Trim-spiration for Megan’s NYC LBD

I’m in the middle of several projects at the moment- I tend to butterfly around, but usually finish what I start so it’s all the same.  Is my butterfly approach confusing to read?  Should I strive to be more linear?

At any rate, I’m pretty obsessed by Megan’s LBD at the moment.  This is my favorite part of planning a dress- choosing the fabric, brainstorming design details and letting them duke it out in my head before I fall asleep at night.

First- the fabric.  I went to three fabric stores today to see what I could find.  Gardam’s downtown and Lincraft were radiantly uninspiring.  The Fabric Store was much better.   They didn’t quite have what I wanted either, but online fabric stores charge more for shipping than the fabric- which breaks my scroogy heart and I only order online as a last resort.   I took my time pinching and pulling and draping every roll of black fabric in the shop before settling on this very sturdy cotton sateen.  It’s a heavy-ish bottom weight, so I should be able to wear it for quite some time (not to mention it will skim my mum-tum very nicely.)

I know.  Yawn…boring.  No yak fur and angel eyelashes today.  At any rate, it’s a very sensible fabric and will be the perfect medium for a unique cut and a pretty trim.

Speaking of trims… The field is open!  I traipsed through a few uninspiring op-shops today in hopes I’d come across some horrifically tacky polyester prom dress with a decent beaded trim I could harvest.  Nothing so far, though I have a few other shops to poke my nose into before I give up.

Meanwhile, I turned to Etsy:

Click to view. Tasteful, very tasteful.

I never heard of Turkish Oyo lace before, but I do like it.

Ooooh pretty pretty... But $25 for 2.5 m is still more than I want to pay...

Mmmmm... Now, this is yummy... A little more "Bollywood" and I like it. I am rather attracted to this color right now, and the price is right... The whole store (not on Etsy) has some really tempting pretties...

I like this the best so far.. More turquoise, more Bollywood... Sparkles!!

Isn't this magnificent? It's wider than I want at 3.2" but I couldn't help but show it to you... And at $80 for 2 yards, it's well out of my price range. But isn't it just gorgeous?

Then I went back to Etsy and this lace applique seriously tempts me to go to "off book" and incorporate it into the design. Wow, I mean... WOW. This seller has an incredible stock of great lace appliques, I'm thinking if I don't use this I may go to them in the future for something to use on a Modern Edwardia type blouse. I know I'm being contrary, but I'm put off a little because it's so cheap. Why is it so cheap??

That’s a snapshot of what’s floating through my mind lately.  Which do you like best?  Do you think Megan in 2012 would be into a Bollywood flavor? Or- Venice Lace?

I made another Sisters of Edwardia blouse with my “tweaks” to the pattern in gingham to see just how casual this top could be.  Turns out, very casual.  You can see the write up on Sew Weekly.  The pattern is very close to completion, I had a breakthrough with the proportioning difficulties so now I know what I’m doing with the other sizes.  It’s one thing to make a pattern for my own use, and a horse of an entirely different color to make one for sale!  It should be ready by the end of the month, if you’d like to receive a notification please let me know.



  1. love the second Bollywoodish one the best if you’re going to use it as per Megan’s dress…. and love the gingham Edwardia too, so cute :)

  2. I think a cotton sateen will work quite well. For trims, I like the first trim for ‘classic’ and the second turquoise one for ‘fun’. As for the black applique, I had a quick peak at the shop and *all* of their listings are low-priced. *And,* they have great reviews! How? No idea, but, I’m bookmarking them for the future. Thanks!

    Can’t wait to see your progress on the lbd!

    • Yes, I feel the same about them. Except- I think the black/gunmetal beading would sort of disappear into the black fabric. Sure, the sparkle would wink and shine, but… And the more I think about it, the more I fear the turquoise would look sort of strange…

  3. I like the blck trim and the second turquois one best! And your latest Sisters of Edwardia blouse looks lovely! The fit of yours came out so much better than mine.

    • I know! Black or turquoise? So hard. ;)

      It’s sure giving me fits about making a multi-size. Never mind. It’s almost done. :)

  4. LOVE the expensive peacocks! And the Turkish Oyo is gorgeous – new to me too :) I do like the first option though, subtle but still shiny :o)

    • I know, right? The peacocks make me think of a beautiful, exotic queen… I don’t know that my little LBD is regal enough for them, but gosh they’re pretty.

  5. Our fabric store is woefully lacking in interesting stuff, and trims are pretty plain. A friend of mine who likes to use trims, comes up with some interesting things by layering one on another. Perhaps that would be an option. Adding beads or sequins to a plain trim might work.

    • I didn’t really bother actually looking for trim here… It’s mostly tacky sequin stretch dance stuff, and I don’t want to go there. ;)

      I’m definitely keeping an open mind, I like to get all DIY with my embellishments so we’ll see what I come up with.

    • Thanks, Neeno! I’m pretty delighted with her, too. So far she’s the only clothes in season 5 I like (though I haven’t seen past episode 2).

