Sewing with a Plan 2016 0.8 Vogue Paris Original 1897 by Yves Saint Laurent

posted in: SWAP, WIP (work in progress) | 34

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.

Wax stain in silk
Pink silk with wax residue

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.

Anne Britte
A-B in Brixton, with her kind donation

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??


34 Responses

  1. Stephanie

    It doesn’t look so bad to me from here, so I would probably continue. You’ll never see your own back, anyhow! At the same time, I wonder if Simply Fabrics has a client list they send emails to. My local guy does but then maybe Simply Fabrics is a big shop. If not though you could offer to purchase a piece from someone if they have some. It would work here in O-town, but maybe not in a big city like London. 🙂 Otherwise, there really must be a similar fabric out there on the net (or you could buy the trousers on ebay and cut them up…just kidding). I would happily search for you in Florence, but that would take time and delay your project.

  2. SewRuthie

    Would a lace overlay work?
    I think it will be hard to find matching fabric so I’d probably make it up, see how bad it looks and then add the sequins if required.

  3. Annieloveslinen

    What a shame, however, all is not lost.

    I thought of iron on crystals but I like Ruth’s suggestion of lace overlay, it would disguise any colour variation and you would have the option of adding sleeves as well.

  4. Lyn

    I would make it up and check how it looks and then add sequins if needed. You can’t beat a bit of extra sparkle in my book.

    Or, if it would drive you mad knowing it was there, use the fabric you have for another project and find something new for this one. It is a glorious pattern worthy of something special.

    Good luck!

  5. Sheree

    What about trying to buy a silk chiffon in a similar shade or toning, and layering it on top.
    By the way. I presume you have already tried putting a piece of brown paper over the stains and pressing with a hot iron.
    Also, for grease marks I find the product “Stain Slayer” great – it has got me out of trouble many, many times. Doesn’t always appear to work at first. Recently on a cashmere sweater, the stains had gone, but I was left with marks where I had sprayed. However, after a couple of washes they went away. Good luck.

  6. Jay

    I’d make it up. I like the suggestion of chiffon over, and also the idea of covering the spots if necessary with sequins or embroidery. I did a fair amount of batik at one time. Depending on the fabric, I used to get the wax out by ironing between newsprint or dipping in boiling water. Carbon tetrachloride would probably get the spots out, but you might not be able to buy this.

  7. Chris

    I would carry on, it would be a shame to abandon it I think. I like the idea if an overlay like lace or chiffon, just on the back piece. Or instead of embroiderey, possibly machine couching similar coloured textured embroidery thread in a random pattern all over the back bodice pieces.It could add interest and texture.

  8. Mary Funt

    How bad is the color loss? The suggestions of using either chiffon or lace as an overlay would work. Lay an undamaged piece next to your stained one and try various combinations. If the choice is lace you might not want the silver trim. Sequins, embroidery or heat set crystals might cover the damage. Whatever you choose do the entire bodice. You want it to look intentional, not a bad fix. Good luck. What a shame that it happened.

  9. Elle C

    I would randomly sew on beads and or sequins on the bodice, front and back, and continue on.

    Have you tried just plain soap, like bar soap or my favorite Dr. Bronners to remove the wax?

  10. Cherry

    Can you make it look deliberate? Add a little more, to the other back bodice piece and possibly the front as well? A modern take on a trad style.
    Otherwise I like the lace overlay idea. Find one with a good scalloped edge and let that just sit on the bodice band.

  11. DementedFairy

    I was going to say about ironing over brown paper [or kitchen roll] as Sheree did. I’d carry on regardless, but I’m not a perfectionist.
    As you’re blinging with silver, how about an overlay in a sheer or mesh silver? A silvery tulle or voile or silk organza on the bodice only might be cool.

  12. Susie

    I have used “goo gone” to remove crayons that accidentally went through the washer and dryer with clothes with great success. Not on a lovely silk, however, so I’m not sure I can recommend.

    DementedFairy beat me to the idea of a silvery mesh to go with your planned silver trim. Lace may be lovely too if you can find it to coordinate.

    Good luck!

  13. patsijean

    How badly do you want your pink trousers? Which garment would you prefer to have if can use some of the trouser fabric for the dress if the wax stains are obvious?

  14. Jennifer Miller

    Well, it seems to be pretty universal – keep going! That pattern and that fabric are just too fabulous. Some sort of overlay should do the trick nicely if you just can’t get the stains out. Or, you do wonderful embroidery and I’ll bet you can create a dazzling something-or-other to make the bodice completely new (I love same-color embroidery and that still allow the skirt to not be overshadowed). Good luck!

  15. QPlourde

    I would just make it and hope no one notices (I’m pretty sure I have done this). I also like the lace overlay suggestion – if you can put some sort of embroidery that would as well! I’m not so great with that stuff, but if you are then perfect. Definitely continue. I can barely see the stain on the picture, so it may not be noticeable at all.

  16. Kim Hood

    I’m with the carry on crowd. Unless you are going to be totally unhappy knowing these marks are on the back (and it’s unlikely anyone else will notice unless you say something) .

  17. Su

    Even though the wax stains are on the back bodice, I think it would drive me crazy knowing they are there and wondering if others notice the stains.

    Have you tried rubbing alcohol/isoproppyl alcohol? I think it’s supposed to dissolve wax.

  18. Diane-Marie

    I totally agree; no one will notice. However, if you would feel more confidant having it covered up how about an above the elbow version of the cape shown on the envelope (very, very 1960s). Or how about a short cropped jacket or a short boxy over blouse that buttons in the back. Also very 1960s and that would give you the sleeves that you mentioned. This is a link to a lovely silk remnant at a shop in over there in London. (Isn’t the internet amazing?) It looks like it might be a nice coordinating fabric, dark pink and silver.

  19. Mary

    What would I do?
    After a long sob I think I would find tiny ethereal sequins and sew them on as a design feature. Those really thin papery ones that are iridescent. You can find them at costume supply places. Think ice dancers. And good luck. You have all my sympathy.

  20. Jane

    Have you tried ironing the piece with the wax stains over some brown paper? I’ve used that technique in the past to get rid of wax on cotton, not sure if it works on silk though.

    Silver PU sounds good too!

  21. felicia

    You can do the lace overlay, or sequins, but I think a short cape or train (sewn to the shoulders) would be most fabulous with this dress. Either would maintain the period look too.

  22. Bunny

    I would take the new silk and do some appliques, mayb leaf shapes or paisley shapes and large hand stitches around them. You could do them all over the bodice. You could do them as a belt effect if the waist is involved, or as a yoke effect, maybe going in a v neck shape on the bodice. If around the hem, a border. If in the middle of the skirt, large crisscrossing lines, a la plaid, of the shapes. That’s what I’d do. I am anxious to see what you decide.

  23. patsijean

    I am taking a second look at the fabric and stains, and quite frankly I am very little bothered by them as they are not that noticeable, even enlarged as they are here. It is possible, with time, that the stain will reduce a bit with normal dry cleaning and unless you send all your garments in for inspection for the SWAP, it will not affect the voting.

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