Hello! I’m Catherine—you might you know me as threadsnips on Instagram or through my blog over at threadsnips.com. I was thrilled that Gabriela invited me to join her blog series, I hope you enjoy my Fringe Boho Dress Tutorial. I was already planning on making the Fringe Dress for Sew My Style (I’m one of the leaders this year!), but this series gave me the extra push to make something really special.

 

Inspiration

Earlier this year I tried on a Diane Freis top/skirt set in a vintage store and I immediately wanted to make something like it. I didn’t take a good photo of the matching set, but imagine lush lightweight wool in purple and green, a long flowing skirt, blousy sleeves and lots and lots of ruffles! Below are a couple examples of Diane Freis garments. They’re absurdly loud and pretty ridiculous, but also probably some of the most fun things you can put on your body. (I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t buy that skirt set I tried on!)
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Fabric

I wanted my dress to be slightly more toned down than my inspiration, so I used a subtle black, white & red cotton ikat from my stash. If you haven’t worked with ikats before, they’re amazing! They’re usually cotton (though there are silk ikats out there), which means they are very easy to work with. They have a looser weave than other cotton fabrics like quilting cotton or cotton lawn, which gives them a nice drape and keeps them from getting too wrinkly.

Stonemountain & Daughter has tons of beautiful ikats. I work there, so I’m constantly drooling over all the colors and patterns. Here are a few of my favorites!

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If I wanted to stay closer to my inspiration, I would have used a big, colorful print. A bright Japanese print would be fun and silk charmeuse would be the absolute dreamiest.

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Pattern Adjustments

I only had to make minor adjustments to the pattern to achieve my look. And the Fringe dress is so well drafted that I didn’t have to make any adjustments to the fit!

 

First, I lowered the neckline by 1″ because I wanted it to be a little cheekier. To do this, I just marked 1″ down on the center front and used a French curve ruler to draw a new curve from my mark to the top of the keyhole. I traced this new curve onto the facing piece as well.

 

The other pattern adjustment was to the skirt. I straightened out the hem by drawing a horizontal line from the lowest part of the hem and lengthening the side seam to meet it. This makes the skirt longer as well as more flared.

 

 

To make the ruffle, I simply cut three 15″ pieces of the full width of my fabric. Since my fabric was about 44″ wide, this means I gathered a whopping 3 5/8 yards to make that skirt ruffle!

 

Details

And of course, there are those braided ties. When I started this project I did not realize how long those would take me! I made four-strand fishtail braids using this tutorial. The two neck ties are each 25″ long and the waist ties are 46″ long. So that makes almost 12 feet of braids! Even though it took hours to complete, it was really nice to have a different sort of handcraft to work on. And, unlike sewing, I could do it while watching Netflix (I’m currently rewatching Mad Men and it’s just as good as the first time around!).

Adding the ties at the neckline is super easy—I just sandwiched them between the facing and main bodice pieces when I attached the facing. I backstitched a bit when going over the ties to make sure they stay put and they seem totally secure. It’s a simple addition and I love the look so much that I’m considering adding a cropped Fringe top with neck ties to my list.

 

I wasn’t quite sure if my Fringe hack would suit me once it was done, but I absolutely love it. I’ve never really worn a maxi dress before and it’s so fun! I feel glamorous and elegant in it, yet it’s so easy and comfortable to wear.
Thank you so much to Gabriela for designing such a great pattern! The Fringe Dress is excellent on its own and the hacking potential only makes it better. I hope you all are inspired to try out some fun hacks!
Catherine

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