Thursday, October 11, 2012

Silk Dress Progress

I've made some progress on what I call the 'Hong Kong Silk Dress' (creatively named because I was planning to use silk fabric bought in Hong Kong to make a dress!).  This is the dress that I was pattern making from a picture of a 1940s McCall 7285.

I drafted the initial pattern and then made a toile from a second hand bedsheet.  Being an old bedsheet, the fabric is quite thin, so I'm posting a photo of the toile without me in it!

 Apologies for the dim lighting - I opened the blinds and turned on the lights, but it is a very cold and gloomy day here in Canberra (what happened to Spring?!).
I changed the gathering detail above the bust to a box pleat.  Mostly because I was feeling lazy.. (will I regret that I wonder?).  My husband and I both think this looks a little too much like a nurse uniform, though I think that is more because it is white more than anything else.

 Since making the toile I've adjusted the pattern.  I've gained a bit of weight since my accident, so I had to make it all a bit bigger as well as a couple of adjustments to turn the pattern into more of the style I wanted.  I'll have to forage through my cupboard to find some more fabric that can be used for another toile so I can check all my adjustments.

In the meantime though, here is the lovely fabric I was hoping to use for the dress.  Alas, the fabric width is quite narrow, and with my expanding hips there isn't enough fabric for a dress.  I even changed the pattern to have a side zip, to take advantage of the existing side seams to save a couple of centimetres of fabric from not needing to insert a back seam with zip, but I just can't squeeze the last couple of centimetres needed for the dress.  So close, yet so far.

So now I have a dilemma - what fabric will I use instead?  Or will I save the pattern and fabric for when I can be more active and lose the weight I have recently gained?

I thought of using this fabric instead.  I bought it super cheap at The Remnant Warehouse when we were in Sydney earlier this year.  It is quite thin though, so I had planned to use it to make a full skirt.  I'm concerned a straight dress might be too thin for it (even with a good lining).  But then I also don't love this fabric (I like it, but don't love it, and mostly bought it because it was so cheap), so maybe using it to trial a self drafted pattern is a good way to use it.  And it has a huge width, so even though I only bought 2 metres, there is lots of fabric for both the dress and either a skirt or shirt as well.

I would love to hear your thoughts.  Should I embrace the now and use the blue fabric?  Or should I put this project to the side for a while and instead work on the shirts I'm planning to make from some of my recently purchased Melbourne fabric?

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