Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

Weaving Destination Fashion Show Dress

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I did wonder what I was doing with another sewing deadline looming, but as I sewed the last embroidered centre to one of the silk flowers on my Weaving Destination dress I felt I simulaneously sad that I’d come to the end of this project and at the same time breathed a sigh of relief that I managed the deadline. I have enjoyed making this dress. This may surprise for some of you, but this is only the second dress I have ever made! I rarely wear dresses and therefore prefer to make anything but dresses – skirts, trousers, tops etc…. Who else out there in the sewing world has more experience making trousers than dresses? I guess I’m just a little weird.IMG_0427

In my first post on the dress, I described using the book, Bias Cut Dressmaking to create my pattern. This book is particularly geared to lingerie patterns and as such there wasn’t a sleeve pattern at all. I’m a regular reader of the splendid Seamwork magazine by Colette and there has been a series called “Block, Paper, Scissors” in the magazine. In the July issue, there was an article on how to create flutter sleeves from a sleeve block. I used this tutorial to make my sleeve pattern.

My design was mostly cut and sewn on the bias, which creates its own difficulties, but after some reading around the subject, I  found that there were many techniques and recommendations that could help with the construction. Given all this, I’m particularly proud of the insides of my dress. It’s probably gratuitous to show lots of photos of French seams (much that I love them), but I’m very glad that I finished the armscyes on the inside of the dress with bias-binding. It really gives the whole inside a very polished finished.

Bias bound armscyes

I also used the same bias-binding for my hem. I think using bias-binding for the hem is a particularly tidy finish that looks good from the inside and the outside.

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The silk ribbon flowers I’ve attached to the dress are made from recycled sari silk which I sourced from Yarnyarn website. The silk flowers were made quite simply. This excellent tutorial on youtube shows how the flowers are made with silk ribbons. Basically, you sew the ribbons into a loop and then stitch a zig-zag along the length of the ribbon. Pulling the ends of the thread tight, ruffles the ribbon loop into a ruched “flower”.

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Although silk is quite light-weight I was still mindful of the possibility of it dragging on the fabric so I adding a little square of cotton as backing to my flower and then sewed it to the dress.

Back of ribbon flowers

The finishing touch was a few stitches of pale-coloured embroidery thread for the centre of the flower.

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And here’s the finished dress. Sadly I didn’t get a lot of choice about the weather and it was absolutely tipping with rain when I took these photos. I do feel like I’m about to go to a wedding, very elegant and way too dressed up for posing in the park!

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Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

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