Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Silver See & Sew

I picked up this 1992 era See & Sew 6454 pattern while thrifting a while back. It is made up of a cocoon-ish dress and a matching long jacket, both colour blocked very carefully to have a matching line running across both pieces. Plus big shoulders!

I didn't want to attempt the colour blocking and matchy nature of the whole outfit. But I really liked the lines of the dress.

And then while I was cleaning, sorting, reorganizing -- whatever you want to call it -- I came across a piece of silver-shot suiting fabric in my stash. It's soft and has a slight stretch. And when I started cutting into it, I realized it also frayed like mad. Lots of seam finishing required.

But for some reason, the idea of making this dress from this fabric got into my head and wouldn't let go. It has a subtle stripe in the weave, and so I cut the top crossways to change the direction of the stripe, which also changes the way it reflects the light. Then I cut the body lengthwise. I also lined the entire dress with some of the massive stock of silver rayon lining I have in my stash. Instead of facings, I just fully lined it, since I will most likely always be wearing it with tights. The only adjustments I made were my usual shortening the bodice between bust and shoulders and shortening the skirt by an inch or so.

 I had to rejig the back slit a little to tack the lining down so it wouldn't get popping out at the back, but it worked quite well overall. Also, looking at the photos I realized that the back seam is a little puckered so I might just be unpicking that and redoing it soon.

It wasn't a very difficult make, except for the fiddling around with the touchy fabric. I just gave the sleeves and hem a turn-up and stitch finish, and it seems fine. The outer fabric is a bit "bouncy", in that it doesn't like pressing too much. It was fairly bumpy before a careful steam press -- the edges soft and more rolled than smoothly creased. But because there is clearly synthetic fibre in it I didn't want to use too much heat. Thank goodness for a press cloth.

I like it, and hope that it doesn't read as too late 80s for regular wear. If I popped in some gigantic shoulder pads and a power jacket it might overwhelm but modernizing it with choice of fabric and the jettisoning of huge shoulders has, I hope, worked out. I do enjoy making up older patterns and seeing what can be done with them. Good thing, as I have an awful lot of them!


  1. I love this- the subtle textures are great, and it doesn't look 90s at all. I also love messing withy grain on a pattern to play with texture. Lovely, and easy to dress up with bright jewellery or a scarf...

    1. Aw, thanks! Yes, it could be a great canvas for many colourful accessories.

  2. Replies
    1. Well, the pattern is from 1992, but I feel like this is still a late 80s style. So either works!


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