A friend rung me up asking for a simple dress with fabric with butterflies on. I will be honest, I left starting a little late. I popped into the shop to grab some butterfly fabric and I was in for a little bit of a shock. You see I didn't realize how MUCH butterfly fabric we have. I didn't know where to begin, and with such a varied choice, all of them so different I just knew there was a chance I could pick the wrong one! Let me show you some examples.
To begin with there are just the light weight cotton Butterflies.
These fabrics are almost identical, they have a lovely butterfly motive s well as a few other things such as presents bows and fans (and chickens). They are just in different colours, or as well call them Colour-ways. At 140 cm wide and £9.00 per meter a simple dress would have been within my budget. and perfect for a summer dress. Then I realised something. I forgot to ask WHERE the dress would be worn. Just because the weather was nice she may not want a summer dress she may want something more formal. SO I thought I'd take another wander through the shop.
Another stroll through the shop lead me to the brocades. I love brocades, they're a lovely weight, easy to work with and always look stunning. It's my fabric of choice for waistcoats.
Thinking that these fabrics may be slightly too structured I went hunting again.
Finally though I came across THESE
The young lady in question is a free spirit. I know she enjoys bright colours. I had to just bite the bullet and ring her and admit I had not started her dress yet. It wasn't paid work, and I had been busy I was a fool for worrying, she understood entirely. She opted for this lovely rainbow and butterfly fabric. So what am I trying to say here? When taking on a project for Solomon else start early. Even if you wont be able to get around to to sewing at least get the fabric, or indeed get some samples to show the client. And get as full a brief as possible. One persons simple is someone else's rustic or even someone else's formal. Try to get a grip on the personality of the person in question, and then find out if the outfit is for a certain event.
With this information you'll be able to make a better choice of fabric and pattern. Don't accept a vague term like "butterfly". Not only are there lots of colour-ways to choose from but so many different styles. Some of these are carefree, others are modern, others are classic. Some can be abstract. There is also the idea of texture, some of these fabrics here are smooth and shiny, others slightly fuzzy.In the words of Sherlock Homes "Data Data Data, I can not make bricks without clay". Even if you are not a professional tailor and dressmaker you have the right (and responsibility) to interrogate who ever you are making the costume for.