A Silk Dress for Peter’s Cousin Cathy
For my second post this month I decided to make something completely different: a Forties day dress for my “identical cousin” Cathy Lane. (I’ll finish my gray suit next month — promise.)
At Mood I found the most gorgeous silk charmeuse with what look like parrot tulips in orange tones set against a background of deep purplish-blue — a very Forties-style print and palette. Editor’s note: We have loads of floral silk charmeuses online and in our two stores. Here’s a pretty blue-and-green stretch silk charmeuse.
I chose this wonderful WWII-era Simplicity pattern from my pattern stash: a simple day dress with a draped surplice bodice attached to a four-piece skirt that’s gathered in front. I decided to make the version on the right with the short tulip sleeves:
Silk charmeuse can be challenging to work with and I ended up using a yard of silk organza to underline the sleeves, to interface the bodice facings, and to stay the back (see pic below). I learned a lot working on this project: in particular, to cut charmeuse on tissue paper to prevent it from shifting. And silk pins, lots of silk pins! Editor’s note: Placing an old bed sheet or large piece of fabric on your cutting table, then laying your slippery fabrics atop it, also gives you better control when cutting out wiggly fabrics.
Also at Mood, I bought a yard of classic black Russian veiling to adorn Cathy’s vintage hat. Veiling is romantic and softens one’s features a bit.
A few more pics of the dress (Cathy had just been hat shopping, as you can see):
My cousin received so many compliments on our photo shoot and even — no joke — one business card. Then again, she is a professional model.
Thanks for reading!