Inari The Third (aka The Quilted Gothic Cocoon of Doom)

Do not be fooled by my secondary title: there was nothing scary or disastrous about this project! I just thought it was funny. 🙂

A little background is in order regarding how this dress came to be, because this dress was never something I had in mind until a minute ago. (Okay, “a minute ago” is totally relative…in actual passage of time terms, it’s more like 2 days.)

I am one of those sewing people who has more fabric than I need. Lots more. Lots, lots more. In fact, I could probably run quite an Etsy sale to get rid of things if I wanted to–my fabric stash takes up 2 Rubbermaid bins, part of a cedar chest, and 2 small cardboard boxes, and has now spilled over onto the top of the guest dresser in a massive pile. Truthfully, I feel a mix of comfort and anxiety because of my stash: comfort, because I know that whatever I could conceivably want to make, I probably have fabric for it; anxiety, because I have so much that it has now become difficult to store/hide/bury in my admittedly large-for-two-people house. Combine that last part with my very slow pace when it comes to making/finishing things and my occasional continuing purchases of yet MORE fabric, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Things sort of came to a head for me this past weekend, when I drove up to a suburb to check out a Craigslist seller’s personal fabric stash from her days as a custom designer. I only bought about 6 yards of fabric, but when I got home I just felt impotent as to where to put it until I got around to making the things I had in mind for it (which all require muslins).

I sat down and started making a spreadsheet of things I wanted to make. (I included tabs for my fabric and pattern stash as well, but those will be much more difficult to fill out and therefore haven’t been started yet.) Luckily, I was positively brimming with ideas at that moment, and I have a great list started for Fall/Winter 2015 projects. Suddenly, I got an idea for a length of fabric I had bought with a particular pattern in mind and I just had to make it happen NOW. The fabric is a black quilted knit from Michael Levine, and I had bought it intending to make a Mai Zipped Jacket out of it. I even ordered ambiance lining and wide elastic for the bottom and the three required zippers; I just never got motivated to tackle the pattern. But as I sat working on my immediate sewing plans, I remembered that fabric, and it screamed “INARI DRESS!!!!!!!” to me instead. And here in “The ‘Mads’ House,” we listen when inanimate objects tell us to do things. >=D

Picture-heavy area approaching: CAUTION!!! (Seriously, this has to be the picture-heaviest post EVER on this blog.)

It's a dress! (And a Mulder...)

It’s a dress! (And a Mulder…)

Gotta have a side view

Gotta have a side view

And the back

And the back

A close-up of the texture of the fabric--neat, huh?? =)

A close-up of the texture of the fabric–neat, huh?? =)

A dress and a tree

A dress and a tree

How I do

How I do “poise”

This is my poking stick

This is my poking stick



Model pose

Model pose

He is too cute not to share!

He is too cute not to share!

I’m pretty thrilled with this dress, especially considering that it technically shouldn’t exist! 😉 (And yes, my makeup is definitely a tribute to the “Gothic” title that I definitely thought up before I even had the pictures taken…) And we got so many good photos that I had to share most of them. Sorry not sorry.

While the hand of the fabric feels relatively standard for a double knit, those quilted puffs are no joke–trying to start a seam on top of one was tough! I may have done well to use a standard universal needle rather than the jersey/ballpoint variety I always use for knits, but I got there in the end. Since I am still serger-less, I did all my construction with a lightning bolt stitch, including the hems. The neckline is just turned under (at the 3/8″ seam line provided) and stitched down; I had thought about making a binding out of self-fabric but the thickness wouldn’t have resulted in a very nice finish, IMO. In addition, I did not use clear elastic to stabilize the shoulder seams, which is what the instructions say to do if using a stretch fabric–I opted for a length of the selvedge of my material instead. It works as intended, but this was obviously a decision I made before realizing the full extent of the puffiness of those quilted bubbles. But I *did* stabilize those seams, just so we’re clear! My only actual complaint about this dress is that this fabric is a magnet for fuzzies and pet hair and everything else on Earth that could be unpleasant against black clothing. Oh well, sacrifices must be made for fashion!

Due to the heft of this fabric, it will make a great transitional piece between seasons (which we definitely get here in OH). I’m already planning to wear it with boots and knee socks or tights on cool Fall days and with cute flats when it finally drops below 80 and stays there. (Yeah, sorry–the heels look great with the dress, but I stick to flats most of the time.) Have you gotten a jump on your sewing projects for next season?

Here come some outtakes, per usual. But before we get to that, here is me with my “Unsung Sewing Blog Hero,” my dear husband and photographer, Tom! He actually really enjoys taking my photos for me so it’s not like he makes a sacrifice of his time unwillingly, but I do appreciate that he does this for me. And let’s be real: he makes me look wayyyyy better than I would without his help! 😉

Our best cheesy grins, just for you!

