Friday, February 28, 2014

Vogue 8903 - Navy silk jersey shirt-dress

This month's Mood Sewing Network garment is NOT another silk blouse. It's a... silk jersey dress. I may have a bit of a silk addiction. I just can't help it. Once I got over my fear of sewing with it, I want everything in silk! This fabric is from Mood fabrics and has recently sold out, but you can find plenty of other beautiful silk jersey prints here including another colorway of this print.


I had a lot of difficulty deciding on a pattern for this fabric. It really wanted to be a maxi dress but I'd only ordered 2 yards. It had to be a fairly simple design because of the linear print. Finally I settled on making a shirt-dress from Vogue 8903.


Initially I wanted to make the view with the collar and roll up sleeves but I didn't have enough fabric for the collar and the sleeves were too bulky to roll up. As a result this looks more like a fall dress then a spring one.


I'm not in love with how this looks belted and am toying with the idea of cutting a few inches off the bottom hem and wearing it sans any waist definition. The fabric is light weight and drapey and I'm thinking with the shorter length it will be sassy instead of kindergarten-teacherish. 

Dressform pictures:


While cutting the pattern out, I paid special attention to lining up linear print. Especially at the fronts I wanted the little fawns to match up perfectly. That was probably the most difficult part of making this dress. I had no fit issues since it's a looser design and my fabric is stretchy and I was also able to skip the muslin stage.


Isn't this print so fun? These little animals sort of remind me of Hugh Lofting's fabled push-me-pull-you from the book Dr. Dolittle. In hindsight I probably should have put some interfacing along the front button facings. The pattern didn't call for any but the neckline would stay up a little better and not flop over so much if it had been included. I always like front details like these pockets for the added volume they supply my small busted shape. These do blend in a bit, but would have looked awful if not matched up.


The insides were sewn with French seams including the armholes. I had to use some stretch lining from my stash for the inside yoke and pocket flaps because of fabric shortage.

Although the fabric was easy to sew with and the pattern simple and not needing any altering, I had to hardest time finishing this dress. My sewing mojo has completely evaporated. I really hope it returns soon because there are so many cute things I want to make!

46 comments:

  1. Really beautiful! Boring question but... how do you clean your silk jersey? Do you always take it in for dry cleaning? I love the material but get a bit worried about dry cleaning bills...

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    1. Thanks Jenny! I don't go in for dry cleaning much myself either. Silk is actually a very durable fiber and holds up to machine washing well. It will shrink a bit, though, so I always make sure to pre-wash. There are certain types of silks that don't wash well - some printed charmeuse and dupioni, so you may want to wash a square of it first just to make sure it comes through the washer without damage.

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  2. I like this even more seeing it a second time! Beautiful work!

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  3. This is beautiful Amanda! I love the print, and it works great with the pattern you chose.

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  4. I love your dress Amanda! I had that fabric on my hands when visiting Mood in NY not to long ago and is such a great fabric. The dress looks very nice on you, I wouldn't change a thing.

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  5. I've got a bit of this fabric! I'm planning on a renfrew :) Your dress looks fabulous! I really can't wait to make mine up now!

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    1. This would be great stitched up into a top! I had too much for a top, though, and too little for the maxi I wanted. Thanks!

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  6. Wow, such perfect matching! Great work. Hope your mojo comes back as I love seeing what you make :)

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  7. I always like to make a dress, but I always think: that's nothing. But I guess I have to give it a try.
    Do you have a F.abricsland? Here we do in C.anada and they have a big sale, but I am to busy and really dangerous weather here coming up.
    Love, Wilma

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  8. I've got major mojo loss. Let me know what brings it back as I too need some. If I had matched that design so beautifully, I'd feel on top of the sewing world!

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    1. Thank you Annie. I feel like this usually happens to me towards the end of winter. All I want to do is lay around and watch tv in my sewing time. Blah to mojo loss.

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  9. That fabric is amazing, and a shirt dress is the perfect pattern to show it off. I don't know how the kindy teachers dress at your local schools but you'd be the best dressed one by far in this dress at my school!

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    1. Thanks Kristy - guess I just meant a little too prim and proper for a casual dress, especially for my lifestyle.

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  10. Oh man, I have this fabric in the brown colorway. I want to make it up so badly but can't decide on what. It is great to actually see it made up into something. Love it! ~Teri

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    1. Thanks Teri! I liked that colorway too.

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  11. Hi Amanda, I haven't commented before but I've been admiring your sewing. I love your dress as it is, but a bit shorter and without the belt (particularly if its slightly A line) would be very DVF, which I love.

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    1. Thanks Jayne! I love DVF. Maybe I should have made a wrap dress instead!

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  12. Hi Amanda, this is really beautiful - I hope you grow to love it more! Can I please ask, how did you hem this dress? I'm about to make a silk jersey dress, in a solid emerald green, and I'm researching hemming methods.... Thanks heaps, Sarah

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    1. I just took a deep hem and topstitched. I have used a twin needle hem on silk jersey before with great results. I try to make my garments the same throughout, so because the button band and pocket flap had a single row of stitches, I used a single row for the hem. Thanks for your comment!

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  13. Hi Amanda
    I have just come across your blog and I absolutely love this silk dress. It looks gorgeous on you. I am addicted to sewing but am nervous of silk as it is so slippery. I think sans belt would look sassy - go for it! I have just started a blog - www.superstitchery.blogspot.co.uk. I would love to have a few more readers leaving comments - would you take a look sometime? I am coming to the States on holiday in August and want to do a bit of fabric shopping (I always do this when I visit anther place) Route 66 actually!

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    1. Hi Jan! Thanks for your comment! I, too, use to be really intimidated by silk. But, once you get over the nervousness about cutting into it, it's not any worse then Ambiance lining fabric or poly charmeuse. There are some silks I just plain don't care for, like most dupionis.

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  14. It is beautiful. I love the little deer :)

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    1. Thank you DK's Wife! I have a soft place for prints with small animals scattered about.

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  15. It would never have occurred to me to make a shirt dress from silk jersey, your dress looks great. The pattern matching is superb, you would have won this weeks episode of the Great British Sewing Bee for sure!

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    1. Haha, thanks Allison! I was definitely second-thinking the decision most of the way through this dress. But the fabric was pricey and sold out, so I had no choice but to power through. I was so relieved when it turned out okay!

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  16. I bow down to your print-matching patience! I am in serious awe. Love the use you've made of this print.

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    1. Thanks Trena! I do love the challenge of it.

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  17. Beautiful job! The print is so beautiful, and to use it for a shirt dress was a great idea. I really love this one!

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  18. Love this impeccably sewn dress. I seriously don't think you could ever look like a school marm. Also glad you've come over to the silk lover side of sewing. I find silk and rayon fabrics perfect for living in Texas.

    Karen in Houston

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  19. Oooh, I love this! You can almost feel how soft and lovely drapey the fabric is just by the pics. And, I also like the mandarin collar. Looks like a more sophisticated shirt dress with that collar, somehow.

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  20. I am always in awe of your makes! Gorgeous, and so wearable just about anywhere. I want to have your talent someday with lots of practice.

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  21. Gorgeous dress. I really like the fabric and prefer mandarin collars on shirtdresses.

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  22. I really love the fabric and the dress looks great!! As always, your craftsmanship is flawless!

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  23. I like the dress a lot. Since I'd wear it with tights most of the time, I'd probably lop off about 4-6 inches.
    But really, it's a great dress!

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    1. Thanks! I'm still thinking about what I want to do to fix it. I can't go too much shorter or I run into buttons. It does need something, though. I guess I've got until next fall to figure it out!

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