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Detail Inspiration: Plaid and overlay



I’m totally fascinated by this dress, for sale from Vintageous.

At first, I thought this dress was made of two layers of plaid fabrics overlayed on one another, perhaps a chiffon over taffeta. That’s definitely what it looks like.

But actually, this is a plaid taffeta dress with an overlay of marquisette, a light mesh fabric. The mesh is the dark blue chiffon-like fabric, while only the taffeta has the large scale plaid. The layering gives it a really cool effect, don’t you think?

It’s cut on the bias and matched beautifully at the front. I also love the way it plays with directionality. The belt is cut straight along a stripe, and so is the top fold. There’s a lot to admire here.

Images: via Vintageous.

Sarai Mitnick


Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.



June 5, 2013 #

That’s a lovely dress, but just thinking about matching that pattern makes my head hurt.;-)

Lorie ~ Ferndale Lane

June 5, 2013 #

This dress is gorgeous!! I love the plaid!

Meg (Melanie)

June 5, 2013 #

I also like the dart shaping on the bodice. You don’t see it at first, and I wasn’t sure if it was just in the marquisette layer, but I think the plaid matching is slightly off on the right-hand side (left as you look at it), so there must be a dart there. As a girl who needs some shaping, I love a cool dart idea. I think there are also some hiding under the top fold.


June 5, 2013 #

Yeah, I thought it was really clever to hide a bust dart under the fold like that. I’m sure there’s shaping in the center front seam too. That’s easy to do and still match the plaids.


June 5, 2013 #

isn’t marquisette the fabric that used to be used in the yards and yards of priscilla curtains when i was a little girl? (and i really was a little girl once, though it seems like so long ago, i’ve forgotten!! LOL!!)


June 5, 2013 #

And there is a clever french dart in the bodice that follows the line of the plaid. Very clever!


June 5, 2013 #

Gorgeous! I confess to plaid matching-phobia.


June 5, 2013 #

I agree with ParisGrrl, the thought of trying to do that sort of amazing matching makes my head hurt too! *lol*

Sure don’t see that kind of time and attention in RTW these days – and great spotting on the darts, Meg (Melanie), I would have missed it completely if you hadn’t said anything. I’ll blame it on my aging eyesight ;)

And I think that you (Sarai) would look amazing in this – or in your own “knock-off” version of it. Now that I say “knock-off” I really regret using that term – my apologies. I honestly think that “hommage” is a much better term as reproducing something like that would certainly be in honour of the original design and work.

Aaaand there’s me, rambling again! *lol*


June 5, 2013 #

I’d love to make something inspired by this! I need more fancy occasions.

elizabeth rehmer

June 5, 2013 #

wow! this is amazing and beautiful!!!! i want!

Tiffany Simmons

June 5, 2013 #

Actually, it looks like stripped fabric to me, with the stripes made into a triangle pointed downwards on the dress and upwards on the overlay. Very clever!


June 5, 2013 #

That’s what I thought at first too, but the description says it is a plaid taffeta with a navy overlay. And if you look at the hem of the dress, the overlay does look solid navy.


June 5, 2013 #

@Tiffany Simmons: I think it looks a bit like two, offset striped fabrics because of what happens when you weave a plaid – the warp threads (what’s stretched on the loom) are packed in at a different threads-per-inch than the weft (filler) threads, so one direction will look lighter because of fewer dark threads.

This is a *super* lovely idea, but . . . I wish the plaid placement had been a little different on the bodice. If the plaid had been placed a little higher, it would n’t have two bright-white squares right over the breasts, which I think looks, well, less than completely elegant.

Natasha E

June 6, 2013 #

Actually I think the matching could be a tad bit better. Its sad though really that you don’t see more matchy matchy stuff like this in RTW since technology can make the matching a whole bunch easier with match stripes on the CAD pattern and with laser guided cutting and such like