Our best cheesy grins, just for you!

And now, on to the funnier shit (and supplies!):

Trying to make

Trying to make “Arboreal Vogue” happen…

Tom made me laugh during a

Tom made me laugh during a “serious” pose.

Coming in for a

Coming in for a “graceful” landing

Gotta keep these chompers in check!

Gotta keep these chompers in check!

Periscope stick

Periscope stick

Vitruvian Mads, Round 2!

Vitruvian Mads, Round 2!

He *had* to go for the lipstick...

He *had* to go for the lipstick…

If you’re still with me after all that, thanks for reading!!

Inari 3 Supplies:

Inari Tee Dress pattern from Named Clothing
2 yards quilted doubleknit fabric, Michael Levine (used about 1.5 yds)
Black all-purpose polyester thread
80/12 Jersey needle
Handsewing needle

19 thoughts on “Inari The Third (aka The Quilted Gothic Cocoon of Doom)

  1. I love your dress. That fabric with the little puffs is so amazing. Lucky you to have found that!!! I have a similarly complicated relationship with my stash. It thrills but overwhelms at the same time and it has taken over my rather large basement. Nevertheless, I plan on going internet shopping right now to see if I can snag a
    couple of yards of the lovely quilted fabric
    you have used here. Love the shots of your furry friend and hubby too.

    • Why thank you! I am glad I deviated from my original plans and made the dress instead. I hope you find a quilted fabric that you love–they seem to be having a “moment” right now! 😉 (And oh, how I wish I had a good basement–then I could get fabric shelves!!!)

      • I know! I think your fabric is ‘on trend’ as they say! Yes shelves are nice . You can see you have quickly (not that it ever stops me from buying more lol). In my first comment I meant to say that the spread sheet of your sewing projects sounded brilliant. I think I need a similar exercise…

    • Isn’t it neat?? I loved the design of the quilting–very geometric and angular, which is a little more unusual, I think. And I’m in the same boat as you: ideas for everything, but just have to make time to execute them! =)

  2. Oooh I like the texture of the quilted fabric! You’re rocking the whole “goth” look. It’s making me realize I need more black clothing in my life. I used to have tons, but living in sunny Tucson is making me go for brighter colors lately.


    • Yesssss, join the dark side–that Targaryen blonde you’re rocking would look amazing with goth-y outfits. My inner grunge kid enjoyed putting on all the makeup for this post, for sure! And OMG the shoes: I got them 7 (!!!!!!!) years ago with birthday money; the first time I wore them was for our engagement photos a week later, and the heels got all torn to hell, but I’ve been careful since then and they’re still going strong! 😉

      • Ooooooh it WOULD, wouldn’t it? I bought more “darker” fabric to make a winter/spring Japan trip wardrobe, so maybe I’ll have to rock it. I just realized I don’t have a whole lot of black clothing anymore because the sun is BRUTAL and I would melt in black. But fall is on the horizon, so I need to get on that dark side stuff. 😉

        One of the things I love about being an adult is that you can fit in your shoes (and sometimes clothes if you don’t partake in too much sugar and beer… sigh… me…) FOREVER and you never have to give up your favorite styles. YAY FOR AWESOME SHOES!!

      • Yay! Welcome to the dark side: we have treats and all the fun! 😉 I always thought the best part of being an adult was being able to buy whatever you wanted at the grocery store (my imagination isn’t all that impressive, apparently!), but you make an excellent point about shoes!

      • LOL I love your grocery comment! When I eat things like cake and booze for breakfast, I think that’s the best part of being an adult. Ummm, but I don’t do it THAT often… 😉

  3. Love this dress on you ! I’ve only made the pattern once , but there will be more. I’m just beginning to sew with knits. What settings do you use on your machine for the lightening stitch?

    • Thank you! Since this knit is relatively stable, it was pretty easy to sew on a regular machine. When sewing stretch knits, I always lower my tension (needle thread–I can’t adjust bobbin tension on my machine) from my settings for wovens. For this particular project, I went down to 3.5, but always test on a scrap first just to make sure it’s okay! That’s really the only adjustment I make (mostly due to my machine not having a lot of other options). A walking foot or dual feed would probably be helpful, but it isn’t required. Good luck!! Just go for it and see what works. 🙂

  4. Awwww….you and your husband are so cute!! I have the same feelings about my stash too – comforting but anxiety inducing, and I still don’t seem to be able to stop buying fabric!! Your dress looks fabulous and that quilted fabric looks so comfy and chic!

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