Symmetrical prints are always fun. Risky, but fun. I mean, there is always the possibility that you might end up with a big white white dot over the top of your pubis.
Sometimes, I like to keep the symmetrical prints centred, other times, off-centre seems the best approach. This time I went with centred, as I have enjoyed the symmetrical, digitally printed skirts that have popped up in recent years. The symmetry gives them a powerful look, with a kind of totemic vibe. So in my mind, this a fertility goddess sort of dress.
I drafted this dress for my craftsy lesson on cowl necklines. Even though the dress is a knit fabric, I started with my woven sloper (as directed in the class), and rotated the bust darts to create the cowl neckline. I have loved cowl necklines in the past, and sewn quite a few of them, but do not feel the love for them so much at the moment. For this reason, I only wanted a bit of a cowl, not an exaggerated drape. I did not rotate the waist dart into the cowl, just left it where it was, and ignored it when it came to sewing the dress (my waist darts are pretty small anyway).
The fabric is an Italian ponti from Tessuti. It is so lovely to wear (which make a vastly different experience from my Spotlight ponti).
The fabric is quite amazing. It has lots of different colours throughout. Changing the background in my photographs changes the colours that are emphasised. As well as the obvious reds and oranges, there are sublte greens, greys and mauves on a black background.
I wanted to play down the reds and oranges, and put the greens up near my face, which is how I ended up with a big white dot amid a pulsing red circle right in the middle of the skirt. Now that I have pointed it out, you probably can't stop noticing it, but I wore this out and about the other day and did not feel self conscious about it. I didn't notice any snickers as I was walking the grocery aisle.
The other interesting thing about the fabric was that it had mirror images both horizontally and vertically. The pattern repeat must be quite large however, as I could not see a mirror image for the whole print. Either that, or just sections of the print were mirrored. It was hard to work out after I started cutting, and it appears to be sold out, so I can't find the original pictures on the Tessuti shop site.
I cut the front of the dress down the length of the fabric, and then cut the back skirt horizontally to get it to appear symmetrical as well. The fabric stretches pretty evenly in both directions, so this did not matter. The upper back is cut separately from the back skirt, and has a centre back seam, so I just found two matching section of print to use. I was a bit cheeky, and extended the centre back seam down into the top section of the skirt, without actually cutting a CB skirt seam...sort of a seam ending in a dart?
Overall, I really like this dress, even though I was hesitant to draft a cowl design. I am considering this one a win!