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Cloud Dress – Hand Dyed and Printed


Hi all!

I wanted to share another sewing project I made a while back. This one is more early 60’s style, though perhaps the print is slightly unusual. Yes,  I went nuts and made my own stamps to print fabric! The effect is more watercolor-esque, perhaps I should have screen printed instead. Either way, I think it came out fairly well. I call this one “The Cloud Dress“.


This is another entirely self-drafted pattern that I somehow whipped up in about 2 hours.  Although I had some minor difficulties with the zipper (yet again!), I’m still in love with it.


Testing stamps on scrap fabric.

Also:  I was wondering if anyone had advice on this front, since I trust everyone on here (even only after my 2nd post!) I want to start my selling designs either on Etsy or in a boutique, but I am lost in a few places. I’m mostly confused about production (for a small line only) and pattern sizing. I’m teaching myself to grade patterns and I also have a design internship, but I feel like the design internship is really eating up my time/affecting any momentum I’m gaining with my design work. I work full time so it’s hard to keep that going, plus the internship, occasional custom orders, plus maintaining my potential line. I’m also supposed to be learning pattern grading at my internship, but have yet to touch on it.  Do I just hire a seamstress to produce most of the line after I make patterns and cut the fabric? Make it myself? How do most people do it?

Any ideas would be appreciated! Thanks so much!

About the author: Nicole – Midwest retro-inspired fashion designer who loves mostly psychedelic vintage clothing. I primarily draft all of my own patterns and works can be seen on my blog, Manic Pop. I collect vintage sewing catalogs and love sewing with vintage fabrics.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • mariebayarea June 2, 2013, 2:40 pm

    This dress is a knock out. I just love the cloud print you created yourself. I’m not an etsy seller, but I am a buyer. I buy vintage and vintage style dresses often. Its hard to find modern sizing in vintage clothes unless you’re a size small or extra small. Plenty of options if you have a 24 to 26 inch waist. My stats are 36-30 to 31-37. It is so awesome to purchase a custom order dress to fit my own measurements. I hope that if it fits into your schedule and lifestyle that you make a go of opening your own etsy shop. Keep us posted please.

  • Marie June 2, 2013, 2:56 pm

    This is beautiful, I adore the stamped fabric! I don’t have much advice on the selling front (hopefully others will chip in), but I wish you luck…I think you could do incredibly well, especially with your fabric printing too!

  • lunefantasy June 2, 2013, 3:44 pm

    it is so beautiful, the stamped, this is a great idea and a lot of creativity !!!!!

  • paloverde June 2, 2013, 11:41 pm

    For more than you ever wanted to know or even imagined there was to know:
    http://www.fashion-incubator.com/ (explore the website) and the standard in the industry: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing by Kathleen Fasanella.

    • Katherine June 3, 2013, 12:01 am

      Fashion Incubator is definitely an interesting read – Kathleen Fasanella has such a distinctive voice and no-nonsense approach.

  • manicpop11 June 3, 2013, 9:25 pm

    Thanks for the input, everyone!

    And mariebayarea – I definitely am thinking of making items customizable size-wise. I’ll have a sample item on the website with the option for people to give me their measurements and me make it from the pattern I made, just re-sizing.

    I just decided that September is the re-launch date for my Etsy site, hopefully sooner. You never know! I’ll be posting samples as they are made by me on the blog. I already get a pretty decent number of hits per day on the blog so that’s on my side as well with the re-launch.

    This is so exciting!

    • mariebayarea June 5, 2013, 9:53 pm

      I will definitely be checking out your shop in September.

  • EmSewCrazy June 7, 2013, 9:24 pm

    Fabulous fabric and dress!
    Re, the business side, you could always sell your patterns instead of having to make all the dresses. I’ve been told learning to draft is the best way to design great patterns with size integrity.
    Personally I’ve had to realize my limitations and start small and work my way up as my knowledge and skills grow. Just don’t take so much on that you burn out before your wonderful ideas can be brought to fruition. Realize it will take awhile since you are doing so much but that every little bit helps.

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