  6. Love both the black beaded, and the blue ‘swirly’, puts me in mind of seahorses for some reason, I like seahorses, and ladybirds. I have finished my petticoat and a million alterations so now can finally start on my floral circle skirt dress, I prefer to finish one thing at a time nowadays. X

    • Ooooh seahorses… Me too! That shop has all kinds of colors, it’s all so pretty and tempting!

      Yes- it’s important to work the way that works for you… I just can’t work on one project followed by another and I’m cool with that because I get things done…. But it has occured to me that it could make for confusing blog reading, especially by those who might not be used to me doing that… The only thing I can think of is to hold back on a project until it is finished, then do the posts in order from start to finish. It would probably make more logical reading but I like the immediacy of sitting down at the end of the day and typing out what I’m working on/thinking about… Hmmm…

      • I think how you approach your writing works just fine, on my blog I try to keep plenty of different topics to keep it interesting. As we say ‘variety is the spice of life’ I for one enjoy your butterfly approach! X

  7. I vote for the classic black trim, although Bollywood is a fun look too. Man, those peacocks…drool. I didn’t need to look through more lace appliques, but here goes anyway!

  8. Bead your own!!! It’s easy :) The reason those sequinned and beaded motifs are so cheap is the slave labour conditions in India where they are made, I’m willing to bet. But beading is pretty easy and a nice relaxing sit down job after a long day. And then you kow the slave labour is your own hehe

    • Oh dear lovely MrsC, I am not surprised you’re telling me to bead my own. I want to! I spent some time yesterday in the big beading store in the city but I *must* be realistic about how much time is in a day, and what’s the best use of my time. I do like a little light work in the evening for when I’m sitting around and kind of tired but not ready for bed, but right now it’s cutting fabric roses. So many silk roses. Which is very pleasant work and more important than the beading. Sigh.

      I even dragged out some of my old beaded dresses to see if I could steal some of the beading on them, but I don’t think that will work.

      You’re right about the labor. Really, buying a trim is only the last resort if it’s close to the deadline and I still can’t find something thrifted… I have a couple more op shops to prowl for formal gowns, and I haven’t ruled out using a pretty beaded necklace or two. :) We’ll see!!

      • Ah, well if time is a big factor then I instantly retract my impractical suggestion! :) Because beading and sequinning devours time. Reusing beading is a great idea, like using vintage furs. Not that I am a big old righteous thang about the provenance of trims; it’s just that the older I get the more I know. The curse of knowledge!

  9. I really like the first trim (me and the whole texture thing) although the one you mention for your fave is gorgeous, too. (As are the scary-expensive hand beaded ones). Are there any shops in your area that specialize in bellydance or Flamenco (or plenty of other dance forms, for that matter) costuming? Those can be good for fun trims, too. Because, y’know, you need more choice. ;)

    • You know– I think I’ll go poke around Moorooka. It’s a section of the city not too far from here that’s full of African immigrants. The food is *amazing* at the little cafes, with all the shops and the brightly colored clothes on the women, I can squint my eyes and almost kind of pretend I’m in Africa. It smells similar… There’s also several Middle Eastern bazaars there, and there’s a seamstress… She used to come buy needles and whatnot in the shop I worked at, but last time I saw her in Moorooka she stared right through me… So she might not prove helpful in my quest…

      That’s one of the areas we’re looking at moving to if we stay in Brisbane… I wouldn’t mind living within walking distance of an Ethiopian bakery, surrounded by veiled women….

  10. Oh, decisions, decisions- I’m just going to wish you good luck because I can’t pick which. I fully understand the ‘no love’ at Gardam’s in the city. The Indooroopilly store is in a most annoying location so I only go there when I have to. It is such a shame because when I was at uni it was the best place to go and the staff were always helpful. Now The Fabric Store is at New Farm, I’m a happy girl! I’m hoping they might get trims and buttons and the like in at some point.

    • It seems to me like Gardams in the city used to be better… Even after they downsized, but it was a whole lot of overpriced “meh” the past few times I’ve been in there… I’m really pleased The Fabric Store is here, too. I can finally find “real” dressmaker fabrics without paying extortionist shipping prices!!

  11. Oooo I love the Turkish Oyo lace, and that black beaded trim is gorgeous (it’d be my pick for the dress!). Although the turquoise waves are pretty, and the peacocks are gorgeous, and and and…nevermind, I don’t know. THEY’RE ALL SO PRETTY! I don’t envy you trying to pick a trim.

    Although now I’m tempted to order those big lace pieces. Why ARE they so inexpensive?!

    • I LOVE the Oyo! I will *definitely* use it on something in the future, though probably not the right vibe for this dress…

      I *know!!!* What’s the deal with it being both pretty and inexpensive? Sigh. Probably some kind of slavery or maybe bad quality. But I’m curious enough to order it to see what it is like…

    • The peacocks would definitely be too large, and way way way way WAY outside what I can spend. WAY. But they’re so pretty. :)

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