6hour hand-sewn silk couture dress – refashioned & inspired by art deco

Hi Everyone,

As promised in my last post ‘3.5hour Refashion – Art Deco Inspired Couture Lace Dress‘ I mentioned I would have another art deco inspired refashion all stitched up this week…..

and, here it is.

photo 5

This dress was a little tricky as it was 100% silk and keeping silk straight and true whilst stitching it is a nightmare. So, I hand stitched every stitch and now my hands hurt.

I started with a mini dress that flared from the waist and had a bulky gather on the hem.The dress when worn really wasn’t flattering around the hips, making the body appear to be a heavy pear shape (check what it does to the mannequin – it was a plus size hour glass to start with, honest).

photo 1photo 3  photo 2

It also was terribly short for the style and flew up at any suggestion of air flow. It flared from the waist and ended at mid thigh. The top has an elegant cowl neck that sits slightly away from the body and cuts in low on the bust, (without revealing too much) and a razor-back style back. I saved it in my – to remake pile – based on my love of the French silk and the neck and back detail.

I really didn’t appreciate how much fabric there was in it until I unpicked every stitch which took several hours and tonnes of patience. The trickiest part was trying to reassemble it in a more flattering way and whilst trying to keep the material from doing it’s silky best to slide out of shape. I persevered. After removing the skirt, the first step I took was to add a little sunburst style pleating in the front to slim the bodice and remove the unnecessary bulk. Then the next excruciating task was to straighten the skirt material and then reassemble it to the bodice whilst trying to maintain a figure flattering floaty hour glass shape. I had sooo much material I could wrap it around twice and still have enough left over for cap sleeves and a purse if I so chose. I took the centre and chose to carefully place the centre stripe in the middle of the chevron design in the sunburst and carefully worked my way pinning around the skirt until it was in the centre back. In the centre back of the skirt I did a couple of tucks, folds and stitches on angles to create the swooping detail. I then doubled the fabric back on itself and stitched to the new hemline and back towards the front – this created an asymmetric hemline to the front.  Finally front and centre – I constructed a short split – mainly because I need to be able to walk and move about.

Here is the result:

Excuse the white and green singlets on the mannequin – they just ensure the mannequin is fit to my dimensions. They are definitely not part of the garment.

photo 5 photo 4-2    photo 2-1

This is option number 2 for the upcoming wedding event. There may be a third option as I spotted some more delish materials in my 3rd attempt at cleaning up my sewing room……… maybe I should refashion one more dress tomorrow.

Click here to view option number one – let me know your feedback on which one I should wear.


4 thoughts on “6hour hand-sewn silk couture dress – refashioned & inspired by art deco

  1. Pingback: First attempt at making a dress using a draping method | Pepperbox Couture

    • Hi, thanks for your comment. It’s funny because now that I look at it I have the same reaction, how to begin something like that again?…. Even though it was my hands that made it. Like with everything I try, it was more intuitive than anything else I suppose. I like to try my hand at anything and everything, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Be a risk taker.


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