Toile de Jouy: Upholstery Fabric and Quilting Cotton Re-Imagined

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Picture of Toile de Jouy:  Upholstery Fabric and Quilting Cotton Re-Imagined
Most successful sewing projects depend on choosing a suitable fabric.  A clingy bias skirt pattern, for instance, will look completely different in a quilting cotton than it will in a silk charmeuse. 

Many people avoid using quilting cottons and upholstery fabric for apparel because they are supposedly unsuitable materials.  However, I have had quite a bit of success with them, understanding that neither is going to drape very much at all!

And some of the prints and colors are so very pretty, they are impossible to resist!
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Step 1: Fabric Re-Imagined

Picture of Fabric Re-Imagined
This upholstery fabric was originally intended as a slip cover for a chair.  Well, that project never happened, although I have used some of the yardage as small home décor and craft projects, here and there.  It sat in the corner, on its roll.

Step 2: Inspiration

Picture of Inspiration
I recently came across this image of Dita von Teese, and immediately knew that a dress was going to be the perfect thing to use up some of that upholstery fabric.  Turns out, I just scraped by with the yardage.

I was debating whether or not to add sleeves to my first Butterick 5882.  In the end, the question was moot because I did not have enough fabric.  Oh well, I will save that for the next one!

Step 3: The Muslin

Picture of The Muslin
One thing to keep in mind with upholstery fabric is its loose weave.  Unfinished or cut edges will fray like nobody’s business, so a muslin is a really good idea!  Ripping out seams and handling pattern pieces over and over will only lead to frustration.
Love the fact that you upcycled upholstery fabric to make a dress. And awesome tutorial! I tried making a tutorial like this and it turned out horrible. I hope you don't mind but I will be taking some tips from you as to how to go about the next one. Lovely dress!
debdegraeve2 years ago
This is a great dress. I also use quilting cotton and upholstery fabrics for clothes. You are right, the colors and prints can be irresistible, and there are only so many chairs you need to reupholster. Deb
shizy252 years ago was the pleated bodice part done?
Laura Mae (author)  shizy252 years ago
The bodice under cups are darted and fit the body; a larger piece is pleated, sewn to the upper edge of the under cup and the raw edges are stitched to the piece that fits the body. This is difficult to describe in words, but basically there are two pieces - one pleated for the design, and the other fitted to keep everything in place. Those two pieces are then treated as one when attached to the bodice.

This is actually a current pattern, Butterick 5882, if you are interested in making your own!
HollyMann2 years ago
So cute!!!
action pig2 years ago
Lovely work! I love your fabric choice and I love the flared skirt.