Fabulous Silk Georgette Birds Dress
I am just going to preface this post with a warning: This is my VERY favorite thing I’ve ever made. Forget everything else up to this point. This here, this is the winner.
I initially saw this fabric on the Mood Fabrics Instagram (which, if you’re not lurking that – WHY NOT, THEY POST THE BEST FABRICS!!). Isn’t it fabulous? I immediately called the store and had them set aside 4 yards for me. When I finally had it shipped all the way to Nashville, I was amazed at just how wonderful it was in person. The designer is Marc Jacobs, and it’s a soft silk georgette with a gorgeous drape and some incredibly saturated color. Editor’s note: Here’s an assortment of bright silk crepe and georgette prints available online at MoodFabrics.com.
Of course, I had no idea what I was going to do with 4 yards of bird silk georgette. I hoarded it for about 2 months, while plotting and planning.
I had a Sewing Epiphany while on the way to work one morning (does anyone else have those? Aren’t they so awesome?) and realized that the print would work perfectly with a 40s style dress – and the drapiness of the silk would be a 100% match for McCall’s 6113. Yes, the same pattern I used for last month’s dress. What can I say – I love this pattern, and I want to make a million of its babies.
Since this was my first time sewing with silk georgette, I spent a few weeks devising a game plan and learning all I could about this fabric before slicing into my yardage. Georgette – or, at least, this georgette – is on the sheer side, so it was going to need some sort of underlayer to keep things opaque. I didn’t want to underline the dress and compromise the flow of the fabric, so I decided to make a slip to wear underneath. Bonus: This is quite handy on a windy day! Already tested that theory.
I used French seams to construct the entire dress, except at a few sections where it was impossible to sew them – such as the curved yokes. For those parts, I pinked the seams to keep them from fraying. I also stabilized the fabric underneath the yokes with a piece of black silk organza. Since the georgette is so lightweight and that area gets so much stress, I wanted to give it as much support as possible. I also found the use of my walking foot quite helpful while assembling the dress – it kept the layers from shifting (and me from crying tears of frustration).
I just think this pattern is SO PERFECT for such a bright print! Isn’t it beautiful?
I even got super fancy and put a (non-functional) fancy button where the front of the dress fastens.
Now, let’s talk about my slip! I am going to post a picture which I realize is essentially me in my underwear, so bear with me here.
I’m not going to lie – like 99.9% of the reason why I decided to go with the matching slip was so I’d have a chance to get my hands on some 4-ply Silk Crepe. I’ve heard some amazing stories about the stuff, but never had a chance to try it for myself. It tends to run on the expensive side (truth, this silk crepe cost more than the silk georgette!), but a slip doesn’t require a whoooole lot of yardage, so I sucked it up and put in my order. I didn’t know what to expect when the package arrived at my door.
People. This stuff is INCREDIBLE. Throw out any mean thoughts you had about silk and focus on the 4-ply. It’s not at all slippery – even when I was cutting bias pieces, the fabric stayed put. It’s nice and robust and opaque, and it feels amazing against the skin. It presses beautifully and sews like a dream. I was extremely skeptical before I properly introduced myself, but I really think it deserves the hype.
To make the slip, I used the free Ruby Slip pattern. I redrafted the bodice to include a center front seam and gathers, shortened the hem by about 5.5″, and added some beautiful lace around the top and the hem. The straps are just satin ribbon outfitted with strap adjusters and rings – very easy to put together. I will say that, although the slip took me about a week to get the fitting just so, the actual construction only took a couple of hours.
I love my new dress, but next month I promise I’ll move on to another pattern.