My family has been very nice and supportive while I've made Anna Maria Horner's Paper Fan Dress: for two weeks, in fact, our kitchen table lay buried under my sewing machine and a plethora of fabrics while I tried to decide which fabric combination would work better.
I wanted this to be a dress full of color (it is a Anna Maria Horner pattern, after all!), but because of all the pleats, the skirt requires more fabric than I first envisaged, and all of those nice fabrics and color combinations I'd first planned (here) were just too small.
Together, we had many consultations about other possible fabric combinations (it's amazing how many different opinos there can be in a family of five!), until one day, looking out of my window, I noticed the colors of my garden: the green of the basil and of the foliage, the red of the tomatoes, the pink of the zinnias, and the golden yellow of the marigolds and the summer grass. All those colors complimented each other so naturally that - inspired by my garden on a mid-August morning - I cut and sewed fabrics that I'd never have guessed would go well together.
I made this dress exclusively from pieces of fabrics I had on hand. The raspberry and pink polka dot bodice is, by happy coincidence, a leftover Anna Maria Horner cut (Garden Party Collection? Sorry, I bought it so long ago that I can't remember). The lining is scraps of white cotton, the pink, yellow and green floral skirt is a fabric remainder from our street market, and the yellow border is a scrap from Ikea.
(Note a few changes I made to the original pattern: I altered the pleats at the back a little, attached the skirt to the bodice in a different way, and made the skirt with two pieces of fabric instead of just the one - much like, if I'm not mistaken, one of the Paper Fan Dresses Anna herself made.)
The bodice has two large buttons at the back, and all I had on hand were two black buttons. Could two black buttons go on a dress made with the colors of my mid–August garden? I bet you can guess the answer! Tomorrow, I'll show you how I "upcycled" those two buttons.