Lily is a form fitting dress with strong design lines. Before we named it Lily, I always referred to it as the Sophia dress, after Sophia Loren. The dress has a classic sexiness to it just like Sophia Loren had in those old 1950s movies as she wiggled from scene to scene in her closely fitted clothes. Choosing fabric for this dress is really fun because it works in so many beautiful colors and you can use contrasting fabrics for the flaps if you so desire!
This dress is very structured. It fits close to the body and requires a fabric that doesn’t have a lot of drape. Why? Because fabric with a good amount of drape, such as cotton voile or silk crepe de chine will sag under the weight of so many seamlines. If you were to use such a fabric, you would at least need to underline each piece for stability. Instead, look for light to medium weight fabrics with a stiff drape, fabrics that sort of stand out and away when you hold them up.
Types of fabric
When choosing your fabric, make sure your fabric isn’t too thick or heavy. This dress has lots of seams and a heavy weight material will create really bulky seams. Armed with the knowledge that you need something a bit stiff, there are many types of fabric that will work with this dress. For a formal look, try silk shantung or dupioni. For a more casual look, cotton poplin, cotton sateen or a medium weight linen will work really well. You might even try some cotton or silk twill fabric or a pretty eyelet. For the photo shoot, the dress was made in a cotton blend orange twill, cotton/lycra purple pique and a medium weight linen/polyester blend. The mix of poly with the linen helps to keep it from wrinkling too much, which is important with a fitted dress like this.
- contrast the flaps in different shades of the same color
- contrast the flaps with the same color but different fabric, such brocade, slubbed fabric or a semi-sheer chiffon (which will need to be interfaced or underlined)
- add a lining when sewing with eyelet and use a contrasting color for the lining