My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

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Bobbpe
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My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby Bobbpe » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:38 am

Many, many thanks to Heather for her fitting help and the people here who helped me pick a fabric for the underskirt for this striped navy blue and silver silk taffeta dress. As you can see, I went with a solid navy blue silk taffeta.

This dress is not finished – there will be lots of pleated self-fabric trim added. Also, as always happens for me, I had to “quick finish” the end of the sleeves and the hem of the underskirt in order to wear it at the occasion that I made it for. I will clean up the sleeve ends (I don’t even think they are straight) and the underskirt hem needs horsehair braid and flounces on the underside of the train.

The underskirt and overskirt are TV208 View A (1879 Trained Skirt Ensemble). The only change that I think I made was to add pleats to the side seams of the overskirt. The bodice is a combination of TV420 (1879 Cuirass Bodice) and TV463 (1884 French Vest Bodice). The collar is similar to the collars in these patterns, but I ended up drafting the collar using my patternmaking books. I am wearing the dress over TV101 (Petticoat with Wire Bustle).

The photos are in the TV Public Galleries. I will try to add some here, but it may not work.

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These photos were taken with several different cameras, so the quality of the photos varies, but you can see many different perspectives of the dress.

My husband’s interest is vintage sports cars, where a test run is called “test and tune”, where the car is tested on the track and then tinkering is done. So my wearing of this dress last Sunday can be called “test and tune”, where I determined several things that need tinkering.

For one thing, the front of the collar flaps over, so I obviously need to add more interfacing or bones. Any suggestions of what would work for this? Also, should the lowest point of the bodice front be on the center front line, which is the button line, or should it be at the edge of the buttonhole side? I had lots of issues with the sleeves and I am still not happy with them. Any suggestions?

As you can tell, I am looking for constructive criticism, since I want this dress to be the best that it can be. Thanks for your help.
Last edited by Bobbpe on Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MaryGode
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby MaryGode » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:12 pm

Pix deleted
Last edited by MaryGode on Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
MaryGode
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby MaryGode » Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:37 pm

I just love the way the stripes go into the pleats on the overskirt. You look lovely!
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
Bobbpe
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby Bobbpe » Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:17 pm

Thanks, MaryGode, for telling me how to get the photos to show. Now how do I delete my post that says the photos don't show? Thanks
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Heather
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby Heather » Fri Nov 04, 2011 3:49 pm

I deleted that post for you.

Love the dress!!

As a side note, when posting the photos, at the gallery there are a list of links at the bottom of your photos. Choose any of the BBCode links, and you can just cut and paste them into the board. I think you had chosen one of the html links which work for emails and websites.
MaryGode
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby MaryGode » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:50 pm

I know what you mean about too-soft collars. My solution is to do full-on tailoring and padstitch hair canvas on the facing piece of the collar. If I have a fabric that'll show the padstitching, I do that on another thin piece of scrap as an interlining piece and sandwich that between the collar and facing pieces.

The advantage of tailor padstitching is that it gives permanant shape to the collar and will cause it to curve with your neck and to roll softly toward you. You can find any number of youtube tutorials on padstitching and it's in all the comprehensive sewing manuals.

It's a bit of hand work, and you really don't want to rush it, but on a small collar like that it wouldn't take much time at all.

edit- facing not lining
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
Andrea L
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby Andrea L » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:09 pm

Ooh, thank you for that tip, Mary! My next dress has a high collar on it, and I'll be making a suit jacket pretty soon too, which after looking at some YouTube videos, I saw that pad stitching is also used on lapels. I'll definitely be looking out for hair canvas my next fabric store run.
MaryGode
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby MaryGode » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:57 pm

I get mine from Atlanta Thread Company. I can't remember if I've ever seen it at Hancock or JoAnn. I imagine you could use another semi-stiff interfacing but I particularly like the springy-ness of the hair canvas I get at ATC. The key to padstitching is shaping the layers over your fingers; the fabric layers shift as you go and then the tension of the stitches holds the shape. It's the coolest thing!

