Completed: A (modified) Silk Crepe Saltspring

7 Aug

The Summer of the Silk Dress continues! Today’s offering is one that I’ve had rolling around in my head for… wow, almost 2 years now. Okay, Lauren!

Silk crepe SaltspringI also got REALLY bored with taking pictures in the back yard, and ventured into the garden for these. Our garden is adorable, not that you can tell much from this one little corner. I’m hanging out with my tomato plants and potatoes over here. And I helped build that fence! Drove in those fucking fence posts LIKE A BOSS. boss Anyway, I digress! Silk crepe Saltspring

The pattern I used is the Sewaholic Saltspring dress, with just a minor modification that makes for a major difference in the end result. Ever since I sewed this pattern as a tester, I’ve wanted to make a version without the bloused overlay. I think the overlay is pretty, but I never liked the way it looked on me. I do, however, like little spaghetti strap sundresses and y’all KNOW I love me some elastic waists, so I thought I could switch things up a little to get what I wanted. Too bad it took me 2 years to actually do it. Better late than never, anyway!

Silk crepe SaltspringSilk crepe Saltspring

All I did was use the bodice front & back lining pieces, and omitted the bodice overlay pieces. Because of this, I had to figure a different way to finish the edges and attach the straps – so I just used my ol’ fave, the self bias binding. For the straps, I sewed on enough bias to extend several inches past each end of the underarm, and then continued my stitching all the way to the tips of the bias after I folded it over (this means the raw edges of the bias are exposed on the straps, BUT, bias doesn’t fray so it’s not an issue). For the elastic casing, I just sewed the waistline with the normal 5/8″ seam allowance and folded it under itself a couple times and topstitched to make a casing.

Silk crepe SaltspringThis was a very easy dress to make. It’s SUPER casual (especially with my bright white bra straps hollering out, lolol), but it’s exactly what I wanted. And I personally think that it looks a lot better than the OG version! Silk crepe Saltspring

The fabric I used here is another silk crepe from my stash. Silk crepe is absolutely my favorite silk to sew and wear – it’s really easy to work with and the colors are always so beautiful and saturated. As long as you pre wash and dry that shit in the machine, it’s also really easy to care for. I just throw mine in the wash on cold and hang it to dry (mostly because I don’t like to iron wrinkles out haha. But I always pre-dry just in case it accidentally gets thrown in the dryer at some point!).

I mean, check out that beautiful fluid drape! Ughh it’s so good.

Silk crepe SaltspringThis is another silk crepe from the Elizabeth Fabric Grab Bag. I think this one was from her personal stash, and came dyed that color (as in, she didn’t dye it herself). It feels amaaaazing. I have a bunch left over and I MIGHT make pajamas out of it. Maybe. I kind of want to live in it forever. Silk crepe Saltspring

I think for a first-time make of this rendition, this one turned out really great (and exactly the way I wanted it to look!). There’s not anything that I would change about it, except that I did go back and add some thread belt loops at the side seams. My belt kept falling in these photos and it looks stupid. Now it stays in place!

Silk crepe SaltspringSilk crepe Saltspring

Silk crepe SaltspringSilk crepe Saltspring

Silk crepe SaltspringAs usual, the construction consists of a lot of French seams. I can’t get enough of those when it comes to silk! I wanted to add the pockets to this dress (considering that I always steal the pocket pattern piece to use for my other dresses, it seemed only fair to give it a shot with an actual Saltspring), so I had to figure out how to French seam those suckers in. Turns out it’s pretty much the same as French-seaming anything – just a little more fiddly to iron. But yay for it working out! Silk crepe Saltspring

I gotta say, these silk dresses have been a serious GODSEND for the past couple weeks that I’ve had to drive around without any a/c. Apparently I’m sweating straight through them, but, whatever. It’s not like I can see my back.

As a side note – NYC Fashion Week is next month! If you’re planning on going to the city during the events (oh please oh please take me with you) and want to try something a little different, definitely check out the Fashion Week tours at Seek NYC. This tour sounds massively interesting – learning the history of the NYC’s garment manufacturing & retail industries, visiting fashion landmarks and fabric/trim shops, touring with a professional designer, checking out a sample sale, and learning the evolution of Fashion Week, to name a few highlights. The group tour is $55, and you can take 15% off if you use the code BIRD (offered 9/10/15 – 9/17/15). Not in town during Fashion Week but want to check out a private tour of the Garment District? You can also use that code to take $15 off a private tour, and that’s good all the way through 12/1/15. If you’ve taken one of these tours, I want to hear all about it! I’ve wanted to take one for about a year now because they sound really cool, but each time I’m in the city the weather is either awful for a walking tour, or I’m too busy running around otherwise.


