Silk Dress with Tuck Details
Posted on Monday the 14th September 2015 by Lady Sewalot
This has been one of the projects which has been a thousand different designs in my mind, but I'm pretty happy with the design I finally settled on. I was pretty much directly inspired by the dress that Tea made here.
The fabric is a delicious silk with a subtle sheen to it. I hand washed it in the sink and then hung it out to dry, instead of chucking it in the washing machine. It was pretty slippery and kept falling off the ironing board, but it ironed beautifully using the silk setting on the iron. The skirt drapes well with or without a petticoat. (The photo above is without petticoat and below is with petticoat).
For the bodice tucks I decided that the easiest way to do things was to cut out a rectangle a couple of inches wider and longer than my bodice block. I did 3 tucks across the rectangle, then I placed my front bodice pattern onto the fabric, making sure that the tucks were where I wanted them, then pinning and cutting out. This saved me slicing open my bodice block and working out the maths.
The skirt is 2 gathered rectangles the width of the fabric. I measured 16 inches down from the top of the rectangle and marked it with a notch. Then I put 8 more notches a 1/2 inch apart below the first one. 3 notches for each tuck. I was worried that the tucks would get lost in the print, but they are fairly noticeable. They would have a greater impact on a plain fabric.
I was originally going to have the invisible zip in the side seam, but I wanted a french seam there. Because the side seams are shorter than center back seams as they start under the arm, the zip wouldn't be long enough for my back bodice block as it was. So, I decided a V neck was in order. I love how elegant it looks! I wanted to respect the silk and make the insides as clean as possible. I was planning on french seaming everything but then I realised gathering and french seams would be a nightmare combination. So I hand flat-felled the waistline seams and french seamed the side seams.
The centre back seam was pressed open, the raw edges pressed under and slip-stitched. The neckline and armholes are bias bound from the leftover scraps of the silk. The hem was turned under twice and slip-stitched. Doing a lot of hand stitching adds a lot of time to a project, but it gives me a higher sense of satisfaction because it's not equal to RTW, it's better than RTW. I haven't yet decided whether I want to save it for special occasions or wear it everyday. I guess it's like using the best china everyday.
Thanks to Minerva Crafts for providing the materials and to Edward for letting me drag him out of the house to take pictures somewhere other than the back garden!