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Silk Dupioni Vogue 1182 Tailored Dress Sewing Story

I procrastinated too long – but did end up with a roaring success for my dress to wear to stand up for my little sister at her wedding last weekend.  Here is a photo of me wearing my dress at the reception, the pattern used, and an upper bodice closeup.


If you look closely at the leftmost photo on the pattern cover, you can see my drawing of a fuller skirt.  I accomplished that by adding 1 3/4″ at each of the seams:  side front, sides, side back and center back.  The center back addition was ultimately completely removed as it looked like a ‘tail’.  I also added 1″ to the waist length to accommodate my figure.  Taking time to make a ‘muslin’ was a VERY smart move, as I cut the size 14, and that would never have closed at the back with my broad back.  I had to add 1″ to each of the shoulder areas.  Then, with the help of my new sewing friend, Dale, I also lowered the underarm shape and substantially took in the side seams so that they properly hugged my underarm.  That all worked out perfectly.  Since I had altered the back and that called for true-ing the back neckline, I also took time to properly ‘True’ the seam allowance as shown below and taught in my Blog Post HERE.


Upon the wonderful and seasoned advice of my old traveling comrade/helper extraordinaire, Carol, I washed the silk dupioni (from, on cool/delicate AND threw it in the dryer on cool just til it was dry.  Yes, it lost body, but washing it means that it would not ‘spot’ if water was dribbled on it – during construction (a potential iron issue, always), or during wearing.  After pressing, I cut it out with my altered pattern and ALSO cut out all of the same pieces using French Fuse – a light tricot fusible interfacing.  Doing this essentially yielded a new, full-bodied fabric.  I love the way the fabric falls in full ‘cones’ with the addition to the hemline circumference and gore shaping that I did. The seams were just ‘pinked’ with my new favorite tool:  a Pinking Rotary Cutting Blade.  The other thing visible in this photo at the very bottom is the narrow hem executed, as my friend, Dale suggested.  That worked perfectly! Stitch 1/4″ away.  Press under with the stitching rolled to the inside.  stitch again close to the fold.  Trim VERY close.  Turn again and stitch over previous stitching.  Lengthy process, but works like a charm.

Here is how I stitch darts.  Angling very close and gradually towards the tip, stitching right along the fold for the last 1/2″ or so, I then raise my presser foot, pull it towards me, and stitch some more to ‘tie’ it all off within the dart itself.

For those front tucks, I used silk thread to baste them and a silk organza pressing cloth to carefully steam press.  More on that in a recent Blog Post HERE.


Since the ‘fabric’ was now a ‘new’ fabric, it still needed interfacing in the Collar.  I selected Silk Organza for that purpose.  Though I had been as careful as possible, the long collar pieces had stretched out of shape some, so cutting the Silk Organza as the interfacing, I then treated the silk organza as ‘Boss’ as you can see below.