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Made by a Fabricista: Thakoon Holiday Party Dress



Holiday parties are just around the corner and I am feeling so prepared in this awesome Thakoon silk Crepe de Chine dress!!!  I mean, just look at it, I can feel dressed up (because of the silk) and ready for a full plate of food (thanks to the loose fitting shape).  Win, win. 

I feel pretty certain that quite a few of you snatched up some of this yardage because it is all sold out!  But I'd like to say that the feel of it is a slight bit textured and that it was the least fussy silk I've ever sewn with.  I did not even have to use any stabilizer to bring it into submission, it behaved with just a light touch and some gentle coaxing...so nice.  I hate to go on and on about how wonderful the fabric is because its sold out but I really feel the lesson here is that the designer fabrics Fabric Mart offers are really awesome in quality.

During my partnership with Fabric Mart I've had the pleasure and luxury of sewing with some really gorgeous designer fabrics (not to mention all those yards that jump into my shopping cart) and they have truly elevated my sewing.  When I receive a piece like this one I want to give it the best TLC I can and make something that I will wear for many years with great pleasure.

In short I've come to a place in my sewing where it is worth it to me to invest in a nice piece of fabric knowing that I will get a great high quality garment.  But the beauty of Fabric Mart is that I usually don't have to break the bank to afford a really nice cut of fabric, there is always a great sale or coupon code!  I love that.



In the spirit of giving this dress some extra TLC, I fully lined the inside with rayon bemberg.  I did have to use two cuts of different, but similarly colored bemberg from my stash but no on will see it and it makes the dress hang so beautifully.  I used french seams in a few strategic spots for added durability because I plan on handwashing this dress as needed.  I should mention that I washed this cut of fabric on the "handwash" setting on my washer with woolite and let it hang over my shower curtain to dry.

If you are new to Crepe de Chine, I have to say that I got most of my initial courage to wash my silk from Lauren at the Lladybird blog.  She often posts on Crepe de Chine and washes it herself, so I bravely did the same.  This fabric held it shape perfectly and not one color bled.   


 I am very proud of my print matching on the front, that front bodice has three pieces and there is an empire seam at the waist.  I was so happy that I got this fabric placement perfect so that the diagonal flowers fed almost perfectly into one another.  I did fudge this detail (see in the mistake in the picture below) when I first cut the bodice out, I outwardly groaned "auugghh!"  There were significant pattern repeats next to one another- something I can't stand! I thanked my lucky stars that I had extra yardage and recut the center front.

Those side by side images drive me crazy, so the middle bodice piece had to be recut.  




I am also very proud of my invisible zipper, I *think* I've finally mastered the invisible zipper! Firstly I stabilized the back seam with Palmer/Pletsch Perfect Fuse Sheer.  This was my first time to use it and I am sold.  It fused beautifully and wasn't even detectable under the seam.  I.LOVE.IT.  I will definitely be using this on any future silk sewing. 



Next I ironed the zipper teeth open then used my invisible zipper foot, which really helped, sewed it down one side marked where the waist seam hit on both sides of the zipper as well as the top, then unzipped the zipper aligned those chalk marks with the waist seam and top of dress on the opposite side to get that side lined up just right.  I also finally figured out how to sandwich the zipper between the lining and dress with my machine but I can't begin to think of how to explain that process.
 



The pattern is Kwik Sew 4215 and I have to say that there was one significant change I made that really helped this dress out.  If you look at the line drawing and pictures of the dress it is cinched in at the waist by the back ties.  I initially had the back ties on this dress but during construction every time I tied those ties it just made the dress look awful.  I was pretty crest fallen at first and then after thinking it over, realized this dress really wanted to be a shift and ties had no business being anywhere on this beauty!  So out came the seam ripper and away went the ties!  Then it was just a perfect shift...just right for holiday parties and eating. 




One last construction note, I have to give a huge shout out to my husband who was a tremendous help in hemming this dress.  The poor, poor man, I begged him to pin it and he had NO IDEA how to handle silk and there was a lot of trial and error but finally he did it!  Such are the challenges of a sewing person and the poor spouses who marry them!  Ha ha!

I am thrilled to wear this dress next week to a holiday party and hope you too are busy planning your holiday sewing.  I have looked over the Fabric Mart selection of Crepe de Chine and if you need suggestions, I have a few!! This fuchsia houndstooth is adorable and would make an excellent shift dress, not to mention this very cute animal print.  In planning my project I considered a few other patterns that would pair perfectly with Crepe de Chine, they were Simplicity 8414, Butterick 6481 or  Butterick 6487.  And I even went so far as to cut a wearable muslin out of Vogue 1511 to see if it was the right pattern, so I will be making it up in the near future.  I hope this has you thinking creatively about what you might like to sew up in Crepe de Chine, after all planning and scheming your sewing project is one of the best parts of the process!

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!
Elizabeth 

Comments

  1. Beautiful! That color is very striking on you- I bet you'll get tons of compliments at your party!

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  2. Fantastic! You did an amazing job matching the print

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Helen. I reallllyyyy wanted it to match well across the front!!

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  3. I am a BIG silk fan and have who knows how much of it in my stash just waiting for me :) Every time I see it on sale or just can't resist it in my local shop I buy some meters of it. It's a pleasure to wear, and it lasts a long time which is why it's best to use it on a style that will be around for a long time which you did here in this shift dress. Classic - it will serve you well for many years to come. Gorgeous!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kathleen, I am quickly growing in my love for all the varying kinds of silk and I am so glad to hear that it will last a long time. That's the kind of garment I love, classic with some detail personalized by me and that I can get many wears out of! Thank you for your kind words.

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  4. Love your dress AND your shoes! My hubby has hemmed a few things in the past when hems were even all the way round ;-) It took a minute or two for him to get the grasp on the hem gauge, but it worked out. Have a great time at your party.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Those shoes were a lucky thrift shop find, brand new Rockports that are surprisingly comfortable. Its good to have a husband who is a good sport about helping with the sewing challenges!

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  5. I love your dress..... beautiful! A great dress for holiday parties....the sleeves are definitely on trend!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, I think the sleeves really help keep this shift dress current.

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