Iris in the Snow



Carolyn Reschke

(click images to to enlarge)

Other Credits

Photography credit to my sister Lauryn and friend Abi

Outline the story …

I was having difficulty making a decision on what to create, and I'm sure I was not alone. There are so many fascinating aspects to nature. Looking through the inspiration board, I saw a flower and had a flashback to watching Fantasia as a child where the flowers would dance to music. I thought it would be fun to create a dress that looked like a flower when I stumbled upon a picture of a bearded iris entitled "Fiddlin' Around". I was drawn in immediately. I thought of how I could make ruffles that caused a rippling effect like the edges of the petals. I saw the way the flowers stood tall and elegant and I pictured a long, fitted, green skirt trailing back to the ground. I remembered every spring, seeing bulbs growing up through the snow and thought of a wintery corset and snowy shift for foundation garments which the dress would "grow" from. I was drawn into the beautiful, rich, purple petals and started searching the internet to find a fabric to match. Very soon afterward, I decided to stop fiddlin' around and get to work.

Outline the construction…

The shift is made of a lightweight cotton, constructed using two large rectangles with side gores and a ribbon drawstring neckband.
The corset was more involved. I decided to draft my own pattern for the first time after falling in love with the ever popular Symington "Pretty Housemaid" corset. I wanted to chose a corset that would be wearable on an everyday basis beyond the competition, but did notice it was not quite the right shape for the more Edwardian style of blouse and skirt. It is made of an Ice Blue cotton twill and lined with white cotton. The pieces are all first corded with hemp cord, then constructed with a plain seam, topstitched, tucked under and stitched down to create a casing. I chose this method over others because I live in a very warm climate now and wanted to reduce the layers of fabric as much as possible.
The skirt was constructed using the TVE23 Ten Gore Princess Skirt pattern with some changes, and is made of an Olive Green twill flat lined with a Storm Grey cotton.
The blouse was the most difficult project for me. I decided to try to speed things up by "just" draping, but it's way more difficult than I had imagined. It was a fantastic learning experience, though, and through many trials, I ended up constructing it using some spare grey cotton lining and a double layer of purple cotton voile. The blouse closes in the front with hooks and eyes




  1. Avatar Laura Pelofske on April 26, 2023 at 9:36 pm

    I love the concept and your finishing looks so professional. The purple is gorgeous, just like a bearded iris!

  2. Avatar Jitka Jitka Pelíšková on April 29, 2023 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Carolyn, I love your creation! You look like a real iris in these clothes. The style is very elegant.

  3. Avatar Stella of Stellarland on May 6, 2023 at 10:22 pm

    Beautiful simplicity.

  4. Avatar Holly Holly Delaney on May 10, 2023 at 8:13 pm

    This was one of my favorite outfits! Perhaps because I love irises and the color purple! The sleeves look so elegant! Love the ruffles ! I would wear this.

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