Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Finished Project: Loose Silk Dress

I am so happy to announce this project's end.  It was a super simple pattern, but this fabric had me in a state for months!

I had ordered 1 metre of this lush silk form Blackbird Fabrics the day she announced her shop open.

Can't you just feel it's amazingness through the screen?
And I hemmed and hawed over what to do with it.  The problem was that (in rather typical Mandykatt fashion) I read the part of the description that said the boarder print was only along one selvage, not both, and promptly forgot it.  This means that the top I was daydreaming about wasn't going to work unless I did the back without the boarder print, because 1m will not wrap all the way around me in a way that would be useful for a garment.

I really tried to not let it bother me that the back and front would be different.  I laid out the pattern pieces several times and tried to be very zen about it all.  But I couldn't.  There was no help for it, I should have ordered 1.5m at the start because now I couldn't just order .5m, I needed a full metre more.  Let that be a lesson to me about thriftiness!  Buying 1.5 in the first place would have saved me money over having to order a second cut.

At the beginning of January I was tired of petting my fabric and knew I had to use it right away.  So I ordered my second metre and found a pattern that would let me use as much of the fabric as possible. I decided that Butterick 5815 would work well.


It's not my usual style, but looked like a great choice as the loose style would allow the silk to drape and flow while providing the right amount of wearing ease.  Silk does not stretch! I'm new to the world of silk, and am having some trouble getting used to it's firmness.  Cotton has some give to it even when it's closely fitted, but silk does not.  I popped the darts in my silk taffeta dress I made for a Christmas party when I sat down in my car to drive there!  Lesson learned.

Note to self: next time, remove socks and put on some shoes.
Photos taken before hemming.
Ta-Da! These are the usual indoor just-finished photos, but I do hope to take proper shots as soon as I recruit a willing photographer.

It was actually so warm here on Monday that I was able to slap on some leggings and go out for the afternoon in this dress.  No sweater, no jacket.  I think it was 13C.

The pattern has only four pieces, front, back (identical to the front except the neckline is 2cm higher), sleeve front and sleeve back.  There are no shoulder seams, just an overlap and the neckline and sleeve edges are done with a rolled hem.  I did the majority of this dress on Friday afternoon, then finished it up on Monday morning.  All that's left is to add lingerie straps to the shoulders and it's done.

Mistakes?  sigh yes.  My one sleeve hem is uneven so I'll likely redo it.  Also, I may have put the sleeves on the wrong arms.  Maybe.  I'll admit that one only after I try it on backwards to see if that feels better.

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