Do you have fabric in your stash that you just love, but aren’t quite sure what to do with it? That’s how I felt about this utterly gorgeous but perplexing four-ply, silk crepe panel print that I’ve had for nearly four years. Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of what this fabric looked like before I cut into it, but this rough sketch will give you the general picture. I had two panels:
Thinking about what to do with this fabric, I was basically stuck in a rut of two options: 1) Sheath dress with dense black area of print concentrated at the waist; or, 2) sheath dress with dense black area placed at top of bodice and again at hem of dress. All well and good, but I wasn’t loving the idea of spending time and this beautiful fabric on a dress that I’d probably only wear a few times a year.
So I did what I always do when I’m in a fabric or design rut: I turned to my friend Carlos Correa, Vogue Patterns designer. He has the best suggestions and guidance! Carlos came across this photo of a shirt by Dsquared and suggested I make something similar:
And I was like, BRILLIANT! I never even considered using the print cross-grain like this, but it works, and how. With some careful laying out of my pattern pieces (I used Kwik Sew K3555), I made this shirt:
I wore it to work last week and got so many compliments on it. Shirts are a staple in my wardrobe, so I expect I’ll get a lot of wear from it.
Funny, I had this misperception that cutting pieces on the cross-grain (instead of laying the pieces on the grainline as we’re conditioned to do) would result in wonkiness, but as you can see everything drapes perfectly.
Moral of this story: Force yourself to think like a designer when it comes to panels and placement prints, and don’t be afraid to go against the grain. (Is this where that expression comes from?!)
Readers, do you have any fabrics in your stash that you love but just can’t decide what to do with them? Leave us a comment here and maybe we can help!