Gabrielle's antipodean flying squirrel dress, the aquatic sugar glider is one of my most loved inspirations. Everything about it, the amazing abstract seaside creature fabric and it's sheer statementness is perfect. I have an equally loved piece of silk, with an abstract leopard image from Prada's 2009 resort collection, that's been waiting patiently for it's time to shine.
I asked Gabrielle for her thoughts as we browsed The Fabric Store in Sydney, which is where I bought it several years ago. It's a weighty silk, not as compact and drapey as the recommended crepe de chine or silk jersey, but I do like a structured drape... Might V1482 be the pattern for it?
I did my research and as well as Gabrielle's, I took particular note of Lara's version. I fit a size M (14) by the envelope measurement, and didn't hesitate to sew the S (8-10). I do wish I'd paid extra attention to her GOMI source who outlined some excellent steps, that I incorporated after the fact.
#1 I adore the length. I was tempted to shorten it, but when pinned up, I lost the pegging that makes it work.
#2 Size - I chose well - Thank you my fellow seamstresses who made this before me and blogged about it. The hip is perfectly snug when getting in and out of it, I couldn't have gone any narrower on the hem. The neck opening was wide enough, that cutting the back with a CB seam was never an option.
I adapted the neckline by unpicking the facings (yes, I used ordinary facings in self fabric). I then resewed the neckline while taking an inch out of the shoulder seam at the neck, tapering to nothing on each side over 3 inches. It would have been much neater if I'd made the adjustment (as suggested on GOMI), at the time of cutting out.
earworm from Jemaine the scary Moana crab...) but that aspect is ok - well, apart from the moire effect in untouched photographs (sorry DH). I adore the colour and the drape - not quite silk crepe de chine or rayon, it's a substantial fabric after all - but the solid colour is a bit too solid for me and sometimes I feel the dress wears me.
It's also rather warm. I find silk warm, and polyester sweaty, so that shouldn't be a surprise, but it was. On the plus side, I can see myself popping it on with bare legs through autumn and spring, and it should work well with boots for winter.
#5. I omitted the sleeve bands. If anything, I could have made the sleeves themselves more narrow/shorter, but I do like them at the end of the dolman extensions.
#6. I didn't french seam - quelle horreur!! I did french seam the pocket - and what a perfect sized pocket it is!, but there is extra bulk that isn't necessary with this heavier fabric. Being a solid and shiny fabric, every imperfection in my stitching feels accentuated and I wanted the seams to lie as flat as possible.
Overall, DH isn't a fan, but I like it. It's big and loose and super comfy while being vaguely polished, especially with heels.
and it has a proper sized pocket - and that's always a win.