I realized last month that I didn't have the time/money to really splurge and make the intricate silk Romantic Era dress that's been lurking in my brain, and would have to change my plans a bit. I still wanted something ridiculous and over the top though, so I raided my stash of saris for something obnoxious and awesome. Problem is, most of the saris I have are so beautiful I'm still afraid to cut into them! Luckily I found a pink one that I mostly like, but am not so in love with that can't hack it into bits without too much worry.
The sari was sold as "tissue silk", which sounds soft and lovely, but apparently means a loose, coarse weave with a weird stiff drape. The weave is open enough that its effectively see-through. It's got a floral brocade-style design woven into it that you can sometimes see in various lights. It also looks extremely shiny in a super synthetic way, which was really off-putting when I first saw it in person. However, it does have the most beautiful metal embroidery work on it, so I've been looking for something to do with it.
|It's weirdly shiny and kinda stiff.|
Despite the "silk" description I was convinced that it was entirely made out of some weird poly fabric due to the super shine and strange hand, but it turns out I was only half right. On closer inspection it's a cross weave, with a pink synthetic thread in the warp and a silvery metal thread in the weft, which is what gives it that strange shimmer!
|Close up of pink and silver cross weave.|
I'm fairly anti-synthetic fabric when sewing for myself, but I figured I'd make an exception this once. I can always call it my Glinda-the-good-witch-meets-the-1830's dress! So far it's turning out well, despite the fabric handling oddly and being a general PITA to deal with.
|Lining up the embroidery with the neckline.|
I'm still working on getting the darts right. Generally I don't cut them out like above, but I had to here b/c there was actually more of the fashion fabric to dart than the lining, and in order to get the two to play nice together it was easier to just cut it up. The darts are also waaay too low right now, but I'm still trying to figure out how to raise them when I'm running into the embroidery on the right side.
|Dart placement way too low; I've since raised it but still need to go higher.|
I've still got to finish tweaking the bodice, figure the skirt out and finish solving the mystery of the pleated sleeves from that pink LACMA dress (nearly there!). I'm also going to need a corded petticoat and some tucked petticoats, and to figure out how on earth I'm going to make a slightly shaggy mohawk into a proper 1830's hairdo.
|The back is looking pretty good though!|
I've got a week. Let's do this...