Silk Faille Oscar de la Renta Sheath Dress
Good morning, Mood Fabrics! I’m thrilled to join the ranks of the Mood Sewing Network, which I’ve long been a fan and reader of. Thank you so much to Meg for inviting me on board!
For my first Mood Sewing Network project, I was led by pure, unadulterated fabric lust. This gorgeous silk faille, designed by Oscar de la Renta and available in Mood’s online store, sent me swooning. Check out those flowers! Don’t they look straight out of a tropical garden? Considering the dreadful winter we’ve been having in Texas, a (sartorial) trip to the tropics was too tempting to pass up.
Once this fabric arrived, there was no question what I’d make with it. When using a print this bold, I prefer simpler silhouettes, which help show off a fabric without distraction. This one, with those big, fabulous flowers, shouted “Make me into a wiggle dress! I will be delightfully vintage-inspired, you’ll see!”
Who was I to disagree with an oddly vocal fabric? A wiggle dress, it would be. So, I grabbed my favorite bodice pattern, the pencil skirt from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, and began working toward the that end.
If you’ve never sewn with silk faille before, you’re missing out. Thanks to the ribbed nature of its weave, faille grips onto itself and other surfaces. So, cutting out is a breeze and it holds onto pins like a champ. That’s right: it’s gorgeous and easy to work with. It’s the perfect “beginner’s silk,” for those who may be too nervous to cut into charmeuse or georgette just yet.
This Oscar de la Renta beauty was no exception. It sewed and pressed like a dream! Can I make an entire wardrobe out of a bright, floral silk? That’s so tempting…
Since this is such a large scale print, I was picky about placement, when cutting it out. The flowers match along the center back seam and the waistband, which took some time to achieve, but was worth it. Nothing distracts from all that glorious flora!
To combat the fraying that can happen with silk, I used French seams where possible and serged everywhere else. The rest of construction was fairly straight-forward, which is part of the fun of such a simple silhouette. It looks fabulous, but it’s so easy! This dress took all of four hours, from first stitch to the hem.
Just to make sure it stands the test of time, I added some fancy touches. The bodice is lined in black China silk, also from Mood, and attached to the zipper and waistband by hand. For the back closure, I used a metal zipper from my stash, which I hand-picked into the dress.
Oscar’s lovely silk faille is now a wiggle dress, just as it demanded. Even better, I’ve finished it in time for Valentine’s Day! Sure, we’re only going to a neighborhood Italian hole-in-the-wall and student theater production, but I’ll do so in style.
What are your fashion plans for Valentine’s Day, friends? Any silk faille in your future?