How I Created The Dany Sheath {The Flora Modiste Sewing Projects}

The Flora Modiste
by The Flora Modiste

And the monthly sewing project for February is... The Dany Sheath! Let me count the ways in which I love this beauty of a dress: (1) It's an easy, breezy slip on. (2) Those pretty, pretty princess seams. (3) Pockets, duh. I know, I know it's February, and the coldest month in winter.

BUT. But. I'm in New Zealand almost this entire month, and it's the middle of their summer, soooo. Dress! This sewing project combines all three of my favorite loves into one: A comfy dress, seam lines, and pockets.

And my favorite love of all time: Unusual seamwork. I LOVE the combination of the pockets and the princess seams. It's definitely something you don't typically see, and (if I don't say so myself) I think it's pretty clever.

Like on the Ashby Coat! The inseam pocket on that sewing project was along a stylized seam on the front of the coat.

The pockets on the Dany sewn in the princess seam. They are almost a combination of an inseam pocket (like on the Ashby) and a patch pocket. (And we covered patch pockets last month with the Wavy Cardigan! HA, you might be able to tell.. Seems like I love pockets.)

The pockets are sort of like an off shoot of the main princess seam lines. Princess seams typically run from the shoulder all the way to the hem of a garment, passing through the bust point.

With the Dany, I cut off the princess seams at the pockets, rather than continuing them all the way down to the hem. I think it just gives the dress a simpler, cleaner finish.

A princess seam is so flattering because it tightens up that upper torso and just underneath the bust, highlighting that beautiful hourglass shape. I did keep the overall fit slightly loose, just because I'm not the biggest fan of skin tight clothing.

This dress is a sewing project in which you definitely COULD get a tight, fitted shape.. But since I really wanted to travel all over Middle Earth with it (I mean.. New Zealand) I decided to go for comfort and keep things a little less fitted.

And I think I still nailed that flattering, slightly hourglass shape, am I right? Both princess seam lines & sheath dresses are incredibly flattering. And now you may be asking..

Well my friend.. I can pretty much guarantee that you own at least one sheath dress in your closet. Sheath dresses are certainly a popular dress style, and can be altered to create an infinite number of different designs. A sheath dress is a fitted, straight dress that often has no waistline seam.

Sheath dresses almost always have short sleeves, or are sleeveless like with the Dany. (I feel like more often than not they ARE actually sleeveless like with the Dany.)

The biggest design takeaway from the sheath dress is that fitted waistline, achieved either through the use of darts or princess seams. Sheath dresses are also almost always knee length or shorter.

However, I made a few tweaks to the traditional sheath dress shape with the Dany sewing project:

  1. There is a tiny bit of an A-line shape to the hem, just to allow for some extra movement.
  2. I shortened the hem a bit, since I felt that was a bit more of a flattering length with this particular design.
  3. As I mentioned above, the fit of the dress is a little loose, and not entirely fitted like with the traditional sheath.
  4. Most sheath dress pockets are simple inseam side pockets, rather than the unusual inseam/patch pocket hybrid on the Dany.

The changes that can be made to the traditional sheath dress shape truly are infinite!

I think the most difficult part was sewing that corner where the pocket and princess seam meet. That point had to be PERFECT, since it's basically front and center. (And that had to be done twice. Four times, if you count the back.)

And of course.. It's always a challenge sewing striped fabric together properly. Striped fabric with many, many thin lines.

I actually saw a similar design to the Dany while we were out shopping in Portland over the holidays. It was more of a shirt dress, but it did have a checkered/striped fabric like with the Dany. The downside? The stripes didn't match. Like, AT ALL.

The stripes on the left and right hand sides of the dress didn't match the center of the dress, and it looked awful. Like, completely terrible. It was a bit shocking that they were actually trying to sell it, and it wasn't cheap. I really, really liked the dress, but refused to pay for something that was 100% horribly made.

So here's what I did: I drafted my own pattern, tweaked it to make it even better, and actually matched up the stripes on my dress.

As a result.. Next week we will be covering how to properly sew with striped fabric. An absolute necessity of a sewing project tutorial if you love striped fabrics, and want to start sewing with them.

The fabric used for the Dany is a beautiful navy ribbed knit. Raised "ribs" on a knit are typically shown on the outside of the fabric, but with this fabric the rib is inverted, with the raised rib on the under side of the knit. Technically, either side of the fabric could be used for this project.

I chose to use the side that shows the dark navy strips, since I really wanted to show how to sew stripes with this particular project. (Stay tuned next week for a full tutorial!)

Ribbed knits are used for closely fitted designs that take advantage of their elastic qualities. They mold to the body, and they mold well. Therefore making it the PERFECT fabric for a sewing project with a princess seam.

And I love easy, breezy slip ons, and the elasticity of this knit allows me to just slip it on. No zipper needed! Another bonus: The knit is lightweight, comfortable, and perfect for 3 week long travels in Middle Earth. (I mean.. New Zealand.)

The biggest challenge in working with this fabric was matching those damn stripes.. If ever working with a defined rib knit like this one, it's important to watch those stripes and match them up properly.

The overall lesson: Please, please don't ever buy a garment if the stripes don't match. It's poor pattern drafting, cutting, and sewing.

Non matching stripes are 100% avoidable, and it just shows complete laziness on the producer's part. The workers in these types of factories do not care enough to do the work properly. Again, we don't want to support that, do we?

And finally.. The namesake for the Dany Sheath.

I'm pretty sure you will be able to guess who this sewing project is named after.. And if not, then you've probably been cut off from television for the last 7 years.

The Dany Sheath is named after the one and only Khaleesi, Dany from the fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire.. Also more popularized with HBO's Game of Thrones.

When the series starts, Dany is essentially sold as a sex slave to a man. She can't speak his language and has absolutely zero power in anything she does. But fast forward a few years, and Dany is one of the strongest (if not THE strongest) female in the entire series.

And Dany does what she wants, when she wants.. But she is also an understanding and compassionate being, freeing slaves by the tens of thousands.

Even at the points in the series (and there are a few) when Khaleesi is captured and has absolutely zero power or influence.. She completely turns her circumstances around and ends up having even MORE power and influence than she did before she was captured.

In a world dominated by male power, she is carving out a place of her own and demanding her own power and respect.

I think the best way to describe Dany and the women all over the world that are just like her: Fearless.

To me, Dany represents the strong, fearless, self made woman. All are qualities that I try to embody in my daily life.. And qualities that I want The Flora Modiste to represent.

At a time where a horrible, horrible human is running our beautiful country.. Where said human treats women (and many, many others) as if there are subhuman just because they aren't a white man.. We all need to stay strong, speak out, and try to make our tiny corner of the world a better place by setting our own example.

In the words of Khalessi: "We're going to leave the world better than we found it." What do you do to speak out and stay strong in these troubling times?

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Join the conversation
  • Tonya Tonya on Mar 23, 2021

    What a cutie! What can I say besides "I WANT ONE!" 😍

    • The Flora Modiste The Flora Modiste on Apr 05, 2021

      Thanks so much Tonya! We do have this sewing pattern available over on our website -- it's such a fun dress to make!