Frayed Layer Gown
by Esther Boller Follow

This week is the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards deadline which means that I have been scrambling around trying to finish everything in time. Every year it’s like this, but this year I’ve had college applications to finish as well so there has been even more frantic running around than usual. Here’s a gown that I made this past week for Schoalstics and I just finished it a couple of days ago.

Lately I’ve been experimenting a lot with the grain line of fabrics. As I was playing around with the grain line I found that when it’s cut diagonally it creates a fraying effect without the fabric completely unraveling. I loved the look and texture of this technique so I wanted to create a garment that would play off of this effect. I originally also wanted to ombre dye it, but when I did a test try the color of the dye was not what I wanted.

I hand drafted the pattern using the measurements of my dress form. I wanted to create different shapes to show the movement of the frayed layers so I designed a slim fitted bodice on top, with a flared out, mermaid skirt on the bottom. The mermaid skirt was created by using the same technique that would normally go into making a circle skirt. Each layer was sewn onto the dress starting at the bottom and then working all the way up until the top. Each layer had to be measured and sewn to the skirt correctly in order for the layers to match up in the back where an invisible zipper is placed. The zipper was hand sewn to the dress along with the lining around the zipper. There is boning in the bodice for stability, and the gown is fully lined with a crinoline layer in-between the lining and the actual gown. Overall the dress took around 50 hours to make, and I used over ten yards of fabric which I got at Wal Mart for $1 a yard. I hope you like it! :)

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Discussion 6

  • Christine commented 8 years ago

    Unbelievable! I wish I was that talented at 17! (Or now, for that matter...)

  • Esther Boller commented 8 years ago

    Cina:  Aw thank you!  I am self taught, but in the 8th grade I recieved a scholarship to attened a summer intensive course in fashion design.  For three weeks I was taught the basics in pattern drafting, fashion illustrating, and sewing techniques.  From there I have just worked on developing my own skills through self taught and just playing around.  

  • Cina Rosen commented 8 years ago

    Wow! You are so talented! Have you taught everything yourself, or have you been taking classes?? 

  • Dalia Fashion commented 8 years ago


  • Nora commented 8 years ago

    Wow, just been digging through your projects, especially impressed that you created this out of $1 fabric, unbelievable.

  • TheMissLinds commented 8 years ago

    Esther, you are amazing. This is seriously gorgeous and I can't believe you got that fabric for $1/yard!

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