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I like my dresses like I like my sofas

Added Sep 21, 2011

by piferriter

Tallahassee, Flo...






I wore this to work and a colleague exclaimed, “oh! That dress looks just like my draperies!” And I had to admit I made it out of upholstery fabric. I don’t know what it is, but I find I always prefer upholstery fabric to apparel fabric … So what if I could be a sofa?

I used Simplicity pattern 2215, a design by Cynthia Rowley. Wasn’t too difficult. My first attempt at lining a dress. There’s a side zipper so I totally cheated and didn’t make button holes – because they don’t have to be functional! And I was too eager to take it out for a stroll. I just sewed them straight through the bodice overlap. They still close the bodice … just don’t actually open it. And the pattern’s pleats are asymmetrical. Which I thought would make it look like I don’t know how to sew proper pleats. So I evened them.

Material Notes

Cotton (technically, from the home decor section)




Spring, Summer
Garment Type
Casual, Classic, Preppy, Vintage
Cotton, Denim, Other, Taffeta

5 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Missing

    Oct 2, 2011, 01.26 AMby piferriter

    Oh, you’re all so sweet! Thank you! And I’m so glad I’m not the only one who prefers upholstery fabric. I’m not an experienced enough sewer (yet) to know if I was doing something intrinsically wrong by using it. I feel so encouraged. I just bought a bunch more!

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    Sep 24, 2011, 04.44 PMby pampula

    I love this, the fabric is beautiful and I think it isn’t a bad thing to sometimes look like drapers;) I love fabrics with big florals and yours is just perfect, and the dress is simple and pretty.

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    Sep 21, 2011, 08.15 PMby milkyway

    I like it too!! really pretty!!

  • Ghetto_girl_goes_to_colo__large

    Sep 21, 2011, 03.08 PMby turtlegirl00

    I agree—i am drawn to upholstery fabrics—maybe because the patterns are more timeless, less trendy? and they stay crisp and create great lines! I love your dress and think its adorable!

  • Wedding_photo_avatar_large

    Sep 21, 2011, 12.34 PMby Maureen Kubisz

    Your dress is very cute, and the colors, print, fit and fabric are all appropriate. I am glad to hear your co-worker has a well decorated home.

    I have used upholstery fabric for ages to create clothes. Most of it is labeled ‘dry clean only’, so I zig-zag the raw edges, and then wash before cutting to deal with the shrinkage. I read a (Theads?) magazine article encouraging clothes construction with home dec fabric, and I heard a Project Runway contestant say that it is a benefit that you can get more fabric/yard with 60" wide upholstery fabric than with the 45" fabric created for fashion sewing.

    It is great that there are more print choices in home dec fabric, and the woven cottons have more substance – so they look better sewn. I received the most complements on clothes created with upholstery fabric. Although, sometimes I wonder if I look like the sofa…

    • This is a question
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