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Scarf Dress - Contest Entry (Scaly Scarf Dress)

Added Sep 23, 2009

by damianadesigns

Sandpoint, Idaho...






First I cut out two strips 23" wide in white silk and dyed them each in a unique way in two stages using sapphire blue and dark green acid dyes. I then sewed one piece from one strip to one piece from the other, and vice versa, thus creating a two layer piece of fabric with a seam at the top of each. I attached a little strip of dyed gauze to the top where the seam lies (the eventual bodice) and proceeded to delve into the shirring right under it. After the shirring was finished, a pocket added, and the dress assembled and hemmed I cut out lots and lots of scales made from the left over silk and edged each scale with Fray Check to ensure clean edges. This also helped to give each scale a bit of body. I then pinned the scales to the dress in rows and hand sewed them, row by row, adding beads here and there on the front portion. After the scales were all attached I added a couple of strips of dyed silk gauze to the under layer edge and then made a little pin that can be moved anywhere on the dress. In the photos presented here it was placed at the waist.

Material Notes

The fabric I used for this project was 100% silk twill that I dyed by hand. The pin was made from three silk “scales”, wool felt for the backing, and glass beads at the front.




Garment Type
Beach, Bohemian, Romantic



34 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Anime_13_large

    Nov 10, 2009, 11.16 PMby reichan

    Love the colour and scales!

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    Oct 8, 2009, 01.03 PMby coveredbydesign

    Congrats on the win, I am happy that you were able to win despite the voting issues.

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    Oct 5, 2009, 01.42 PMby barbaraagatha

    Lady…you’re out of our league! Is it even allowed for you to participate?! Too beautiful, too crafty, too elegant, too desirable, too envious, too much! If I had participated to the contest with a little measly simple scarf dress, I would come out with “Come On!”. Great work!

  • Cg_large

    Oct 1, 2009, 05.50 AMby deshale

    I just wanted to tell you that now that Burda Style has officially said they would not honor the voting process because of the cheaters that I’m rooting for you!

    Yours was the only entry that I really liked that wasn’t involved at all Plus yours is by far the most creative and original while still following the basic instructions.

    I’m so happy that Burda finally took a stance. Good luck to you! I hope you win, you deserve it!

  • 6c64cd576baf1373282c6c58dc20e1d19c4957c3_large

    Oct 1, 2009, 02.08 AMby ningtagle

    Beautiful dress. I love the color, it’s so calming and relaxing. It makes me feel going to the beach right now.

  • Sparrowavatar_large

    Sep 30, 2009, 02.43 AMby elishafaerie

    This is by far my favourite of the Scarf Dresses, I love the scales! So pretty! You could do a green version with leaves, too!

    2 Replies
    • Bethsprofilepic_large

      Sep 30, 2009, 08.14 PMby damianadesigns

      Ohhhh that would be so cool! I want to make a full length dress using scales but in coy fish colors, brown, gold and rusty brown…we shall see how it goes ;)

    • Bethsprofilepic_large

      Sep 30, 2009, 08.14 PMby damianadesigns

      Ohhhh that would be so cool! I want to make a full length dress using scales but in coy fish colors, brown, gold and rusty brown…we shall see how it goes ;)

  • 6a00e54f8b789388340115712448a5970c-150wi_large

    Sep 26, 2009, 03.40 AMby dneimat

    wow.. this is amazing. stunning.

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    Sep 25, 2009, 10.55 PMby Anna Perkins

    Ohmygosh! =O

    I have seen a lot of scarf dress entries…kind of hard to avoid, right? As soon as I saw the pic of this I fell in love with it! It is by far the prettiest one, in my opinion. Definitely voting for! Good luck! :)

    1 Reply
    • Bethsprofilepic_large

      Sep 26, 2009, 04.58 PMby damianadesigns

      Thank you, you are so sweet!

