Whenever I have the opportunity to sew with luxurious fabrics, I waffle between wanting to make something really formal/fancy and making something more wearable (since I rarely have formal events to attend). I can’t think of anything more luxurious than this Liberty London Thorpeness Belgravia Silk Satin I received from Minerva. After months of thought, I decided to pair this satin with the endlessly hackable Wilder Gown by Friday Pattern Company. The result is a beautifully elegant dress with a cool 1960s flower child vibe. While I was posing for pictures, “Aquarius” from the movie/play “Hair” was totally playing in my head!
Liberty London is well-known for its bold floral prints and high-quality fabrics. This silk satin is no exception. It feels AMAZING against my skin and really needs to be felt to be believed. Such a special fabric requires special care, so I hand washed this fabric with Soak Wash (although any gentle laundry detergent will do). This fabric could also be dry cleaned, but I wasn’t ready to trust anyone else with this fabric. Afterwards, I let the silk air dry and very gently ironed it to remove any wrinkles. There was a bit of static cling, so I ran a dryer sheet along the fabric to remove it. Working with this fabric was a little more difficult than working with cotton, for example, but that’s to be expected. I used a small size needle (70/10) to sew and made sure to finish all the seams to cut down on fraying. This fabric would work well with French seams, but I decided to serge the seams instead since I wasn’t concerned about bulk. Because satin fibers are more prone to snags and holes, I skipped sewing pins and only used clips.
To make this hacked Wilder Gown, I first lengthened the front bodice by four inches, cut it on the fold and omitted the neck ties. I added 5 inches to the length of the sleeves and cut two 9.5-inch ¼” elastics for them. For the skirt tiers, I cut five 11” by 52” rectangular pieces and four pocket pieces. I also cut one 22-inch ¼” elastic for the gathered neckline. After cutting out the pieces, I mainly followed the pattern’s instructions. To create a channel for the elastics, I sewed rows of stitches at ¼” and 5/8” from the sleeve hem. I sewed the pockets towards the bottom of the first skirt tier.
I’ve twirled around in this light and swishy dress so much that I’ve gotten slightly dizzy! Since silk is such a breathable fabric, it works great for spring and summer. With this dress’s long sleeves and high neckline, I could also pair it with tights to wear in cooler weather. It’s beautiful, wearable, and thanks to the addition of pockets, functional. I can’t think of anything more one could ask for in a dress!