Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Green Silk Dress - Done and Dusted

Well, finally the wedding day has been and gone. I'm happy to say the dress got finished on time and there were no wardrobe malfunctions. Yay!

First up, here are the pictures...

And some stats:

Pattern: Burda WOF 12-2008-136B
Fabrics: Green/black shot silk and black silk organza for underlining (from The Fabric Store in Brisbane), Black sheer nylon/velvet overlay (from Lincraft many years ago).

I had been eyeing off this pattern for quite some time. I really liked the overall shape and the idea of the split overlay. It looked really elegant in the magazine.

Pattern alterations/Design Changes:

First, I (with the help of my sewing teacher) tissue fitted the pattern to my body. This particular pattern allows for a smaller waist and curvy hips - the total opposite of my body. I didn't want anything really tight, so we ended up adding a fair bit to the front skirt section and straightening out the side seams to create more of an a-line shape.

I also had to do a full bicep adjustment for the sleeves and I ended up lengthening them a little. The rest of the pattern worked fine for me.

Before cutting into the silk, I made a test version of this dress in a chocolate brown linen (I'll post pics of that one when I've completely finished it). Obviously this was without the overlay, but gave me a good idea of the overall shape and pattern alterations needed. I ended up taking out a fair bit of the extra room we added in.

Construction notes:

Putting together the linen version was fairly straight forward. I learned how to insert an invisible zip across a seam so that it all lined up perfectly. I also learned how to trace out my seam lines so that I could see where I made fitting changes, making it easy to transfer those to my pattern. I bound the seams in this version with a lightweight poly-cotton.

It was when I changed to the silk version of this dress that my nightmares began. If I'd known before I started just how tricky this dress was going to be, I would never have started. Granted I learnt a LOT while sewing this dress, but I'm the queen of simple and easy. I'm really happy to stay in my comfort zone and have no need to push myself to learn new things just for the sake of it. I felt as though this dress looked WAY too simple for the effort and time that went into it. I won't be making it again. I may make a dress using the pattern, but the layered look won't ever cross my machine again. The worst part was that point in the centre front where you had multiple seams and layers all needing to meet in a perfect point. I'm just too slap happy to end up with a perfect result, but it was really important this time. Just that tiny bit took me several days to finish. I think I must have unpicked it at least a dozen times. In the end, I was happy with it, but we ended up adding a simple bow anyway!

Finally, here's a photo of the flowergirl dresses in action...infinitely cuter than mine ;-)


  1. Well done Kelley, you should be very proud of all your sewing.

  2. Very classy looking! Worth all the effort. Enjoy your simple sewing now!

  3. Gorgeous dress and like Sue said well worth all the effort. The flowers girls look cute and you have done a fantastic job in getting it all done in time for the wedding.

  4. The grief was worth it, that's a most beautiful and unusual dress, you would never find it anywhere in boutiques! The flower girls look adorably sweet.
    I'm with you on simple sewing.

  5. Your wedding outfit is stunning.
    The flower girl dresss are adorable too.

  6. Thanks, everyone. I'm sure I'll have forgotten all about the tricky bits in a few weeks. My wedding anniversary is coming up soon, so I'm fairly certain I'll have another opportunity to wear it then. :-)

  7. Your wedding outfit is lovely! You did a great job.

  8. Absolutely beautiful! Gorgeous work.

  9. LOVE your dress - stunning colour too. The effort was well worth it.

  10. Kelly, you look fantastic in your dress. Love love love the colour, very Spring-y!
    Flower girls look adorable.
    Great job on all dresses.

  11. Beautiful dress, Kelley. The colours are stunning. Well done!

  12. A beautiful dress, and I just love the lime green peeking through from under the overlay dress :)

  13. Thanks, everyone. It was definitely a labour of love...:-)