Monday, 21 March 2011


The Do-Your-Research Dress: A cautionary tale

mermaid party frock front

Another commission for a party frock for a little girl's birthday! These are great fun and I really enjoy making bespoke clothes, particularly for special occasions.

mermaid party frock back

As per usual, the customer and I went back in forth in email about likes and dislikes, colours and fabric choices until we settled on this Mendocino Underwater sisters. I love this fabric.

mermaid party frock bodice

It was only when I happened to be on Etsy checking prices for the fabric sale that I found out (like many other Heather Ross fabrics), this fabric is now hard to find and consequently it is very expensive.

mermaid party frock skirt

Sixty pounds a yard expensive. Yikes.

mermaid party frock button

But I've reminded myself that this isn't what I paid for it, and it's a much nicer idea to think of a little girl with a beautiful dress on her birthday than have fabric sitting around being expensive and waiting for a crazy person to buy it.

mermaid party frock reverse

It probably helps that I have more.


  1. It's gorgeous! Love the fabric and the orange!

  2. It is a lesson for the future: buy HR fabrics in bulk then sit on them. They always end up crazy expensive!

  3. its a beautiful dress though and I'm sure it will make a little girl very happy. perhaps you could make a few small things with the scraps. kindle/ipad covers or something equally special... also I have been reading the Bloggess for days now and it is all your fault. Damn funny stuff. She write like I think.. though I wouldn't write on my blog that way as it would scare people off. or make them see how truly crazy I am. :oD

  4. such pretty material, such a lovely dress, almost makes me wish i had a girl, even at £60 a metre


  5. Beautiful dress, and yeah that's why I'm resigned to never getting my greedy mitts on any of that fabric, even though I love it.

  6. That is amazing fabric! Not £60 amazing though!! If you all flood the market though, prices will go down, just saying ;)

  7. Holy crap. Who knew I could put my kids through college on my Heather Ross stash?

  8. That is such a cute fabric, and a lovely dress. Such a shame the mill and designer do such limited runs of the fabric. It's really not benefiting them in any way, since they've already been paid. It just creates an artificially inflated market for the middlemen to manipulate.

    Regardless, your designs are so clever, they always show off a fabric I never would have considered looking twice at before. So really it's probably all your own fault these fabrics start becoming scarce and really, really expensive!

  9. ooh this is such a pretty dress - i too love that fabric - the colours and design are gorgeous but £60 . . . . wow.

  10. That fabric is far, far too pretty to be sitting around in your stash, I agree. You know I love my stash, but things sit in it only because I haven't had the time or the right project for them yet rather than because they're being hoarded for hoarding's sake.

    Let the mermaids go free and swim, I say!

  11. This is absolutely gorgeous, and that fabric is amazing, WOW!

  12. My daughter looks so cute in her mermaids dress and the tunic too! I guess I'll be cutting them up and selling the fabric once she's outgrown them, lol - I'd better keep her away from icecream and ketchup!!
    I'm going to end up too scared to sew things from my bit of Macaroni Love Story!

  13. £60 a metre?!? That's amazingly insane! I think I would just learn to live without it...

    ps: sell your as soon as possible and retire on the profits :)

  14. Oh. My. God. It makes me want a daughter so I can dress her in mermaid dresses!! I mean, mermaids? How cute! But yes, £60 a metre is ridiculous....

  15. Such a pretty dress. I love the orange as feminine without being neon sign girly.

    And who is insane enough to pay that much for fabric? I wonder if any is sold at that price.