This is the story of the makings of a dress, according to LadyT:
First, one must start with the fabric. While not a hard and fast rule, in my world approximately 90% of my projects start with me buying fabric that makes me squee, putting it in my stash, and maybe about 2-5 years later finding a pattern that sufficiently compliments that fabric. It is best if the fabric is on a very good sale so that you can buy quite a few yards of it, as one may never know what sort of pattern is the mate for the fabric. Also, I like fuller skirts and dresses and coats, all of which require more fabric. Not only do sheath styles tend to emphasize my larger hips in a non-flattering way, but it is often hard to find truly full skirts in stores, as fullness=more fabric=higher costs that lower price margins. My rule of thumb is to try not to buy less than 3 yards if I think the fabric wants to be a skirt or dress, 1/2 yard to a yard if it wants to be a purse (usually the more expensive fabrics), and if it is on sale for less than $5 a yard and I really like it, buy no less than 5 yards so that I have lots of play room.
This fabric was purchased when a Joann's near me was moving across the street (I believe this was Fall 2005). For some reason, this meant that they had to sell ALL the fabric in their store (why they couldn't just move the fabric across the street is beyond me, but hey, whatever). In order to facilitate this, they had a HUGE sale. Everything was AT LEAST 70% off. The only catch was you had to buy whatever was left on the bolt, weather 2 yards or 20. That day I believe I ended up with over 80 yards of fabric for about $350 (including some amazing Bridal stuff that I normally would never be able to afford), which is not too bad. This particular fabric had 6 and a half yards on the bolt. It is 100% polyester silky, which means it has the perfect drape for a flowy dress or skirt. I absolutely love the combination of colors and the fun sunburst/swirlys pattern in the background. However, what really caught my eye about this fabric is the clear sparkles. It is a bit hard to see in the picture, but can you find the slightly darker dots scattered about the fabric that kind of looks like rain? Those are caused by clear circles that are fused to the fabric and catch the light to give the fabric a really fun shine. THAT is the reason I bought this fabric. The umbrellas are fun, as are the colors, but it's the shiny that made this fabric a must have!
I had originally envisioned a drawstring halter dress or cowl neck dress for this fabric. However (as you shall see at a later date) another pattern was to demand to be made first. To be continued...
I'm just your average sewing nut who delights in all kinds of fabric. I collect scraps of all kinds of fabric, no matter how small. Getting a new box of upholstery samples, or seeing a really awesome trim on sale, are some of my lifes great pleasures. I usually work in the live theatre industry constructing costumes and stage manging. I also make some of the scraps that I have collected into purses for sale at www.byladyt.etsy.com and www.byladyt.com