All this month we’re showing off our little black dresses that we have sewn for our Dec/Jan 2018 issue of Sew News. We’ll have reviews on our makes and hope you show us your little black dress or other holiday wear.
Kate Zaynard, Creative Editor
Fabric: Silk Dupioni in Raisin from Silk Baron
The Backstory: I’d been planning to make the Josie dress since we featured it on the cover of the June/July 2016 Sew News. I love the unique horizontal darts, the pleating on the skirt and the empire waistline. I thought it would be interesting to take this casual sundress and make it into something appropriate for the cruise I’m taking this December. Because the pattern is designed for quilting-weight cotton, I considered more precious fabrics that had a similar hand, and came up with dupioni, which has a crispness that I associate with both it and cotton.
The color I used is called “raisin,” which suits it perfectly because it wavers between purple and brown, depending on the light. Finding the right color trim to complement it was a bit of a challenge, but I think the light blue works.
Any Adjustments: I made a muslin of just the bodice (and a cotton version) before I touched my silk. The fit was loose, so I took in the side seams and took up the shoulders until it was comfortable, then created two new armhole darts to close a gap. The cotton version I made (you can see it on the Sew News blog) was shorter than I was comfortable with, so I cut the silk dress with an extra 5” at the hem.
Mini review: I’ve made this dress twice now, and I love it. The instructions are clear and easy-to-follow, with helpful illustrations. The fit is comfortable and relaxed, unless you overfit it like I did. I appreciate that its casual roots means it has pockets; I was happy to put them in, because pockets are wonderful things to have on a cruise. My one negative is a matter of preference — I find the dress to be very short — but because the skirt is a rectangle it’s incredibly easy to add length at the cutting stage.