DIY Maribou feather trimmed stretch velvet minidress

Maribou feather trimmed stretch velvet dressWhen we were up in Berkeley last month for Oliver’s graduation, we were headed back to our hotel from his party on Shattuck Street. I spied the fabric store Stone Mountain And Daughter on the street. We had the Uber driver pull over and we jumped out! What a fabulous shop!

We had about twenty minutes until closing. Isabelle spotted this super flashy stretch velvet and then snatched up a feather maribou stole. We bought a yard and a quarter in case I decided to make a dress with sleeves. A yard will usually do for a tight body- con minidress.


Isabelle was headed to London for New Year’s Eve and wanted a  feather trimmed dress inspired by the 90’s to wear there…..

My first version had a turtleneck but Isabelle wasn’t too crazy about it s it sat kind of funny on her neck and looked a little stretched out… So I cut it off.turtleneck

The result is something something the Spice Girls might have worn if I do say so myself! It’s quite cheeky.Maribou feather trimmed stretch velvet dressMaribou feather trimmed stretch velvet dressThe clunky shoes are so perfect. Makes the dress look less sexy and more kitschy. Although it’s still plenty short!Maribou feather trimmed stretch velvet dressHow did I make it?


I didn’t have a body con dress pattern at home. They do sell lots of paper Indie patterns at Stone Mountain and the shop assistant showed me the Nettie Dress by Closet Case patterns. I thought it was perfect and would love one for myself, but Isabelle was totally against the low back on the pattern as it didn’t go with her visoin.

I did buy a copy of the Grainline Moss mini while I was there. I need a denim skirt.

 I decided I would base the dress design on a T shirt pattern I already had at home that had been sent to me from the magazine I used to write for to use for an article but never used. The Sewaholic Renfrew . I would just have to raise the scooped out neckline and extend the hem. I cut the dress in a size 4, but ended up taking in the hips. These patterns are for pear shapes with a small bust, but Isabelle is an hourglass. I extended the bust and took in the sleeves, which were too loose. The fit of this pattern wasn’t good for her, and for sure would be bad on me, since I’m the opposite of a pear.

I originally added a turtleneck to the dress but because the neckline was a little too scooped out, it didn’t sit quite right, I do love the turtleneck version. But Isabelle didn’t. So I cut out the turtleneck off, turned under the neck 3/4 inch and used my coverstitch to finish the neckline.

I had to sew the maribou stole on by hand, since there was no other way to attach it. Next time I sew a dress with feather trim I’ll buy trim with a taped edge, designed for sewing on garments. She’ll have to have this dress dry cleaned for sure. As if!

And which do you prefer? With the turtleneck or without?







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  1. says

    What a perfect New Year’s Eve dress! I love the fabric and the feather trim makes the dress! Happy New Year Justine!

  2. karen says

    Justine, great New Years outfit for your girl! I had to laugh when I read your post. I too can spot a fabric store around a corner in a sleeting blizzard!
    Happy New Year!

  3. Laura Leifeste says

    Absolutely adorable! The fabric is fun and elegant at the same time. Your model is gorgeous.