25 Responses to “Completed: A (modified) Silk Crepe Saltspring”

  1. Ami August 7, 2015 at 7:32 am #

    This dress is lovely and looks so perfect for hot weather!
    Such a great tip about pre-drying the fabric incase it accidentally gets popped in the dryer at some point!- had never thought of that with fabric! Thanks πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD August 7, 2015 at 9:18 am #

      Haha yeah… I figured out the dryer trick the hard way πŸ™‚ RIP silk dress! Now I try to play it safe whenever possible πŸ™‚

  2. Michelle August 7, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    i went on a seek tour last year, it was AWESOME. it was basically walking around the city fabric shopping with someone equally as nerdy and enthusiastic about sewing and fashion as I am and it was one of the most fun ways to spend an afternoon in NYC ever. And now whenever I go back to New York I know exactly which stores to go straight to!

    • LLADYBIRD August 7, 2015 at 9:19 am #

      Oh man, that does sound awesome!! It’s fun to troll around the city solo or with a group of friends, but having an actual guided tour to take you to all the best little secrets (including ones that maybe your sewing friends wouldn’t necessarily have access to or know about) would be amazing.

  3. shesewsswell August 7, 2015 at 9:39 am #

    Heading to LA next week, of course it will involve a few fabric stores, I’m inspired to make something with silk crepe now. Love the dress, garden photos are always nice, I’ll keep the name of that tour in the back of my mind, in case I find myself in NYC. As always, thanks for sharing.

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

      Lucky! I’ve always wanted to visit the LA Garment District. Hope you find some awesome stuff while you’re there πŸ˜€

  4. TinaLou August 7, 2015 at 11:24 am #

    Your dress is lovely; I will have to search out silk crepe. I’ve always been intimidated by silk; you remind me that not all silk is shifty and evil! FWIW, I just finished a Southport dress with inseam french seamed pockets, and used a super well-written tutorial from Deborah Moebes on SewMamaSew (I could only find it by searching on her last name from the site’s search engine – why?) The only addition I made was to iron a tiny piece of FFS interfacing to the little spots on the seamline where one must clip *just up to* the seam line (I hate that!)

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2015 at 3:17 pm #

      I used that tutorial too! Although I actually found it a little confusing – I thought she explained the steps *too* much (made it sound more difficult than it actually was). I guess different strokes and all that πŸ™‚ That’s a good idea to interface the clipped areas; I’ll have to try that next time!

  5. Muse August 7, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    I love lightweight fabrics like this, great dress!

  6. Ines August 7, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    I’m right there with you on the silk crepe, my grandma years ago taught me that it can be washed in cold water and I’ve never looked back. It’s such a comfy fabric. All my work blouses are silk crepe.

  7. carlalissa August 7, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    Love the dress, but your hair looks amazing too! πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

      Aw, thank you, Carla! πŸ˜€

  8. ellegeemakes August 7, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    Great dress! I’ve never sewn with silk crepe but it sounds like a must! Given your ‘hot’ climate, if it makes you so happy you want to wear it all of the time, well, that’s enough encouragement for me! I’ll preshrink and dry as you’ve suggested, of course!

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

      Oh man, silk crepe is amazing! You are gonna fall in love!!

  9. SeeKatSew August 8, 2015 at 12:40 am #

    Ohhhh your dress looks so nice without the blousing! Also, whatever you did to your hair in these pics, keep doing it, it looks fantastic!

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

      Haha I think that’s actually just dirty/unstyled hair πŸ˜› I was looong overdue for a haircut when I took these photos haha! But yeah, thank you!

  10. Elena August 8, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

    Love the dress! Would it be possible to post a tutorial on French seamed pockets? Your tutorial are always so helpful!
    Oh, and the garden looks fruitful too πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD August 8, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

      This is the the tuturial I used for sewing french seamed pockets, if that helps. I personally found the tutorial a little confusing (I think she explained too much, made it sound a little harder than it actually was), but another commenter said it was really well-explained and easy to follow along. So maybe it will work for you! πŸ™‚

  11. Fraulein Nina August 9, 2015 at 10:37 am #

    Lovely colour of blue! And that garment district tour does sound mighty interesting. Too bad I’m stuck in rainy England for the time being. πŸ˜‰

  12. Sandra August 10, 2015 at 8:57 am #

    Beautiful ! I prefer your version too, it’s prettier and more flattering. This ink blue suits you well.


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