I have always felt a bit terrified of sewing with silk, and even though with a wedding in the family there was going to be a chance to do just that I didn’t immediately jump into it. Well, because you know there is always the possibility to wear something store bought and not fret about it.
But then I remembered that one of my aunts had given me her old but gorgeous kanjeevaram silk sari. The border of it, a beautiful red had seeped into the yellow in some places so parts of it were unusable but I still had enough large parts left to make something fancy.
And so I made the Fairy tale dress. The pattern comes from Oliver+S (view A). N had loved and worn plenty the last dress I made using this pattern, plus she adores the sleeves. We recently gave that one away so clearly another one was in order. Plus, in cutting up this gorgeous piece of cloth I wanted to stick to something tried and tested, knowing well that provided I didn’t mess it up N’s love for this style was already guaranteed and would wear it.
I made a size 6 with both bodice and skirt length increased by 0.5 and 1″ respectively. The sari had a pretty large border, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to use the entire width so I cut of a fair bit and just left about an inch of the top part of the border (where the yellow begins) and used it at the bottom of the bodice.
As it turns out sewing with silk (this was the more stiff variety and not as slippery) was not a whole lot different than with cotton, although of course it was a tad bit more slippery when cutting and I had to use a lot more weights and be extra careful. The only thing that I wish I had done differently was to pay more attention to cutting the front bodice. Part of the sari has the small lovely motifs and I wish I had centered it.
She still loves it, as do I! Especially the sleeves–
And the zipper needed a bit of fiddling but was well worth the effort! I didn’t add the hook on the top because N complained of it on the last dress.
All in all, I think I can say that it went well. I am glad I could make it at a slow pace and the effort was well worth it. And an extra plus: it feels good to sew something fancy. N wore it at the wedding of course, but then also plenty more–always a good sign!
Summer is almost here, and so N is wanting to wear this at every chance she gets. I realised that this silk does not stretch at all (unlike regular cotton fabric which becomes a little loose over a period of time), and so it means that another month of it and we may have to pass this one on!
Here she is off to her friends house for a playdate.
But I will still be left with a little bit of border and I am already wondering what I want to do with it. Any suggestions?