Some say that glitz and glam are only for the holidays, but I disagree. A classic silhouette with understated fabric, and then a touch of extravagance are always in season—so of course our Sylvie Beaded Tulle and Single Ply Ostrich Feather Trim made me fall head over heels! We had our eyes set on the perfect dress to transform: The Ginger Dress. There are so many colorful options for this pattern hack. You can create some stunning monochromatic looks – a festive red for the holidays, cream for any bridal occasion, or black for an updated little black dress. Alternatively, turning this into a color blocked ensemble with bold statement colors would be a fun twist that’s sure to turn heads. What if you hacked it even further and made a crop top with a feather trimmed hem to wear with your favorite jeans? You’ll look fabulous no matter what!
Before getting started:
1. If you’re using the Sylvie Beaded Tulle, please note that the pearls on this fabric aren’t attached by a thread. Before you cut the pattern pieces out, be mindful of any pearls that might be close to the seam allowance. Arrange the pattern so that any pearls needing to be removed can be done so in the seam allowance, so that no holes are visible in the dress.
2. To remove the pearls, I found that tightly holding the tulle at the base of the pearl and twisting it off to break the tulle yielded a more subtle result than using a seam ripper. Examples of both options are pictured above.
3. When cutting the pattern, cut one each of the following: front, back, and neck. Cut two sleeves.
4. I chose to omit the zipper. Instead I cut 4 inches down the center back, and used a clasp at the neck to keep it closed.
5. With those adjustments in mind, sew the dress using the instructions provided here.
How to attach the feather trim:
First, decide how you want your feathers to look. For voluminous feathers that appear to float, attach the trim pointing upwards. This is the method I chose. We will shape them later! If you want them to have a longer and more uniformed profile, attach them pointing downwards.
1. After sewing each sleeve, clip the feather trim to the raw edge of the tulle, joining the ends of the trim at the sleeve seam.
Since we’re working with tulle I chose to sew the feathers instead of gluing them on.
2. Sew two rows on each edge of the feather trim ribbon. If your needle is getting sticky, switch to a nonstick needle.
How to shape the feathers:
1. Using the back edge of a butter knife or the blunt edge of scissors, take a few feathers at the base and sandwich them between your thumb and the knife.
2. Gently pull the feathers at an angle, as if you’re curling ribbon, stopping about halfway up the feathers. Here I curled the feathers away from the sleeve.
Before shaping the feathers.
After shaping the feathers. Note how the feathers have varying amounts of curl, including some without any.
Although you can achieve tight curls by doing this, I recommend only shaping the base of the feather so that it springs out and away from the sleeve, which gives the feathers that voluminous, floating effect once the sleeve is right side up.