Saturday, 1 September 2018

Liberty Silk Dress

I think I bought this silk about a year and a half ago, it's been staring at me from my stash ever since.


It's Liberty silk, and the print is called Sophie Jane Belgravia Silk Satin (this is a different colour to mine).  Liberty Silk is pretty pricey fabric - £49.95 per metre, but I got this for £24.95 a metre from the Liberty website; which still isn't exactly cheap.



I'd ordered 1 metre with the plan to make a top, but got 1.25 metres.  It's 134cm wide, and, with some Olympic standard pattern tetrising, I managed to squeeze a dress out of it!  The front facing was cut from some black cotton lawn - but, come on, a dress from 125cm of a directional print?!  Yey me!!

The bodice back and back facing have a centre back seam.
The reason it took so long to use this fabric was because I was frankly terrified of it!  But, you know what, it wasn't that difficult to handle - I've worked with trickier vicoses.  Here are the things I did to help make it easier to work with:
  • Stablised the fabric with spray starch before cutting.  I'm a big fan of spray starch for slippery fabrics, and use the Dylon spray starch that you can buy in Tescos.
  • Used my walking foot on my machine.  In fairness, I pretty much use this foot all the time.
  • Used silk pins and triangle tailors chalk.  I found the Clover roller chalk pen dragged a bit on the fabric.
  • Used tissue paper under the fabric at the start of each seam.  This helped to start of each row of stitching, and is easy to tear away.
 
 
  

The pattern is self-drafted, I've already made it here, and I used princess seams to shape the bodice instead of pleats.  The bodice has self-fabric buttons to the waist, and it has an A-line skirt and side zip.  I also added the capped sleeves from my Anna Sui dress.

 


One thing I had trouble with was how to overlock the seams.  I ended up doing some seams as French seams, but wish I'd done as many as I could this way.  I used a 3 thread stitch on my overlocker, but if anybody has any silk overlocking tips, please let me know.  Thanks!!


I'm delighted with how this dress turned out, and I think I'll be able to were it in the autumn and winter with tights and boots.

 

Have a great weekend,

Lynne

20 comments:

  1. I use my serger to make french seams - I overlock the seam first wrong sides together in a 3 thread then flip the fabric right sides together to do the final seam. I find this the easiest way to do french seams because you can get a nice even seam and when you flip it to right sides together you can feel that hard seam making pressing easier as well. Love your Liberty dress!! You must be thrilled with it :)

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    1. Thanks Kathleen! And thank you for the french seams tip, I would never have thought of using the overlocker for that! It makes a lot of sense, because that first narrow seam is always tricky to do, and also to press.

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  2. It's absolutely lovely Lynne, the colour, the front buttons, the sleeves, the neckline, gorgeous! I'm so impressed you fitted it onto so little fabric. I'm sure you'll wear it all year round!


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    1. Thanks Elaine! I think one of the few good things about being really small is being able to squeeze a garment out of a little bit of fabric!

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  3. Just a gorgeous dress - a brilliant make with that beautiful fabric. I love the detailed care you put into it - like the buttons - and hope you love wearing it for many seasons to come!

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    1. Thanks Katherine! I forgot to mention that I used the Prym self-covered buttons. I've used the Hemline ones before, and I think the Prym ones are a bit better.

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  4. Well hats off to you, queen of tetris! Lot of features to love with that dress, the neckline, the sleeves, the swishy skirt... how does that fabric feel to wear? S.

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    1. Thank you! The fabric is a bit heavier than I expected, which is why I think it will be ok for autumn. That said, it's very airy, so is lovely for hot weather too.

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  5. Heavenly. A silk dress, and in Liberty print no less, pure luxury.

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  6. This is lovely! Congrats on cutting into the silk! This is a timely post for me as I've also got some silk I've been too scared to cut into and I've been thinking of what to do with it! Thanks for the great tips for working with silk!

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    1. Thanks Emily! Good luck with your silk. I found this Liberty silk to be a little bit thicker that the other bits of silk that I have, but I guess that happens with any fabric.

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  7. Beautiful work Lynne. And gorgeous fabric. If I overlock on silk I find it works better with a not to tight tension and not too wide a cutting width helps, plus Diff feed on verrry slight stretch to avoid puckering.

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    1. Thanks Diane! And thanks for the overlocking tips. I know I fiddled with the tension, but it didn't occur to me to change the diff feed, and it makes a lot of sense!

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  8. The silk looks so beautiful, I remember when you bought it and posted on IG! The dress is so lovely - cap sleeves and covered buttons are the perfect touches ;o)

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    1. Thanks Colette! I remember posting that on IG, and being absolutely terrified of of putting the silk in water in the sink!!

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  9. It's a lovely dress Lynne, and I think you're right that it'll look great with tights and boots too. And well done for getting it out of so little fabric!

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    1. Thanks Ruth! Who doesn't love a good game of pattern tetris??!!

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  10. It's a beautiful dress Lynne. I would have been terrified working with such a slippy fabric! You did a great job. x

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    1. Thanks Helen! This really wasn't as difficult to work with as I thought. But with slippery fabric, spray starch is definately your friend!!

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Thank you for reading my blog! I love reading your comments, so please feel free to leave a comment if you have the time :) Lynne.