Scrumptious silks

My normal sewing technique is normally pretty quick with a “that’ll do” approach. I thought I had improved when I made my fully lined trousers, but when I showed my step-mum she asked “don’t you finish your seams?”, so after seeing Dibs sign up for a Craftsy couture course I thought it was time I took things to the next level. So what better opportunity to try out couture techniques, than when making my dress for my big brother’s wedding. And if you are going to sew couture, you need the finest materials you can get.

Yesterday I met my aunt for a tour of Berwick Street’s silk shops. The first time I can remember going fabric shopping was with her, to get fabric so she could make me a dress for my sixth-form leavers’ ball a good decade ago. I was prepared with pattern envelopes and my feather hair accessory (I’ve not yet decided whether to attach it to a clip or a hairband).

Feathers in her hair - hair clip or hair band?

The staff in all the shops were very helpful and gave me lots of clearly labelled samples to take away, and one shop even draped the fabric around me so I could look in the mirror to check the final effect. We deliberated over brunch and in the end I chose the silk dupion that was a slightly brighter shade of turquoise-teal with an inky purple tone from The Silk Society. There were a couple of dust marks on the fabric, so the assistant cut me a bit extra AND took half a metre of the final price. Hopefully this picture can give you an approximate idea of the shade.

Beautiful, beautiful silk

I also got some blue-turquoise-purple silk organza to overlay on the midriff band. I am going to add beading to the midriff (and maybe shoulders?) so I had a practice on some organza and dupion.

sample beading for the midriff band

It’s not the final design, as I was experimenting with different sizes of beads. I’m a bit short of some of the beads so I am impatiently waiting for the shops to open so I can get the final supplies I need before curling up on the sofa with my hand-beading and a film. Perfect Sunday plans 🙂

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