I know what you’re thinking. “These lurid post titles of hers are clickbait-desperate!” But what else to call it? When I found this plastic-coated, bumpy material at a stall in Bromley market, I immediately recalled my friend Kate’s ceramic and celebrated nipples mug which I love to wrap my hands around whenever we drink coffee. I inspected it, wondering what I could do with it and noticing it had stretch. “Where does this come from?” I asked the stall-holder. He smiled (finally! Thank you ) saying it’s from Ann Summers.
I got home shouting “look at this nipple fabric,“ whereupon my doubting Thomas of a husband said the appearance was more like bubble-wrap. But then he pressed in one of the raised bumps and it.. well, inverted!
My kids are impressed by the fabric’s futuristic credentials. This would work grandly for costumes in Dr Who. And I love how from certain angles it looks like a carapace or armour. Have you seen anything like it, either in fabric sales or on RTW? I’ve tried to find out more with a combination of search terms on Google but to no avail. I know that dark blue and green had also been available.
It was cheap – possibly reject – as it has quite a few flaws: creases and areas where the plastication is absent, which you can spot at the centre back zip. I didn’t have enough to be picky about placement and in any case, as you can probably guess, this isn’t a dress to be worn too seriously!
The horizontal stretch is slight; too much pulling apart and the fabric deforms beyond recovery gaining the strange appearance of laddered tights 😯 . Although it was only slightly temperamental to sew (I had to look out for skipped stitches), the hardest part to making this dress was not being able to press seams nor shape them as under the iron, the material darkens and the bumps flatten.
I used the Renfrew T-shirt pattern, size 8, elongated with the aid of my skirt block where I left the darts unsewn. After the first fitting, I added bust darts (which sadly took off 3cm from the final length) plus contour darts at the back. And though I love making corded piping, it doesn’t really work here as there isn’t that sharp, flat edge that I would have achieved had I been able to use an iron.
You might think “but where’s a girl to wear a dress like this to?!” Well, I’m wearing it to the screening of the Rocky Horror Show tonight!