You, dear blog reader, are so unfailingly gracious in your comments! On some level, I am aware that my design aesthetic may differ from yours. On this, a day when I am posting a project that may not be your cup of tea, I would like to thank you for never, ever, telling me that my projects are ugly. I appreciate the restraint that at least some of you show when I go off on my more arty tangents.

My favorite store in the world is Takashimaya in New York. You know, in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” when Holly Golightly is describing Tiffany’s and she says something like, “Nothing bad could ever happen there”? Well, that’s how I feel in Takashimaya. It’s very quiet, there’s lots of space around the stuff, and the merchandise is gorgeous. I would move in there if I could. It used to be better, though, because they used to have flowers and gardening supplies in the very front as the first thing you saw when you walked in. Now, it’s handbags, which is annoyingly like all the other stores. They have the best shopping bags in New York. I got to go there a couple of weeks ago, and saw this great dress made of crinkled sheer silk with silk plaid trim. I probably should have bought it to help the economy, but I really wanted to make it.

One of the fabrics that I stash is silk organza. I buy it at Paron whenever I go there and just keep it around. It’s incredibly useful for all kinds of things. I happened to have several yards of this dark blue, which is nice for the holidays.

The original dress that I saw was sleeveless, but after thinking about it a while, I decided to put sleeves on mine. I get cold easily. The dress is a double layer and the sleeves are a single layer.

For the trim, I used a plaid silk taffeta from Mood. I cut it on bias, and seamed it on the bias as well. I catchstitched the raw edge to the dress using silk thread for a fairly flat seam finish. The trim is on the hem, cuffs, and neckline.

After I constructed the dress, I put it in the washer in a mesh bag. When I took it out, I twisted it tightly while it was wet and left it to dry (still twisted). When it was dry, I un-twisted it and now it has the crinkles that give it shape.

I sewed the seams before I cut the fabric. Vertical seams in bias cut garments can be tricky, so I avoided them in this dress. I took the fabric (45″ wide or so) and folded it as above, then stitched the selvedges together to make a bias tube.

After stitching the tube, I cut out the dress as above. I cut 2 so it is self-lined. The part at the bottom of the photo is the front, and the part at the top is the back. The pattern is based on a bias-cut top from bwof 8/99 that I have made several times before.

I stitched the top of the neckline and the shoulder seams. At this point, I could not fail to notice the resemblance between my dress and a hefty bag.

Here’s the dress on the form. The reason that I took a photo of myself in the dress at the start of the post is that the form does not show the dress in the best light. This dress needs a body in it.

neckline detail


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