Fabric: 4 ply silk crepe purchased at Satin Moon Fabrics in San Francisco
Notions: 1 shank button from stash, silk organza for interfacing
Cost: I’m embarrassed to admit this but about $120
Like I said yesterday, this is my favorite finished garment to date. It was so satisfying to make and even more satisfying to wear. This is the type of dress that makes your feel good in your skin. Here’s the low down on the process:
Since I did a run through with muslin last week, there weren’t any surprises this time around. I can’t say enough good things about Pattern Runway’s products. The assembly of the pattern was made really easy with little paper ledges and graph lines. The instructions were straight forward with diagrams where needed. If you get stuck there is also a tutorial on the blog that has step by step pictures. This project has really changed my mind about print at home patterns and I already have plans to make the sleeveless sundress before fall gets here.
I made an error in judgment by cutting out the pattern late Friday night. The combination of poor lighting and a tired seamstress could have ended in disaster but (thankfully) I only fouled up in cutting the skirt portion. One of the edges was off kilter when I went to examine it the next morning and I spent some time pulling threads trying to get the pieces on grain. I’m so thankful that I decided to cut the length as printed because otherwise I wouldn’t have had length to sacrifice.
In addition to not cutting at midnight, I’d lay out some cotton flannel underneath to give me better control. The fabric isn’t as shifty as charmeuse or chiffon but it isn’t as stable as cotton either. I didn’t have any flannel so I chose to use pins in lieu of pattern weights, my normal method. The pins added some bulk in places so the cut wasn’t accurate. This didn’t affect the garment though.
Although most of this was mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’m going to repeat it here so that it is all in one place. I used a 2.6mm stitch for construction with Mettler mercerized cotton thread. I finished the seams by hand overcasting using silk thread and blanket stitch. I chose a braided no-roll elastic which was heavy enough to hold up the skirt. For the hem, I used my machine blind stitch. Although the average person won’t notice, you can see the prick stitches on the right side. If I were to use this fabric again, I would blind hem by hand.
To interface the facings, I decided to go with silk organza. I wanted the crispness without interfering with the drape and it came out as desired. If you’d like a sleeve that is less pronounced at the top, you might consider using a silk georgette for the sleeve facings.
I varied from the given instructions in two places. One, I reinforced the underarm with a row of stitching an 1/8″ from the seam line at the curve and then clipped the curve. Two, when I overcast the sleeve facings I took a few prick stitches along the way to anchor the facing because, even with the understitching, it kept peaking out. Other than that my construction followed that of Pattern Runway’s.
The dress feels so good on and is really comfortable to wear. Any wrinkles from sitting down are quickly released within a few minutes of standing. The style is great for both day and evening wear with a quick change of accessories and shoes. Depending on the culture, it could also be work appropriate. Just imagine it with a belted waist, some sensible shoes, and a blazer! I have a feeling that I’m going to be living in this dress.