Sunday 21 October 2012

Black Haute - DIY the Etro sheer panelled maxi dress

A dandy devoré Etro-inspired tutorial that's a sheer delight to make!

You will need

A black velvet dress - bonus points if it's maxi length. They appear to start at £6 on Ebay, with postage and packaging

About 2m of sheer black mesh

4m bondaweb (about £4 per metre at John Lewis)

Sharp thread snipping scissors

Pencil and eraser for sketching

Felt tip pen 


Total cost

About £25 (mine was less as I decided to do a top) - as opposed to £3,905 like the original!


4-5 hours.


Reasonably Easy 

Yes, reasonably is a standard unit of measurement! This is one of my more simple, self-explanatory tutorials but it helps to have a fair amount of skill, both with sketching and careful cutting.

Black velvet if you please...

Cut out a square metre of your bondaweb, fold it in half and sketch out a design like the one on the original (NB: it helps if all your lines are interconnected and connected to the edge).

When you're happy with your design, go over it with your felt tip pen and trace it out on the other side. Cut another metre of bondaweb and trace out the same design.

Turn your dress inside out, fix your bondaweb to the front and the back, at the same height.

Use your snip scissors to cut out you design, making extra sure you stay dead on the line. I find sharp snip scissors are perfect for getting a sharp cut and fitting around a design with a million fiddly nooks and crannies. Mine also seem to work with fabric and paper. Just remember, the smaller and sharper, the better!

Peel away your bondaweb backing paper (I find it helps to do it in stages) pin your mesh over your cut out design, securing it at the edges. Turn it right-side-out so that you can pin all your small details in place, so that you can take them out as you iron them and avoid messing them up. Iron your design in place, as I say, taking your pins out as you go along. Don't forget to remove the pins on the inside, too. I found you could iron directly onto your dress but watch your heat as mesh melts easily, especially if it's synthetic. I had my iron on a "2 Dot" heat, if that makes sense.

If you do fancy an exact - or close - replica, repeat the process with the design lower down on the dress.

Mine, mine, mine!

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