Sneaky Silk+Ponte Dress
I am calling this the sneaky dress because it looks like it should be separates, but it’s not! It’s actually one piece!
I LOVE these kinds of dresses! Looks like a silk blouse with a high-waisted pencil skirt, without the bother of keeping a shirt tucked in all day and making sure things match in the morning (because, ew, all I wanna do is sleep right now).
The pattern I used for this dress is the Sugar Plum by Lolita Patterns. Since it doesn’t require a lot of fabric to make up the top half (less than a yard!), I splurged on this amazing Oscar de la Renta silk print from Mood Fabrics. I also bought this navy blue ponte knit for the skirt and lime green china silk for the lining for a bit of a color pop.
Oh yeah, that’s the other best thing about this dress—the skirt is a KNIT. Which means it looks super-sleek and fitted, but it’s incredibly comfortable to wear all day. My kinda office wear!
The more I sew with silks, the more I find myself not wanting to make up anything else. The most important thing I’ve learned when it comes to sewing lightweight/slippery/silky fabrics is to make sure that your cutting is super accurate, then the sewing is a piece of cake (or, at least, as much of a piece of cake as it can be!). I always rip my fabric along the crossgrain first, to ensure that the edges are perfectly straight, and then pin the selvedges together before I lay down my pattern pieces. This prevents the silk from shifting as I cut it. When it’s time to cut, make sure your scissors are nice and sharp, and try to cut the entire length of the blades (instead of timid little snips). One thing I loove about ordering from Mood Fabrics is that I know the fabric is going to already be on-grain, so I don’t have to worry about straightening the grain before I cut. Just rip the cut edge, pin, and cut those pattern pieces!
Sewing with the ponte was much easier than the silk, obviously. I used a serger for all the skirt seams, and my regular sewing machine (treating it like a woven) to attach the silk top to the ponte waistband. I love this ponte because it’s quite a bit more stretchy than other pontes I’ve tried, which means it’s extra extra comfortable. Just be careful when you press it – it definitely gets a shine, so use a press cloth. I keep a big square of silk organza specifically for this purpose. It absorbs the heat of the iron so my fabric underneath doesn’t shine, and it’s sheer so I can actually see what I’m doing 🙂
I love the little details on this dress that make it so special—the ruffled collar (hemmed using the rolled hem on my serger), the tiny buttons with the tiny button loops, and that BRIGHT LIME GREEN LINING. Really, it’s like a party when I take the dress off!
By the way, don’t ever search Oscar de la Renta on the Mood Fabrics site unless you plan on dropping some serious dough on some seriously incredible fabrics. I just fell down the rabbit hole—again! – and discovered violet bouclé, bouclé with sparkly lurex (!!!), silk floral and some freaking polka dot silk taffeta. I want, I want it all!