Project Minima:

Monday, July 4, 2016

It's a Fait Accompli Dress

I finished that dress for the Mother of the Groom with time to spare.  How did I get there, you ask?  Well, it all started with...we're friends and I like to sew...

Sara tried on some of the dresses I already have and decided on a certain style.  The Mizono Vogue 1410.   With modifications, of course.  And an added bolero. 

Actually, I wore mine recently with my pink scooter buddy, here.  It's a pretty easy pattern to make up.

But we decided on silk, silk chiffon, for the fabric.  yeah.  Fool that I am, I've never worked with silk before (too expensive for one thing).  So being a cautious sort of person, I suggested we do a test run first with polyester chiffon. 

And we did.

That's when we discovered a slip was going to be necessary.  For the silk one, I suggested I could make a silk charmeuse slip.   I mean you wouldn't want to go with anything other than silk with a silk dress, right?  It follows that some polyester charmeuse was purchased for a test slip for the polyester chiffon test dress.

I was able to put together the poly chiffon dress and bolero with no problemo.  A couple fittings during the process where we decided on dart placement, bustle placement, etc.  And done.

To see pix of the polyester test dress, go here.

In the meantime, she had bought perfectly lovely slips to go with each dress...

Did I mention the silk chiffon was so light and airy that I decided it needed to be lined with yet more silk chiffon?  eiyiyiyi.  It weighs nothing and I found it (next to) impossible to sew or even cut out the fabric.  Thank goodness it was a simple pattern. 

Note:  Poly chiffon compared to silk chiffon is as tastee-freeze is compared to gelato in Florence.  Different species, I tell ya. 

Nevertheless, here's Sara and the dress.

~ long version with hand sewn kimono top ~

~ bustled version without kimono ~

 ~ bustled and kimono-ed ~

les shoes, sox and fabric print ~

Yesterday I was offered a free Craftsy class.  I chose The Essential Guide to Sewing With Sheers.  Better late than never.  Who knows, make I'll make a silk something for myself...

I'm sending Sara and my her dress over to Patti and the Visibles at Not Dead Yet Style, Catherine's I Will Wear What I Like, Cherie's Shoe and Tell, and Anne's 52 Pick me up: Completion, yeah.


  1. Eiyiyi. That is so beautiful! I also really like the test version. Are you sure you haven't traveled from the 1920's in a time machine to the present. There is an elegance to everything that you make that just doesn't usually exist in clothes these days. 23 skidoo!

    1. awww, elegance is not a word I've heard in describing my clothes. But I like the thought of it.

      We did think the kimono-like top and her shoes gave a 20s vibe to it. Thank goodness it didn't give off a mother of the (bride or) groom vibe!

  2. {{{ME CLAPPING GLEEFULLY}}} did...and beautifully I might add too! It's all so fabulous...the dress...the bolero...the different options. Lucky, lucky lady!

    I remember sewing with silk years ago. My first go was sewing my wedding dress. I was so afraid I would ruin everything. I managed. I think I'd do better now...I have a walking foot which might be helpful. Still....I usually walk right by the expensive fabrics when I'm in the store.

    Also a great idea that your friend was able to try on your clothes to get a sense of what she might like. There's nothing worse {okay, there a lot of things actually worse, but you no what I mean} than putting on a finished garment and not liking the silhouette.

    1. omg, you sewed your wedding dress - out of silk. There's no beginning and no end to your skills! I don't even know what a walking foot is.

      Yes, that was one of the conditions. That it was something we both knew she would like and I could sew, style-wise. Naive, however, above the fabric choice.

  3. So beautifully done, Pao. The fabric and the silhouette and the gorgeous kimono topper. xox


  4. The print of the fabric is the bees knees!

    1. Ohhh, is that what that was? Thanks, Hollie.

  5. wow and wow!
    first for your wonderful work and second for beautiful sara wearing it so fabulously!
    i did sew silk in all versions and i really know how difficult it can be - but on the other side it is wonderful! i even got so far to not sew with poly anymore because silk - and other naturals - are so much more satisfying!
    as for the translator: a technical text like sewing instructions can be only translated by someone who knows the language and the technic. google translator is only a machine. and i do know not enough of english language to do it. but maybe with your great sewing experience you can understand it by the pics :-)

    1. To be able to afford silk and natural fibers is the thing. I go so far as buying linen - I can't live without it once I tried it.

      Yea, I couldn't believe I was reading a translation about sewing and didn't know any of the words. But, still, I can figure out how to sew a skirt even if I can't read how. I still love how it's called a "rock" in German. very cool.

    2. i should do a search from where that "rock" came - because jacket = jacke is very similar.....
      i had some luck with the silks - i found some at a market ("fallen off the truck") for very cheap prices - small yardages, wild patterns, perfect for some blouses - wear them since 10 years!
      but most of the work with silk i did for clients - so they payed for the material.

  6. Wow! that's one beautiful outfit. I've only used silk in patchwork making and found it a right pain. Kudos to you for making a whole outfit. xxx

  7. Wow! Cutting any kind of slippery fabric is so difficult...You have made an amazing job of this lovely outfit...Absolutely love...:-)

  8. I stare and poke at that pattern, but I never bite. Grateful to see it made up. And you've reminded me of my silk charmeuse dress that needed a silk slip that just loved to stick to me. It was beautiful and doomed. Your work is not.

  9. Looks lovely - well done for coping with such a difficult fabric. You're a braver woman than I am...

  10. Well done Pao - the dress turned out beautifully!