the Hoku Dress

In Hawaiian, ‘hoku’ means star. That’s exactly who this dress was made for — a star hula dancer! The little girl in the photo at the left won a hula competition. And, with a skirt like that, her dress is perfect for dancing!

We began with a lovely off-white silk/cotton blend; it had just the right body and drape to mimic the original dress. And, it has a gorgeous luster and hand.  The original dress appeared to have a bodice woven out of grasses, but after some discussion we decided to topstitch the bodice so that it would have the same overall look, instead of trying to find grasses the right color and scale.

What makes this dress really luxurious, though, is the skirt. The original has a lot of very soft fullness, and we wanted to capture that for Maiki (the doll for whom the dress was destined).

Because of the way that the original skirt hung, we knew it had to be circular. But of course it wouldn’t be the same without the gathers! So we cut a large circular skirt and gathered it along the top edge. Then, we added a small tulle petticoat beneath to give the skirt a little shape. Voila — the skirt was ready for dancing!

Of course, we couldn’t neglect the sleeves! We loved the little pointed cuffs and the tasteful gathers at top and bottom.

But the best part? Seeing the lovely Maiki in the finished dress!

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