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Sew Fancy Fabrics into Everyday Styles

Sew your fanciest textiles into go-to garments

Threads, Issue #210, August/September
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Every day can feel like a gala when you make basic garments in luxury fabrics. Pattern: Merchant & Mills Factory Dress, modified. Fabric: silk dupioni and embroidered organza, author’s stash.

I can’t resist gorgeous, glitzy, over-the-top fabrics: slubby silk dupioni, embroidered silk organza, sumptuous velvet, anything shot with gold or silver threads. However, I don’t have many cotillions, galas, or awards shows on my social calendar. Rather than let this minor fact of life keep me from enjoying traditionally formal fabrics, I decided I would find ways to incorporate glamour into my everyday life.

This idea took shape following the birth of my second son. I already had a toddler, so it seemed that I was doomed to spend my days in practical, washable T-shirts and sweatpants. Yes, a wardrobe of cotton knits was ultimately practical, but it was also boring. I splurged on a Donna Karan design, Vogue 2895 (unfortunately, now out of print) and some silk crepe de Chine. I threw the silk into the washer and dryer, then made some practical nursing tops from it.…

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