I saw this pattern – a Vogue Paris Original by Yves St Laurent, in my size, on eBay, and bought it (for £15). In all its glory – a full length evening dress, in white and silver heavy silk damask, trimmed at waist, neck and sleeves with jewels; matched with a gorgeous mink trimmed cloak – this outfit is suitable for court or a wedding.
I planned on using two metres of gorgeous shocking pink washed silk, reputedly Roland Mouret, that I had in my cupboard. Here is the fabric made up as trousers.
My version is truncated version B. A short dress without sleeves, but with silver trim and a nice, flared skirt. Yet it still has a very strong feeling of the 1960s to me. Here are a couple of ladies who may have inspired the envelop art. Did you ever wear your hair like that?
My decision on length was predicated on the amount of fabric I had. I would have liked to have done the sleeves (each with a tiny zip and heavy wrist bling), but barely had enough for the “street length” version. I went back to Simply Fabrics to see if there was any left (no). I had to do a bit of top and tailing, and the armhole facings are off grain. I underlined the skirt with cotton organdie, and the bodice with silk organza, as instructed. This is to ensure that the skirt holds it own, lampshade-like. Also I will be adding a lining as I like a smooth, slippery inner layer.
I cut out the pieces. I sourced some silver trimming on Bury market. I cut out the underlining. I tailor tacked the pink silk. I marked the underlining. I carefully attached the one to the other. I went on my indigo dying weekend, and came back with some inky, waxy fabrics. When I ironed the wax out I may have left some residue on the iron, or the ironing board, or even in the air around my sewing area. Just tiny specks. And of course, somehow the tiny specs of wax were transferred to one of my back bodice pieces. It looked like about fifteen greasy pin heads had been stuck in randomly! I washed it carefully in silk detergent and warm water. I tried the Stain Devil suitable for wax, crayon and grease. Every time I thought the spots had vanished back they came with ironing!
I went to see my local dry cleaner and had a long, and very depressing, conversation. Long story short – wax is the worst. Never ever get rid of it. I tried one last thing which was a hot (60 degrees) wash. I have previously removed wax residue from silk when I have done silk painting by doing a hot wash with washing liquid. When it came out I realised it had lost a little colour… I felt I could just about live with this so long as the stain had come out. But once I showed the piece the iron up those blasted specks of wax showed up again.
I do not have enough fabric to recut the back bodice piece. I putting out a call on Instagram and lots of people looked at what they had in their stash (how kind). Then I woke up and remembered Anne-Britt.
My dear friend Anne-Britt. Last time I met her for a coffee in Brixton we snuck into Simply Fabrics. She is a fairly new sewist and asked me to choose a couple of fabrics that would suit her beautiful colouring. I picked out some heavy navy silk and bright pink too. At £8 a metre it was a complete bargain. Sheepishly I put out an SOS asking her if she had any left overs. She said she had and we met at a south London tube station for the handover. I only needed a small piece 10″x16″.
What are friends for? They get you out of a big hole. By cutting a big hole in their lovely silk. However the story doesn’t end here.
A-B had a dear little piece for me, but disaster! I had remembered wrongly. Her silk was not the same as mine; her pink was a different pink. You can see in the photograph that it’s a different kettle of fish.
I have a few options:
- use the stained piece hoping no one will notice (and all clothes get stained eventually)
- use the piece but put some sequins over the spots
- do some applique
- piece the tiny left overs together (this would need about six strips, very pathworky)
- use a different colour of fabric – what about silver pu?
- forget the whole thing.
What would you do??