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Silk Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress

I was so chuffed to have the chance to review this stunning John Kaldor Silk Fabric. I love a bold print, and after sewing with Italian Silk for the first time earlier this year I was ready to give it another go. With something this slippery, and a print this stunning, I knew I had to choose a simple pattern. After much deliberation I decided to try the Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress - I love a good shift dress, but as with so many styles RTW doesn’t really work with a small bust and big hips. So I decided to give grading the pattern a go with a toile to make sure a) I could make it fit and b) that the level of grading - an 8 to a 16 - looked ok. After a disappointing experience trying to grade the Sew Over It Lottie Dress I didn’t have high hopes that even a 16 would get round my hips, let alone maintain the shape or integrity of the garment.

I was, however, pleasantly surprised. The grading gives it an ever so slight A Line shape, but not enough to spoil the 60s look of the dress. So much so, that I had to indulge in a little bit of 60s dancing and posing when my lovely sister-in-law photographed it for me :)

So how did i cope with the challenges of the fabric? Well, I started as i meant to go on by cutting out using a rotary cutter (which my arthritic hands hate), pattern weights AND pins - I wasn’t taking any chances that the fabric would move as I was cutting it out. So of course it still did. When the back pieces were cut out, one piece had evidently slipped as the hems of the two pieces don't line up. I knew for ultimate accuracy I should have cut it out single layered, but I was being lazy. Learn from my mistakes! Luckily, a relatively easy mistake to fix and fudge during sewing.

As silk is still quite a challenge for me, and I’d already made a faux pas with the cutting out, I decided to take my Ultimate Shift Dress along to the first Make at 140 Sewcial Sewing Surgery in Plymouth. With the lovely Vanessa from Devon Dressmaker on hand for help and advice, it seemed the perfect opportunity to get to grips with silk. I overlocked all the pieces at home first, as even handling the fabric made it fray. This one definitely needs finishing folks - and using a microtex needle as suggested by Vanessa was also a game changer.

Other than that, the sewing process went sew sew (sorry, couldn't resist). The interfacing wouldn’t fuse when I needed it to, but I managed (at Vanessa’s suggestions) to make my own bias binding for the first time as I decided to leave my shift dress sleeveless which suits me better for work. All in all it’s not the best bit of sewing I’ve ever done, but luckily the simple style hides the mistakes.

Thanks for reading,

Kelly @ sewandstylelou

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A crafter said:

You have done a fantastic job. You have also shown the beauty of the fabric. My advice - make more x Thank you for sharing · 18th Mar 2019 07:55am