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.

Marc Jacobs Birds

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.

Marc Jacobs Birds

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.

Marc Jacobs Birds

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. :P

Marc Jacobs Birds

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).

Marc Jacobs Birds

I just think this pattern is SO PERFECT for such a bright print! Isn’t it beautiful?

Marc Jacobs Birds

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.

Silk Slip

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.

Silk Slip

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.

Marc Jacobs Birds

I love my new dress, but next month I promise I’ll move on to another pattern. ;)

29
By:

Comments


  • Sarah Gunn
    July 16, 2013

    You’ve outdone yourself on this one Lladybird! What a great dress ……. but the slip…. oh my, I haven’t worn a full length slip in years….. It’s definitely time to rethink my undergarments espcially if they can be 4 ply silk.
    Thanks for this amazing post! :)

    • Lauren
      July 16, 2013

      I’d never worn a full-length slip (at least not under clothing) until this year! In some ways, I like it better than lining a garment. Wearing 4-ply silk against the skin is the BEST thing! I will definitely be making more of these :D

  • Maggie
    July 16, 2013

    I don’t have the words for how much I love this dress and slip. if i ever find a dress pattern that suits me like this one does you, I am making it way more than twice!

    • Lauren
      July 16, 2013

      It’s my new favorite pattern, for sure! I want to make a million of each, but I wonder if people would get sick of seeing them? :D haha!

  • Heather Lou
    July 16, 2013

    I have a few silk sewing plans that desperately need slips. But this only just occurred to me. Hence why I went and eyed some silk stretch charmeuse at Mood. Lauren, does the georgette and the crepe work well together? I feel like you would want something slipper than crepe so the georgette wouldn’t cling.

    • Lauren
      July 16, 2013

      I wore the dress and slip all day yesterday – to work, to knitting, and even for a bike ride – and I didn’t experience any weird bunching or dress riding that would occur if the slip wasn’t slippery enough. 4 ply isn’t exactly ~slinky~, but it does still have nice lining-like properties. Plus, my dress is very flowy, versus my slip being pretty form-fitting (hooary for bias!), so I’m sure that helped.

      I am currently making a cotton dress that requires a slip (in black, too, how convenient, haha), so I’ll let you know how those work together. I think cotton would be the ultimate test.

  • Peter
    July 16, 2013

    This is such a gorgeous dress, Lauren! And I love the slip too — a much easier, not to mention more economical, solution than lining every garment one makes, in my opinion.

    • Lauren
      July 17, 2013

      You’re right – right off the bat, it isn’t totally economical – the cost of the slip FAR outweighed the cost of a good lining – but since I can wear the slip with multiple dresses, it evens out in the end. Plus, it just feels so elegant, wearing a silk slip :)

  • zilredloh
    July 16, 2013

    Mmmm Silk Crepe!!! Isn’t it ahhhmazing?! It’s my favorite fabric out there.

    I love the contrast of the modern bird fabric with the vintage 40′s silhouette, a fun combination.

    • Lauren
      July 17, 2013

      Truth, you are one of the people who planted the silk crepe in my head in the first place! So thank YOU!

  • Amy W.
    July 16, 2013

    I love that dress! It looks super comfy. I think the bold fabric goes well with the vintage look of the dress.

    • Lauren
      July 17, 2013

      Thank you! It actually is super comfortable – even bikeable (with the slip :D ), haha!

  • Amanda S.
    July 16, 2013

    Lovely dress and slip combo Lauren! The fit of that slip is perfection!!!

    • Lauren
      July 17, 2013

      Thank you! I spent soo long futzing with that slip fit, I’m so glad it worked out in the end!

  • Kay
    July 16, 2013

    It is a fabulous dress. The fabric is perfect, and the slip looks very well constructed.

    • Lauren
      July 17, 2013

      Thank you!

  • Rachel In Red
    July 17, 2013

    Ok, so almost every time I read a post of you I end up adding things to my wishlist. Now I totally want a 4 ply silk crepe slip dress! LOL!
    The dress itself is absolutely gorgeous too! I love the bird print. It’s just perfect for this pattern!

    • Lauren
      July 17, 2013

      HA well then my work here is done ;)

      But seriously… 4 ply silk crepe slip dress… do it do it, you will never regret it :)

  • Lori
    July 17, 2013

    Lauren, gorgeous dress and amazing slip. You will love wearing this dress, I can only imagine all the compliments you will get. Also, that slip will be a nice addition to your lingerie, you will be able to wear it with many different dresses.

    • Lauren
      July 18, 2013

      Thank you! It’s definitely fun to wear :D feels so fancy! I’m so happy with my slip- I love that I can wear it with other stuff, and not just this one dress. Makes the fitting effort all the more worth it!

  • Diana
    July 17, 2013

    No wonder you love this dress. It’s gorgeous and you look wonderful in it. About that 4 ply silk crepe slip. It’s so elegant!
    It must feel like a million dollars!

    • Lauren
      July 18, 2013

      Thank you! It really does feel like a million dollars- I’m almost a classy lady now, ha ;)

  • Ginger
    July 18, 2013

    This is FABULOUS!!! It’s a perfect pairing of pattern and fabric– love love love it!

    • Lauren
      July 18, 2013

      Thanks, ma’am! I’m so happy with how it turned out!

  • Carolyn
    July 19, 2013

    I love the combination of fabrics you chose to make this amazing dress. The silk crepe with the silk georgette is not only pretty but must feel so good to wear. You did a fabulous job on this!

    • Lauren
      July 22, 2013

      Thank you, Carolyn! The hard part is not wearing it *every single day*, haha! :)

  • Amy
    July 26, 2013

    Oh my! That fabric! I saw this collection on one of your Mood Boards, and I couldn’t wait to see what you were making. Bravo! Great dress!

  • ThisisCarrie
    July 28, 2013

    I love that fabric so much and I LOVE slips! I always wonder why they lost their popularity! Amazing job.