I also reinforce the bodice neckline too, to give the collar a firm place to sit. I like to do a traditional tailoring back stay with something firm-woven, and do something to firm up the front neckline like a bit of fusible or sew-in interfacing on the stitching line. I keep it just a little away from the front opening edge tho, so the corners at the top of the button stand turn more crisply.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
Cathi H
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby Cathi H » Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:33 am

Elégant.(the shoes...)
Bobbpe
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby Bobbpe » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:45 am

Thanks, Kathi H, for the compliment on the shoes. The color of the shoes is more of a royal blue than a navy blue, but they are the best that I have for this dress.

I was very lucky to get these. One of the members of Somewhere in Time, Unlimited (SITU), our local (Seattle, Washington) area historic costuming group, used to go to thrift shops and buy all reasonably priced historic looking shoes, in all sizes. She would then sell them to us at her cost. That's how I bought these and several other pairs of shoes.
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Bobbpe
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby Bobbpe » Sat Nov 05, 2011 8:56 am

MaryGode, I am fascinated by how you do your collars. I know of pad stitching in tailoring, but it never occurred to me to use it on silk! I did some searching on this Bulletin Board about pad stitching stand up collars, and I couldn't find anything. If you write a post about how you do collars, I would really apprreciate it. Thanks
Bobbie
MaryGode
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby MaryGode » Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:12 pm

I wish we'd been talking about this three days ago when I was in the process of doing just such a collar. :lol:

I took a few minutes this afternoon to get some pix of a sample collar. I'm working on this coat at the moment, with a stand-up collar:

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Now, brocade is easy to padstitch so I didn't do any special prep. I used a remnant of the silk lining I'm using for it to show how I'd do a silk collar facing:

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The essence of padstitching is catching just a thread of the facing fabric in the padstitch, but with a thin silk like this it'd look pretty tatty. I use a few layers of fusible interfacing to have something to stitch into without showing on the right side of the facing:

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There are two pieces of a very light knit interfacing I use in just about everything I sew. I made a sample swatch (which promptly disappeared itself in my workroom) testing just one layer, but I decided to go with two. Then there is a piece of woven cotton fusible. I like it for the layer I stitch into because I trust the little bit I'm going to pick up to hold better than the knit. The knit seems to fuse to the silk better though, so I use that first. The last piece is the hair canvas.

Because I'm aiming to have a curve in the collar, I press the fusibles to the facing over a ham to begin setting the curve. With interfacing this thin the shift in the layers is negligible, but begin as you mean to go on, ya?

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Adding the second knit layer:

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The woven cotton fusible is on and the collar is beginning to have some substance. If laid flat though, there doesn't seem to be any innate curve yet:

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The hair canvas is marked with the seam allowance and the stitching lines. My tailoring guide says for a notch collar intended to be worn popped up in back do the padstitching in the standing area parallel to the center line. It doesn't say anything about a mandarin or standing band collar, but I figure if the whole collar stands, work parallel all the way out:

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I baste the hair canvas on the center back and start the padstitching from the center out:

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You can see that the stitches just catch the fusibles:

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But they don't show on the silk:

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As you stitch you can check the silk side and make sure you haven't gone all the way through. You'll see a little dimple in the silk.

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As you stitch, curve the piece over your fingers. This causes the layers to slide just a little bit over one another. It's when you stitch the shift in place that you create the permanent curve:

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You can see if you lay it flat it buckles:

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But if you curve it, it smooths out:

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Here is the back stay. It supports the neckline and the shoulders. If the fabric is really shifty, I'll stay tape the shoulder seam to limit the bias stretch. That is especially useful on the historical shoulder line that is quite on the bias.

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Well, that's pretty much how I do it. It's probably a little bit of overkill, but the collar sure doesn't stray! :lol: I hope you can follow what I did.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ~MarkTwain
kellydofc
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby kellydofc » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:15 pm

Lovely dress. I love your stripes.
Iris
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby Iris » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:44 am

Wow, Mary! That's the best tutorial on pad stitching ever. Thanks for sharing.
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gretagretchen
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby gretagretchen » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:27 pm

looks fab! I also love the stripes.
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Miss Cindy
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Re: My Striped Silk Taffeta Dress

Postby Miss Cindy » Thu Aug 23, 2012 5:03 am

Thank you for sharing this tutorial! Amazing the knowledge available, if one will look!
Fabulous!
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