Ardith: materials up-close

First off, may I please say how grateful and stunned I am to everyone who has bid? Wow! Thank you so much!

Second, I thought it’d be fun to take a little field trip, so to speak, while the auction was up, and tell you more about the materials that went into this dress.

"Ardith"

Other than the fabulous, softly metallic pleather (which was a kind gift from someone — I’ve been hoarding it for years now, just waiting for the right moment to use it), “Ardith” is made entirely from silk habotai, or “china silk”. We’ve used silk habotai here at Melody Valerie before — it continues to be one of my favorite materials for a lot of reasons.

  • First off, it’s lightweight — it takes a lot of layers before things really get bulky! That’s definitely a feature.
  • It’s very soft and smooth. Petting it feels amazing.
  • The fabric itself has a surprising amount of body for something so lightweight, which means it will keep its shape while still being floaty and ethereal. Holding a silk habotai doll dress is an amazing experience — rather like holding a cloud!
  • It comes in nearly hundreds of colors, so it’s easy to find the one you want for your project.
  • Last but not least, it’s super easy to dye! I didn’t realize this going in — since most natural fibers will take dye, it was a reasonable guess — but I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly and well the fabric responded to the dyebath for the ombre treatment. Only a second of immersion, and the cool moonlight gray fabric warmed up to the palest purple. The darkest layers of skirt were probably only in the dyebath for about 5-7 minutes. Compare that to 10-30 minutes, depending on the fabric you’re dyeing and the depth of color you want to achieve.

2013-09-27 12.13

In short, silk habotai is an amazing material to sew with — and if you are thinking about it, you should try it!

–Melinda

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2 thoughts on “Ardith: materials up-close

  1. I love this dress so much. While scrolling down through you blog (awesome) I noticed that you are going to be selling this dress as a pattern at Pixie Fair. I can’t believe it. Is it really this dress or did I misunderstand the posting? I love how you packaged the dress in a suitcase in your Ebay listing. That was a classy touch.

    • Thank you! Yes, the dress itself was one-of-a-kind, but I am working on getting the sewing pattern for “Ardith” out as a PDF for sale on Pixie Faire. You could be sewing your own very soon!
      –Melinda

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