Thursday, September 28, 2017

Cherry printed rayon for a modern 1940s frock

When I made this dress in July, it was seasonally appropriate to wear a lightweight rayon in a summery color scheme.  And while the current weather would actually make this a very comfortable garment to wear, the official arrival of Autumn makes me feel that it really is time to put aside the pastel tones.

So the dress was taken out on the town for one final wear a few days ago, washed, pressed, and put back in the closet until next year.

As far as the sewing goes . . . I have pulled Butterick 6320 out quite a few times, thinking I had found the perfect pattern for a bunch of different fabrics.  Well, this rayon challis from JoAnns (one of the Gertie prints from a couple of years ago, I think) was the ultimate winner.

The rayon is quite lightweight, and with the light colored background, a bit sheer.  I decided to line the entire dress.  And instead of a fusible, I used cotton batiste scraps as a sew-in interfacing for the waist and shoulder yokes.

Since the cotton batiste is quite a bit more stable than the drapey rayon, I like to cut the cotton out first, and then pin those cotton pieces directly to the wrong side of the rayon to cut out that fabric.  Those two layers are then basted together.  When I first started sewing apparel, I used to cut one layer of fabric and one layer of interfacing.  Attempting to get a perfect match with the two was never quite possible, especially with a fabric that likes to move around!

This dress went together quite easily.  I decided not to make any fit adjustments; the only change I made to the pattern pieces was to lengthen the sleeves.  I certainly could have lengthened the torso, but it sure is nice to work directly from a pattern every once in a while.  The fit turned out pretty great, even without that standard alteration, so I am quite pleased.

I went with an invisible zipper for this dress, stabilizing the center back opening edges with a narrow strip of fusible interfacing.

The skirt lining was french seamed.  The bemberg rayon and the printed rayon was very fray happy, and since bemberg is very lightweight, I thought it was the best choice.

The cherry print got my favorite seam binding treatment.

Rayon really is a fantastic textile.  It sometimes requires a bit more patience to work with than a lot of other fabrics, but the end result is so light and floaty.  I just love wearing it in hot weather (which we had quite a bit of this year)!  Farewell, my summer frock . . .


  1. beautiful dress - looks so much better made up than the pattern illustration - and some very fine sewing.......must keep an eye out for that pattern - gorgeous

  2. So beautiful again =) one question, have you also underlined the skirt with batiste, or only the bodice?

  3. So beautiful! Where do you get cotton batiste? I can only find poly-cotton mix.

  4. Wow, this is one gorgeous designed dress and a Butterick pattern to boot. With your stunning fabric it is truly wonderful! I must ask, which JoAnn's has this pretty fabric? I can never find any prints that call out to me at the local shop in San Mateo.