2.19.2012

New Look 6348 - The "Forever" Dress

Here it is, a week behind schedule, my new crimson silk charmeuse dress.  Oh, what a long process this was. (I won't go into the dyeing but, if you'd like to hear about it in a separate post or have questions, let me know!)  Because the inspiration dress was silk, and because I don't like synthetics, I knew I wanted silk for my version.  Not only did this mean I had to track down a quality supplier and then dye the fabric myself, but, because the skirt was cut on the bias, it also meant "couture" techniques were needed.


No time for on-location photos!
I started by creating, tweaking, and disassembling a muslin.  (Note for the future:  poly-satin is not a good representation for silk charmeuse.  I suspect only silk is.  Maybe a silky rayon? But I digress.)  Then, I very, very carefully cut the fabric from a single layer, making sure the grainline remained accurate.  Then, I traced all markings onto the fabric as usual, followed by thread tracing the dots and dart lines.  I'm not a speedy hand-sewer so, those darts took about an hour by themselves!  The thread tracings were then used as guides to line the darts up for basting. Again, by hand.  Finally, the first seams went to the machine.  I then repeated the hand-basting/machine seaming process for every seam in the dress.  Ok, I'm really not a speedy hand-sewer so this took days. Romantic or Valentine's-y as the title may sound, the title refers to how long this dress seemed to take - haha! (Many, many episodes of Mad Men were played during the construction of this dress.) The hand-basting was important thought.  Because charmeuse is slippery and because bias seams have to be stretched as they're sewn, the basting held everything in place and served as my new stitching guides.

Continuing with the couture process, I used silk organza as my facings, which, of course, I hand-basted, sewed, and hand-understitched.  This is the first dress in nearly a year without a lining!  I used multiple resources by Claire Shaeffer and it seems that it is common for couture to be unlined.  I can understand why - they add weight and can change the drape of the garment.  Since a bias dress depends heavily on drape, I opted to obey this trend. (Besides, the silk is so lovely against the skin!)

The pattern itself is really quite simple and I could see it being whipped up rather quickly in other fabrics.  Oh, and bonus - it comes with instructions for lining the bodice and an optional lining for the skirt!  Go figure - the first pattern I buy with the included option for a full-lining and I decide to omit it entirely!

The original inspiration
My (less glamourous) interpretation

Confession: The dress has a raw hem in the photos (though it's perfectly wearable that way and I may leave it). A bias cut dress needs to hang on a padded hanger for 24 hours to allow the fabric to settle before hemming. As I was already several days behind schedule and needed to dye the next fabric, I didn't want to wait before posting the dress. I finished inserting the zipper early Friday evening, jumped in the shower, did my hair and makeup, threw the dress on and ran outside to get a few quick shots in the final moments of daylight. We're thinking of going to the symphony at the end of the month so, I'll try to get a few proper photos before the concert.

Now, it's time to work on our Oscars dresses! Happy sewing! x

14 comments:

  1. Absolutely gorgeous! Definitely worth all the work you put into it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ginger! It's (sincerely) nice to hear all those hours were well spent :-)

      Delete
  2. BEAUTIFUL! Well worth the effort for the silk! I just love it!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Debi! That's so nice of you to say!

      Delete
  3. Stunning - you look like a gorgeous old hollywood starlet in these photos. Bravo for your first silk garment, it turned out just perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, thank you, Annabelle! ::blushing:: :-)

      Delete
  4. Oh WOW! It may have taken forever - but it was worth it...you have made one show-stopper of a dress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so sweet, Suzie! Now, I'm really blushing! I feel better about the time spent and the time I will spend on this week's. Thank you!

      Delete
  5. Lovely - it looks like a fantastic fit too.

    ReplyDelete
  6. beautiful..I like it ..you look fantastic

    ReplyDelete
  7. Replies
    1. Aww, thanks! It looks great on you too! It's not a color I really wore before I started sewing but, I do like it. So far, I've only made two red garments but, funny enough, they're the two items I've had featured by their respective pattern companies.

      Delete

Let's keep the conversation going! Feel free to comment below or on Instagram!

If you want to comment without linking to your profile (or if you don't have an account), please choose "Name/URL" from the drop-down and leave your first name (website optional) so I know who I'm responding to. I can't wait to read your feedback! x