Dress Two: #inseasonsilkcomp

I’ve been wanting to make a shirt dress for a long time and this competition gave me the perfect opportunity to do so. I was also lucky that my first dress required a lot less fabric than anticipated. In the end, I had the perfect amount for both dresses, and not a thread to spare.

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I used a vintage pattern (McCall’s 6429) which I’ve used before to make a silk playsuit. This time I followed the pattern almost to the tee. My only change was to adjust for my broad-back with a 5/8th inch wedge to the top CB (and of course adjust the collar to match this change). I also lengthened the bottom hem by about 13 inches.

The dress is of a raglan style with short cuffed sleeves and inseam pockets. The waist is pulled in with a self-fabric belt tie. The centre front is faced and most of the inside seams have been serged. I achieved smooth buttonholes on the silk CDC by using a lightweight fusible interfacing and tearaway Vilene between the facing and the fabric. I find lightweight interfacing on its own not enough to preventing buttonhole puckers in silk, and yet I didn’t want to go heavier with the interfacing as it would weigh down and affect the drape of my silk too much. The tearaway Vilene worked a treat. I imagine tissue paper could have worked too.

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The biggest challenge with this dress was the sheer length of the pieces. I’m 5″10 and the dress is floor length on me. There isn’t a separate bodice and skirt. The bodice extends all the way to the bottom hem. That’s a good 60 inches of shifty silk that I had to line up and control for each seam. My cutting mat is pretty big, but not that big!

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I’m so happy with this dress. It’s light and floaty, and it feels beautiful to wear. It’s also a very versatile addition to my wardrobe. I like it long right now, but I could potentially shorten it in the future to become an easier daytime staple. I have no problem wearing silk for school pick ups but I might need to do up an extra button ;-).

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9 thoughts on “Dress Two: #inseasonsilkcomp

  1. Now that is gorgeous! The perfect fabric for a maxi shirt dress. I saw a navy maxi shirtdress in a magazine a little while ago and fell in love with it. I really need to give making one a go.

    1. Thanks Kat! I’ve loved shirt dresses for a long time too. I’m guessing I’ll wear it as a maxi for a while (it’ll make a great work dress) but I know I’ll end up chopping the ‘maxi’ part off eventually (maybe next year) so it can become a more wearable day to day summer dress. I love the idea of maxi dresses, but in real life they eventually start to annoy me ;-). Thankfully I have small girls that I can always recycle the tail ends of dresses into clothes for them! You should definitely make one though. A long sleeve maxi shirt dress would be perfect for the gold coast winter!

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