  • Bethsprofilepic_large

    Sep 25, 2009, 10.35 PMby damianadesigns

    Please vote for my dress in the challenge! Just go here: http://www.burdastyle.com/albums/107/images?page=14&size=small

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    Sep 25, 2009, 05.13 PMby maria-gehrke

    This dress is just amazing. Love it. So well done.

  • Img_0327_large

    Sep 25, 2009, 05.12 PMby maria-gehrke

    This dress is just amazing. Love it. So well done.

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    Sep 24, 2009, 09.03 PMby smvphotography

    sooo beautiful! love the circle details

  • Sdc10583_large

    Sep 24, 2009, 07.00 PMby Delightful Bina

    OMG… this is so amazing! :-O I’d love to be able to make something as good as this one day! It’s absolutely stunning! Best of luck with your entry hun! (",)

  • Avatar_large

    Sep 24, 2009, 05.36 PMby irmchen

    What a pleasure to see something like that! :) Klasse!

  • Nice_plage_large

    Sep 24, 2009, 04.01 PMby cannes04

    beautifully done and gorgeous! it looks amazing, best of luck!

  • Maya_kuzman_large

    Sep 24, 2009, 11.19 AMby sewella

    I am speechless! I want this…. badly!!! A true piece of art!

  • 7ad546f809272746851926b7f874e579e93800b4_large

    Sep 24, 2009, 08.58 AMby susisonne

    Wow, I totally love it. The colors are amazing, cool!

  • 258bd910d849c737cec30398cd5c582dfe308298_large

    Sep 24, 2009, 03.43 AMby lindsay28h

    I thought my dress stood a chance until I saw this. Gorgeous!

  • Ea2edb6a404bcc432ab73c6c058d91e982ef9e48_large

    Sep 24, 2009, 02.18 AMby erdronen

    so beautiful! i love your touches, and can’t believe the amount of work that went into this! great job!

    1 Reply
    • Bethsprofilepic_large

      Sep 24, 2009, 03.40 AMby damianadesigns

      Thank you thank you! This contest was a great excuse to try some things that I’ve been itching to do for a while.

  • Pixeforburda_large

    Sep 23, 2009, 11.52 PMby pixelink

    YAY FOR YOU, stunning effort and I love your photography.

  • Missing

    Sep 23, 2009, 11.34 PMby scheryka


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    Sep 23, 2009, 11.08 PMby amibambini

    Whoa, a lot of love, time, heart and mind has gone into this dress. And the photos are beautiful. Such great colours! This scarf competition has some serious contenders.

  • 0e58d1beee7392f16074d6c2844afb69b7d93b10_large

    Sep 23, 2009, 10.48 PMby sansrain

    absolutely stunning!

  • Etsyicon2_large

    Sep 23, 2009, 10.31 PMby mayadaughterofsun


  • Bethsprofilepic_large

    Sep 23, 2009, 10.09 PMby damianadesigns

    Thanks so much for the kudos :) It was a fun project, I learned a lot!

  • Crafting_is_sexy_large

    Sep 23, 2009, 09.37 PMby mmmcheeseburgers

    the colors you ended up with are amazing – this is such a beautiful dress

  • 23100_587617367_1411_n_large

    Sep 23, 2009, 08.55 PMby sallybentz

    This is stunning!

  • 333d76b4ef72f9a27b816a95a27d3729ea2adc64_large

    Sep 23, 2009, 08.49 PMby knt831

    Everything about this dress is beautiful.

  • New_profile_pic_large

    Sep 23, 2009, 08.48 PMby TerezaSews

    great workmanship and very creative! Really impressive!

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    Sep 23, 2009, 08.42 PMby brenda42

    This is absolutely gorgeous; I love the colors. It makes me think of the ocean!

    1 Reply
    • Bethsprofilepic_large

      Sep 24, 2009, 03.45 AMby damianadesigns

      I’m so glad you think so! I was trying to capture the essence of water when dying the fabric, but you never really know how it will turn out. This time everything ended up looking pretty cool.

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