New dressmaking project: the glam jacquard dress

No matter what anyone says, I’m a firm believer that women can never have too many dresses.

I think all those who believe in the motto ‘less is more’ when it comes to those with overflowing wardrobes and drawers would look at me in horror for saying this, but it’s true. Everyone appreciates beauty in a different way. Some like fancy sports cars, others like beautiful precious gemstones, artwork or big mansion houses. For me, beauty is in attention to the detail. Each dress carries its own unique beauty factor in the detail: this can be in the pleats, the stitching, the design of the dress or the fabric.

A recent charity find has brought back the sewing bug in me. After sewing 5 dresses for our wedding last year, I’ve been on a bit of a dressmaking/craft hiatus, but I’m now excited to get back on the bandwagon because of a beautiful fabric I’ve been seeing around a lot: jacquard.


It’s amazing what you find at charity shops if you have enough time (and patience) to root through the racks. The OH and I were browsing through the shops in our local area for pieces to make up his outfit for an upcoming audition he was attending. One shop, unfortunately, was closed, but the dress on the mannequin in the shop window caught my eye.

Per Una red berry jacquard midi dress

It’s been a while since I stopped in a shop, looking at a mass-made dress in a high street shop and went ‘I love that dress/top/skirt/jacket!’ The last time I remember feeling that way was when I saw the BHS fit and flare dress with the wide funnel neckline last year. At the time, I wasn’t too keen on paying the price for the dress and ended up making my own. The Marks & Spencer dress from the Per Una collection at the charity shop was still brand new with its tag on. A real steal when the retail price for the dress was £79 and it was being sold for £17! I walked away dragging my feet, the shop wasn’t opening at the weekend, so I specifically asked the OH to go back the next day to get it for me while I was at work. I knew this was one dress I wasn’t going to let slip through my fingers, especially when it was exactly my size!

At a recent wedding I attended, I saw one of the younger guests wearing a very beautiful turquoise and silver jacquard sleeveless party dress. The fabric was absolutely amazing with a turquoise background and glittering paisley or floral pattern from silver thread. The wee girl’s dress has set off the dressmaking part of my brain to go and make an equally stunning dress…for me. I absolutely love my new charity shop find, and I intend on wearing the dress to a friend’s upcoming wedding in 7 months’ time, but my fingers itch to make a dress of my own to see if I can make my own unique creation with the fabric I find and adding in my own touches to the dress.

As you can see in the first photo above, the jacquard dress is quite versatile and can be worn in milder weather with a block coloured long sleeve top underneath (black for more formal occasions) or on its own for a special occasion. Midi length is all the rage these days, but for awards ceremonies and black tie events, you could also look into making it a floor length gown too. For a friend’s party or wedding, you can also go with the traditional (or ‘modern’) knee length style which I would prefer with my shorter legs.

I have thought about possibly making a jacquard version pleated party dress, but I haven’t quite decided yet what would work best. I like the boat neck and pleats on the party dress, but I feel like this should be a unique dress on its own. I will need to find that special fabric first and go through my patterns to see which ones I will use for this one.

In the meantime, I have looked around for inspiration for my dress from designers below.

Mary Katrantzou metallic animal print sleeveless jacquard dress. Source

Tickton Star black jacquard dress. Source

BB Dakota The Clarissa jacquard dress. Source

Miss Selfridge green and gold jacquard dress. Source

Ted Baker Harmel jacquard midi dress. Source

Elegant jacquard dress. Source

RTW Long Rosa jacquard dress. Source

Juno jacquard dress. Source

Any suggestions on what style (or dress patterns) would complement jacquard fabric? Got a photo of a favourite jacquard

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