Monday, November 28, 2011

Printed Silk Twill

Does this fabric remind anyone else of a man’s necktie?  The silk twill was one of those cuts from Fashion Fabrics Club that was nothing like what I expected.  But the price was incredibly good, and so I tucked it away.  

Butterick 5707, Retro 1958

And when I saw this pattern in the new Butterick catalogue, I immediately thought of the yardage – that must mean something, right?

So here is yet another vintage reproduction from Butterick. 

And if I was not obsessed with finishing off every seam with my Hug Snug rayon seam binding, this dress would have been a super quick and easy project.  I am especially proud of matching the pattern on the center back seam.   In fact, figuring out how to cut a diagonal print for a pattern that says it is "unsuitable for obvious diagonals" is what took the most time!

I like to bind my raw edges after I have sewn the seam so that if the edge stretches it is after that part of the garment has been assembled.  And I have always struggled with the zipper seam because it never crossed my mind to encase the zipper tape itself along with the fabric seam allowance.  This requires the use of a zipper foot, and some care that the dress itself does not get trapped under the needle, but it really works like a charm.

The cutout is not exactly what I expected (for some reason I imagined that the tie must be an extension of the yoke) and the upper bodice edge is not as low as the fashion illustration would suggest, but I love how it turned out, even if I do look like a oversized necktie.

And for a little less than $20 I have a brand new silk dress!

Dress: Made by me, Butterick 5707
Shoes:  Nine West “Zann” in Pewter from
Tights:  Kohls
Pearl Studs:  Kohls
Bracelet:  Meier & Frank
Hair Ornament:  Made by me

P.S.  Voting in the Threads Ultimate Sewing Challenge ends on Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. EST!  And remember, every time you vote you are entered to win a Threads prize package!  Thank you to everyone who is voting for my Emerald Green Gown!


  1. You don't find the seam binding adds extra bulk, especially to such a fluttery fabric like your silk? I've been wanting to try this seam finish, but can't bring myself to do so....
    You've done an incredible job matching those seams! :)

  2. Very lovely! And good on you for daring to go against the pattern recommendations and go with an "obvious diagonal" - I wouldn't have been nearly as brave.

  3. @poppykettle Poppykettle: The added thickness is negligible. I am using a rayon seam binding – I imagine that the polyester stuff might add some bulk.

    A quick press with the iron and the rayon binding almost disappears into the fabric it is covering. I would highly recommend having some on hand. If you don’t want to commit to 100 yards of the stuff, I would suggest purchasing from etsy seller mattiecakes (!

  4. What a perfect matching of fabric to pattern. I am so glad you mentioned the necktie connection, because although your dress did not remind me of a tie, I am tempted by a collection of similar silks at our local fabric warehouse every time I go in there. They have the traditional diamonds and paisleys, and I think "tie" every time I see them, but at the same time the fabric is so dress-appropriate, with a heavy drape. Time for another look.
    Your perfectionism in matching the pattern and binding all the seams really paid off. It's as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. I just can't believe how quickly you turn these beauties out, without even taking any shortcuts. Amazing.

  5. I didn't think I wanted this pattern when it first came out a few weeks ago, but I think I've changed my mind after seeing your version.

  6. Amazing dress! I love the print on the fabric, it doesn't look like tie at all to me :D (but then again, I quite often also like the prints on the ties aswell ;)
    Anyway, your hard work on matching the print on seams and using seam binding will pay out because now you have longlasting beautiful dress in silk. Silk is one of my favourite material and I would do most of my clothes from that if I could afford it :D That fabric certainly was a bargain.

  7. Thanks Laura - I'll definitely try it :)

  8. Thanks for the link to the binding, Ill pick some up! Beautiful dress :-)

  9. Your projects always turn out so nice! I'm wondering if you could do a tutuorial sometime on how you apply the seam binding. Also, do you pre-wash it first? I bought some from after seeing all of your nice finishing, but have been hesitant to try it because I'm not sure what the best way to do it is.

  10. @Jeanette Jeanette: I am so excited to hear you are going to try it, but be careful – once you see how beautiful your seams can be, it becomes highly addictive!

    As far as pre-washing goes, I have never done it, and I have never had any issues with shrinkage. I generally hang dry my self-made garments, so I cannot say with certainty if a dryer would affect the rayon, but I really don’t think it should be a problem.

    And I would love to do a tutorial – I am going to have to figure out how to do that. I have had quite a few people ask about how I apply the binding, so that is a great idea. Thanks for the suggestion!

  11. Such a lovely project Laura Mae! I have never sewn with silk twill and would love to give it a try. it has such a nice drape. I love the peek a boo bow neckline.

  12. @Sew Country Chick Thanks Justine! Silk twill is actually pretty stable and much easier to work with than some other silk fabrics - I would highly recommend it!