Revolutionary Road: The Little White Dress

A co-worker destashed and gave me some lovely pieces of vintage fabric.  She’s so generous, thank you Noela!  Some of the pieces come from her mother’s stash. As soon as I felt the fabric, I knew I would make it into a Revolutionary Road dress.  I am still working on the suit, waiting for silk organza, so it will wait while I make a little white dress.

A burn test revealed cotton/rayon.  It has a gentle drape and a slubbed texture, but it’s firmer and lighter than a boucle.  Does anyone have a name for this fabric?  I love the bamboo-nettle I mentioned in the last post, but I want to make this dress sooner than sometime in 2012 when that fabric comes back in stock.  I haven’t given up on the bamboo-nettle.

This textured fabric will make an eminently wearable muslin and it is the same weight as the nettle.  This dress allow me to fine-tune the draft.  I can experiment with the sleeve length, neck curve, and dart placement.

I drafted the bodice tonight (I can’t manage the gallery tonight, but I will document it.)  When I cut the dress tomorrow I can use an existing pencil skirt pattern.  I plan to line the skirt with cotton voile.  Maybe a lace trim.

How should I wash this fabric?  If I serge the ends, should it survive the gentle cycle?  It’s vintage, but in good nick…  Would contrast buttons look odd?  I want to use cocanut shell, wood, something with a gentle texture…Should I make a matching clutch bag like the photo?

I do apologize if the deletion of my blogspot account caused any problems, I can’t figure out how to re-direct…


  1. I would pre-wash in the machine on gentle, but I’m no expert—I just wouldn’t want a dress I couldn’t launder normally.

    Can’t wait to see how this turns out—it’s going to be smoking on you :)

  2. Sounds like the vintage fabric would be so perfect! I have a cotton-y rayon that looks a bit like a tweed, I wonder if it might be called a tweed? I often get problems with pills in rayon if I wash too hard (or dry)… I’d also think gentle cycle and hang dry.

    Re: redirects… are you running a self-hosted WordPress? I can help you if you want, lots of experience here moving blogs. Feel free to email!

  3. I agree that washing on gentle seems like a reasonable risk to take. It really is the perfect fabric for the project. I am very impressed that you are drafting your own pattern for this dress. I suppose there is no other way really!

  4. Gentle cycle should do it nicely. As for contrasting buttons, I think it all depends on the material and color of material of the buttons. I also think, to pull it together with contrasting buttons, you may want to think about some other contrasting detail such as piping around the collar and bottom. Colored buttons on the white might look funny otherwise. But such a lovely dress either way!

  5. Pingback: Little White Dress Progress « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  6. If you’ve got enough fabric why not do a test wash with a little bit? That way you can try drying it or line hanging. If you cut a little strip off the end of two inches or so you can cut it in a pieces and test different methods. I love wearing rayon or rayon/blends in the summer, so comfortable and easy to care for. Most of the pieces I’ve had tolerate washing and drying well, but be careful of the hight heat settings.

  7. Pingback: Finished Object: Jasmine (Revolutionary Road) Dress « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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