Oscar de la Renta Silk Mikado Dress
I spotted this floral on Mood Fabrics’ website a few months back and thought it was really pretty. I’m gravitating towards large florals these days and I liked all the empty space around the flowers of this print. It’s described as a silk and wool blend (silk mikado) which intrigued me. It’s also an Oscar de la Renta fabric, so I knew it had to be luscious. Editor’s note: Silk mikado fabric is a favorite of designers for its soft hand but stiff drape, which gives it the ability to be shaped into dramatic curves and flounces. It’s a beautiful fabric for dresses.
I chose Vogue 8615 for its simplicity and flared skirt. (Honestly, I wouldn’t have looked twice at this pattern were it not for the beautiful black and white houndstooth example on the Vogue website.) I tweaked a few things on this pattern:
1. Added 1″ to the sides of the neckline to enable me to wear a regular bra.
2. Added 3/4″ to the length of the bodice to accommodate my long torso.
3. Cut the bodice front on a fold.
4. Revamped the sleeves by allowing 1/2″ more room at the upper arm and trimming some off the sleeve head.
5. Assembled the dress and lining separately, then attached at the neck. They have some other weird instructions for the sleeves that I chose to ignore.
6. Added a hem facing to avoid the 5/8″ double fold hem the instructions include. I am not a fan of that type of hem unless I’m using a shear fabric.
I love these sleeves. They have little darts at the elbows and are the perfect length for a spring dress.
The back neckline has a little plunging V. My zipper went in without incidence, thank goodness. After my last skirt I did not need any more zipper drama.
I don’t really get that excited about pockets in dresses like some people do but I thought I would put them in to see what all the hubbub was about. Maybe if I ever wear this dress to a wedding and don’t want to carry a purse they might come in handy. Otherwise ???
I made a muslin of the bodice in order to perfect the fit. I started with a 10 at the shoulders and bustline and tapered to a 12 at the waist. It was still a little droopy under the bust to I pulled in a little more fabric there. In order to avoid pointy headlights I curved the darts slightly at the bust point. I was also careful to avoid any blooms at the bust apexes while cutting out the bodice front.
I think this light green celadon color is so pretty and unique.
Here at the hemline you can see the facing I used in lieu of a 5/8″ double folded hem. I stitched green lace hem tape to the top of the facing and slip stitched it to the dress.
The full lining is pale green Ambiance, also from Mood. I love the feel of the soft and smooth rayon lining but don’t love to cut it out. Except! I have just discovered that it can be ripped from selvage to selvage to get an even grainline, which makes cutting it out soooo much easier. You might already know this but I was so excited to figure it out!
I did do the double folded hemline for the lining, which took a really long time. This is one full skirt!
This is actually my second go around with the fabric. The first time I ordered it I cut out a fitted sheath dress and spent forever laying it out so that the flowers didn’t look too cut up. All was going smoothly until I tried it on halfway completed. It had shrunk along the seamlines where I used steam to press it and also grown in width. Fitted it wasn’t. However, I loved the fabric so much that I re-ordered with a totally different dress in mind. Instead of princess seamed and straight I went with darted and full. In order to avoid any more fabric shrinkage on the new yardage, I put it in the dryer with a wet hand towel and dried it on high. What little bit it shrank from the steam in the dryer was totally unnoticeable. This will be my go-to method for pre-treating wools from now on. Editor’s note: The method Mood recommends for pre-shrinking wool blends, especially a silk mikado like this one, is to take your uncut fabric to your local drycleaners and ask them to steam it for you. They are able to steam more evenly than sewers working with home equipment can, so you don’t need to worry so much about patches of fabric here or there that you might have missed.