Thrifty fashion – an emerald dress

We all know that emerald is Pantone’s colour of the year for 2013 (here’s my blog post about it from January) and although we are 3/4 of the way through the year, this doesn’t mean that the colour is any less on trend. In fact, it’s really coming into its own for the festive season – jewel colours are always popular over Christmas – and the high street shops are packed full of emerald accessories and clothing. I fancied getting a skater dress in emerald ready for all the christmas parties I’ll be going to, but after failing to buy the bonprix dress below (perpetually out of stock) I’ve found that there is a severe lack of my favourite dress shape in the colours I want, so what should I do about it? What would you do? Make one? Okay!

emerald pantone colour of the year 2013 green dress top bag belt accessories jewellery

I know it might be a bit of a big project, but I’d love to make myself the ‘perfect’ dress – beautifully flared, fitted to me, with sleeves and a scoop neckline –  and in a bright emerald green! And why not? For the first time ever I’ll have a dress that is tailored to fit, rather than buying a size that’s not quite right and having to shorten straps, hem it or stitch the sides to take it in a bit. It’s certainly a challenge but one that I’d like to take on now that I have my own sewing space in my caravan. At least if I leave it hanging around half-made, it won’t be making a mess in my living room – the mess will all be contained within my ‘studio’.

Cassiefairy blog emerald dress making fabric from minerva and vogue pattern

So I hopped onto the Minerva crafts website to choose my ideal fabric for the project. I was toying with the idea of a patterned fabric (so that mistakes wouldn’t show!) but I worried about how this would be affected when using a cut-on-the-bias pattern. And when my eyes settled on the gorgeous green fabric (above) I knew it would be ideal for my custom-made dress. I also picked up an emerald green zip (I bet that would be hard to find anywhere else!) and I chose a Vogue pattern to make a cute party dress. The pattern had the option to use different necklines, different skirts and to add sleeves, so I’m sure I’ll get a lot of use out of it.

Now that my package of joy has arrived in the post, I’m about to start the process of making my own dress. I’ll take some snaps while I’m doing it and I’ll let you know how I get on. I may need some help so if you see me desperately tweeting for advice on how to add a button-hole, please message me back with any dress-making tips and tricks!


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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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