Fiber and textile enthusiast Allison jumped in and made this beautiful Merchant and Mills Trapeze Dress almost the second the Me+You Indah Ikats arrived at Fancy Tiger, and we definitely can't blame her. Take a look at the amazing results and learn a little bit more about how ikats are made.
Pattern: Merchant and Mills Trapeze Dress
Materials: 2.75 yards Me+You Indah Ikat
Please excuse the nerding out that is about to happen, but I have a great appreciation for textiles and I freak out over ikats. For those of you who are unfamiliar with ikat fabric, I'd like to share some of the technique and artistry that makes ikat so beautiful to me. To make an ikat fabric, bundles of yarn are bound to resist dye, much like a tie dye. The resulting patterned yarns are then threaded on a loom and woven. The individual tension of each thread on the loom gives the pattern a blurred effect on the resulting fabric. Because the pattern is created with dyed yarns rather than a dye print on finished cloth, the fabric is double sided. In this particular pattern, the ikat is dyed in both the warp and the weft to create dynamic and shifting plus signs in the fabric. Ikats are found in many countries textile traditions around the world including India, Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Japan (called kasuri), Nigeria, and Guatemala. For a better idea of how an ikat is made, check out this cool video of an Indonesian weaver making an ikat.
The Trapeze Dress by Merchant and Mills was the perfect pattern to showcase this bold ikat. I had been eyeing the pattern for awhile, but couldn't settle on a fabric. When those Me + You Indah ikats from Hoffman came in, I knew it was time to make an ikat Trapeze Dress of my dreams!
The pattern has a very simple design and came together quickly. The one bump I ran into was attaching the facing around the arm holes. The instructions say "the armhole will feel twisted and odd." And they were correct. It felt very weird at first and it took a little coaching from my co-worker Caitlin to get through this step. With her sage advise, I ended up sewing half of the armhole at a time because it was so twisted my pins wouldn't hold the opposite side of the arm hole together. In the end it came out great though!
One of my favorite features of the dress is the seam in the back. Not only is it a more efficient use of fabric, but adds an eye- catching stripe.
I love my new Trapeze Dress. I can see myself wearing it in many different seasons depending on the way it's layered and accessorized. It also looks great with a belt when you want to give it a more dramatic shape. In short, this dress makes me feel like a southwestern goth princess, which is how I like to feel.