So, a friend brought me back a magazine from London that had this pattern in it, and she bought it because she thought the dress would look good on me. So what else could I do but make the dress for our company Christmas party?
I bought some sweet silk dupionni from Gala fabrics, and went to town. First, I made a full muslin out of an old duvet cover. I'm glad I did because the pleats were very tricksy.
I made a few minor bodice changes, mostly adjusting the darts, and took a little in at the side right under the armhole.
Then it was time for the silk!
A few tests showed that this fabric was impervious to most marking options. My washable marker didn't show up at all. The sheen on it made chalking impossible too. So I ended up marking everything, including all the pleats, with thread. I even used different colour thread for the pleats, bringing black to red. (Or was it red to black? I forget. Not that it matters.)
This was ultimately a good idea but it took....so.....long.......
Anyway. Sewing it up was pretty easy. I found advice on the internet somewhere to try spraying silk with diluted vinegar while pressing to get a good crease, and it worked perfectly. (Yes, I did test it first to make sure it didn't discolor the fabric.)
The bodice actually fits better than this. A friend took my picture at the party, and he was contorting me into weird arm positions.
The bodice was lined with bemberg rayon. I put an invisible zipper in the back, and managed to machine stitch the lining so it looked OK.
All in all, this is, to date, the finest garment I've made! And I will probably not wear it again, since I am not really a silk party dress kind of girl in my daily life.
But I am glad I put the effort in!