Way back at the end of April I entered the Tessuti In Seasons Silk Sewing Competition. I didn’t win any prizes (the Pinterest board for all the entries is here – there are many stunning garments) but I am very pleased with the dress that I made!
I really couldn’t resist this autumnal toned silk crepe de chine. Although small florals aren’t generally my thing, this looked “blurry” enough for it to fit into my aesthetic. And as far as I was concerned it was a perfect match for Vogue 1482, a relatively recent Rachel Comey pattern. Vogue’s website describes this pattern as follows: Very loose-fitting, tapered, pullover dress has bias neck facing and loop, front seam with left side pocket, sleeves, cuffs, stitched hem, back neck slit and button/loop closing. Note: No provisions provided for above waist adjustment.
Fortunately someone on GOMI who was around my height had already made this dress and had mentioned the alterations they did. I decided to do similar. I folded up the main pattern pieces a little at the hemline to shorten the dress, and cut it out along the size Small line for lengths and the size Medium size for width. This pretty much worked for me. My body measurements would have suggested I sew the size Large, but as you can see there is loads of ease in this pattern, and the only area where I really needed to worry about it being large enough was through the hips and thighs. Choosing to cut a smaller size kept the fit across my upper chest and shoulders right.
I actually followed the instructions when sewing this dress and used french seams throughout. There is a handy little pocket in that angled front seam, and by taking it slowly (and following those instructions) I was able to french seam the pocket as well as the seam that it was in. Hooray!
The centre back opening with button and loop closure was completely eliminated after looking at the size of the neckline. I was confident that I would be able to get this dress on and off without the opening, and I was right.
I really love the way that the volume in the sides, below the sleeves, falls in this dress. The cuffs are interfaced and are topstitched into place. The hem and neckline are also topstitched down, giving coordinating detail across the dress.
Huge thanks to Anna for taking these photos for me. It really does make a difference when a proper camera is used instead of a mobile phone – and a lovely house instead of our back deck – let alone the skill of the photographer! It was also lots of fun!
This dress feels really beautiful to wear. The silk feels, well, silky next to the skin. I did pre-wash the silk in the machine before cutting and sewing, and line dried it. I like to start as I mean to continue! Doing this changed the handle a bit, making it easier to sew while still being smooth and silky. It was surprisingly easy to work with. A large table and pattern weights were definitely needed for the cutting out process, but after that everything was straightforward.
I’m rather tempted to sew this dress again in a lightweight double knit, just on the overlocker, as a more wintery and casual dress. The silhouette reminds me a lot of the Style Arc Hedy Designer dress, although the Vogue doesn’t have a front pleat detail (which would make it more appropriate in a double knit than the Hedy).
So there you go, finally a blog post about this dress! I’m hoping to get a deluge of blog posts up over the next few weeks. Fingers crossed that all goes as planned. I’m off to the Dressmaker’s Do on Saturday night – and am highly tempted to wear this dress but the chance of coming across a dress in the same fabric is likely to be very high! It’s also a very cold winter in Melbourne – not really suitable for a light silk dress like this one. Fortunately I have others options already sewn and waiting…