Playing with a cool idea

A while ago ,I found a really interesting link on this  blog. Julian Roberts, that is Julian, not Julia had an incredibly cool way to create visually complex yet easy to sew dresses.  Julian is clearly a quirky guy. His website was open only two days a week  so it wasn’t always  easy to track his method down and try it.  The other day I saw that the   Julian Roberts book is now available as a PDF.  I downloaded the book. It’s a space hog but  completely fascinating.


Some of Julian's ideas are really easy to assimilate, others feel like trying to master  advanced mathematics when you have trouble with simple arithmetic. But on one foot, his method starts with a long pillow case of fabric. You sort of randomly decide where the front and back bodices go, cut then out and then twist,  and turn those bodices and stitch the dress together.


Here you see stage 1.

julian roberts

Here are two views of the finished dress.  it can be worn front to back or inside out for various looks.

julian roberts dress1julian roberts dress 2


It actually looks somewhat better and more interesting on my actual body.


So what do I think about this dress construction method??? It’s a great way to create the sort of dress you need if you are suddenly invited to the very chic opening of a chic art gallery and need to make something in under an hour.


It’s the good beginning of a cool dress. The dress despite the appendages, is actually more flattering than one would expect. It’s easy enough to use the dress as a first draft and then stand in front of a mirror and adjust, pin and sew all of the hanging bits into something that is pretty wonderful, a sort of instant Charles James inspired dress.


The dress might be of rather limited utility, but it’s a nice idea to have in my quiver of quick dress ideas. It’s a little like a really nifty party trick. You wouldn’t want an entire evening of party tricks but once in a while, a cool party trick is nice a nice change of pace.


If I am ever invited to a party where all of the guests are too cool for words, and terrify me with their  downtown fabulousness, I will definitely make this dress.


  1. Looks great! I came across his work when I was trying to find examples for my students of using 3D in fashion. Very interesting concept.
    I think India Flint has made some gowns on the same principle - she does what she calls 'Eco Dyeing'...using fallen leaves, weeds, etc. The combination makes for some fascinating clothing!

  2. How many yards of fabric did you use for that dress? Now that you've tried it, I guess it's my turn to give it a go :)

  3. I think I used about two yards of a 55-60 inch wide knit that I sewed into a giant pillow case. I can't tell you exactly how much was a freebie that came in a big bundle of of fabric.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts