35A. Dismanteling of Irish Dresses to Quilted wall hangings. (part one)

Before ripping apart

I’ll have to use the seam ripper to take apart the dresses.

I’ve never had my hands on a Irish dress until now and I’m a bit surprised, there is a stiff insert in the skirt front and in the cuffs to keep the shape and the details in the Celtic designs are complicated. One dress is velvet while the other is a polyester blend. Lace and satin are used for detailing and the satin is also used for lining the dresses. No wonder they are so expensive. It seems these Irish dresses can range in price from $400 to over $2,000, I shall take great care when taking them apart.

  • Time to take the dresses apart & listen to a good book on audio.

These dresses must be so cumbersome and uncomfortable to wear, I do not like the stiff insert in the front panel of the skirt at all. Beautiful dresses but definitely not easy to wear. You’d have to have a hardy sewing machine to sew through this stuff. But remarkable enough the dismantling of these dresses is going along at a steady pace, at first I was a bit apprehensive about this part of the job. The first dress took longer than the second but that’s because the person who sewed up the second used a longer stitch.

After ripping apart


Finding the quilt shapes

Now the organizing of the many pieces into a shape that looks appealing to the eye. At first I was freaking out because I had all these rules in my head that I had to follow but then I said to myself (RULES)!!! this is a no rule project, I had to break out of my box and think differently, then I calmed down and this is what I came up with. A circle, I had a square in mind but all of the pieces wouldn’t look good so I played around a bit and I think a circle is the best shape. I’ll fill in all the bare spots with the left over pieces of the dress and I’ll pick up some other vibrant colours to fill in some of the spaces to create a stained glass window effect. The bits of colour I want to look like shards of coloured glass.

Next blog I’ll be sewing it all together which will be fun because there are not any set rules or lines I have to follow, I can just make it up as I go along.

When is the last time you got to sew something with no rules attached? LOVE IT!! By the way does anyone have a favorite Irish limerick?


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