Saturday, 11 June 2016

The silk dress that nearly drove me crazy!

I was so excited when my good friend Claire invited us to her wedding in the Napa valley, California - cue plans to make a new dress of course!!  I bought this Versace silk on my travels a while ago and I absolutely love it.  I d not had the confidence or occasion to make anything with it- but now felt like the perfect opportunity!

I decided to use the top of a Bootstrap fashion dress that I recently made, with a different skirt - here is the bootstrap fashion dress
 So first up I made the top- which I expected to be easy given I made it before no problem.  Oh but the silk was a whole new dimension that caused me a real headache!! It was SSOOOOOOO slippy and had some slight stretch too.

I made a lining & put stay tape around the edges to make it a bit stronger and sharper given neither the silk or lining are robust fabrics
The top looked ok... but then when I put it on just didn't hang right.
I had to unpick it.  This fabric doesn't take kindly to unpicking :(   I really struggled to get the folds so they hung nicely...
 But I did succeed in the end.

Next on to the skirt.  I wanted to keep it fitted round the waist but fuller at the bottom to show off the border - so I put box pleats into the front  - again very tricky keeping them straight (ish) on silk...

Then trying to match up the top & bottom - this was also a real issue as everything was just sliding & stretching.  I match up one part and the next part goes off... grrrr

Anyway I got it as good as I could .  I had an issue that I just didm'/couldn't get the waist straight, it was waving up & down -plus I thought it needed some structure, so I bought some pale green ribbon to use.  I sewed it on in the evening.  Next morning I was very unhappy that the thread that looked like it matched in the dark didn't match well at all... and my stitching was terrible!
cue more unpicking, thread shopping and having another go...
The next big headache was the armholes and getting it all to sit right with the lining.  I had a first attempt and it was pulling in all the wrong places.  So I undid it all and then tacked by hand allover the place the lining to the silk on my dress form:

I used bias tape- second time round I sewed the bias tape using the machine and it looked terrible on the outside- really hanging funny.  Can you see the edge on the photo below.
So unpicked AGAIN and then finished it off by hand tacking the binding just to the lining so you don't see it on the front.  Really glad I did this as it made a huge difference.

And last up is the zip- I found a sparkly silver exposed zip that I thought  I would use- normally I go concealed but I often find silk can get stuck in a concealed zip and tear so an exposed zipper on top  felt robust, a bit different and avoided that issue.  Again a lot of tacking was involved to get it in the right spot:

And phew- it was done.  I really like it now but I hated it for a good time I was making it , I had so many issues and the fabric is really a nightmare to re-work that i thought it was going in the bin.  But perseverance paid off and I now have a dress to wear to the wedding - lets hope it stands up to some dancing !  It will be a while before I attempt sewing silk again, I can tell you!!

I bought a lovely head piece to go with it- It matches the waist ribbon perfectly ;)

And I can report that the wedding was incredible

Messyessymakes x