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Modern Geisha

Added Apr 4, 2011

by sunnilj9

Cedar City, Utah...






I was asked to participate in The Sew Weekly’s Common Thread series and this is the project that I came up with for it. It was a challenge for me since it was based around the idea that I had to incorporate a trim into the sewing of a garment, which is actually a rarity for me. I wanted a belt involved somewhere in the project so I took the idea back to my pattern stash and found the Heidi dress from here on Burda Style. Then it all fell together, though I’m still somewhat surprised by the result.

I’ve had the floral silk shantung in my stash for some time now and had always wanted some sort of dress from it. I bought it on an outrageous sale and think it’s meant to be a home dec fabric. Putting the lace up (from the Common Thread project series) against it really grabbed me. But then of course, I had to make it pop somehow especially with a color that really copper-tones up my hair. The chartreuse isn’t even a color in the floral fabric, but that’s the beauty of it I think. Completely artistic.

I made a few alterations to the pattern itself, lengthening the torso since mine is abnormally long, plus widening the hip and bringing up the neckline a bit as the original was too low for me and on the verge of looking unsavory. I incorporated the lace into the neckline and the pocket openings while also using the chartreuse dupioni as an added bias trim which I non traditionally used with the raw edges facing out, as its something I’ve always wanted to do. The belt I went off a little in my own direction for. It hit me one night that I should make the back a lace up to add more to the modern geisha effect. To finish it off I made a silk flower from the lining and gave it a little lace trim decadence. The end result is terribly comfortable with all the romance of a beautiful spring day when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom.

Material Notes

silk shantung, crepe de chine, dupioni silk, eyelets, invisible zipper, lace trim, grosgrain ribbon




Garment Type
Classic, Evening Wear, Other, Romantic

13 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Forburda_large

    Jan 16, 2012, 02.43 PMby skeeler

    The details on this dress are absolutely great…I love how ideas just came to you. Creative!

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    Apr 16, 2011, 07.52 AMby ajtak7171

    It’s absolutely fabulous! So perfect, everything!!!

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    Apr 13, 2011, 07.50 AMby lovelypolly

    wow, i like the dress a lot! good job!

  • C9c58f92ed60d1987d1a711106e37cb70262f08a_large

    Apr 10, 2011, 03.15 PMby anajan

    Wow Sunni, the dress is stunning. As Ralf said, the best Heidi I’ve seen on the site. The color contrast is amazing, and it really suits your hair and skin complexion. Well done! It goes straight to my favorites, for future inspiration :)

  • Missing

    Apr 10, 2011, 12.17 PMby u120418

    Very pretty!

  • Unt300_crvena-itled-1_large

    Apr 9, 2011, 08.02 AMby FEDRA

    I like the combinations of color and a slight touch of green. stylish and fresh!

  • Dsc09595avatar_large

    Apr 9, 2011, 07.23 AMby Ralf Schmitz

    deare sunnilj! this is a fab dress! i love the print of your fabric and the colors you chose for the trimmings. this heidi dress is the best i have seen so far! BRAVO

  • Ghetto_girl_goes_to_colo__large

    Apr 8, 2011, 11.38 PMby turtlegirl00

    I love it! colors and style—it is great!

  • Naburdaprofil_large

    Apr 8, 2011, 07.00 PMby janul

    This is so lovely! I love the colours and the fabrics! It looks really great on you :)

  • Kevin_and_dibs_wedding_15_jan_2010_256_large

    Apr 8, 2011, 03.02 PMby mudinfedi

    its just amazing,. I like the contrast in the belt and dress

  • Teacup_large

    Apr 8, 2011, 02.59 PMby elsiesea

    My stars, this is nice in both design and execution! And it looks wonderful on you, too. Very inspiring…can I nick the lace-up-sash idea some time? :)

    1 Reply
    • Wool-knit-4_large

      Apr 8, 2011, 03.19 PMby sunnilj9

      Of course! The belt for this particular pattern is rather dashing! It’s actually contoured and makes a really nice cincher! You’ll totally love it! I would do one thing differently though. The original belt is closed with side hook and eye closures. I would keep that and add the lace-up in the back just to make it easier to take on and off. I think I might need one more like this at least!


  • Christina_and_cadence_blush_09_large

    Apr 8, 2011, 02.36 PMby christina031106

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I love the contrast of the green to the floral print, and the detailing on the pockets is beautiful.

  • Profile_large

    Apr 8, 2011, 02.25 PMby amaydak

    Once again, LOVE IT!

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