Fabric: Silk Habotai 8mm- 45″ wide- 3 yards.
Pattern: Lekala.co: Short Dressing Gown – Sewing Pattern #5247
Notions: thread, fabric dye, resist, string, paintbrushes
Time to complete: About 3 days.
First worn: March 23, 2014
Wear again? Yes! During the hot summer months
Total price: Silk was about $6.50 a yard, Jacquard acid dyes: Sky Blue and Burgundy $10.00. Pattern $2.24
This was an excellent pattern to use for my midterm project at the local college. Lekala.co has the option of printing out your entire pattern on a large scale printer. I selected the large PDF format and transferred the file to a usb drive. I took it to the local printer and using their 36 in. printer, I received my entire pattern on one piece of paper! The best part was the cost. It was only $5.00! That saved me printer paper, ink, and taping together all of the sheets at home.
I cut out the pieces on the cutting line, so that I could use my rotary cutter around the edges of the pattern. I knew if I tried to use my scissors to cut silk, it wouldn’t turn out nice and straight. I also used my homemade pattern weights instead of pins. I have a DIY here, if you are interested.
First, I sewed the shoulder seams of the fronts to the back using French seams, attached the sleeves, and sewed, then serged the side seams and bottom edge. Next, I choose a Shibori technique to design the top part. I wanted to hand-paint a wide boarder on the bottom so I masked that section off with tape and a plastic bag. This part was easy to keep out of the dye bath by clothes-pinning it to the side of the dye pot. I wrapped and bound the top section tightly with jute cord (sorry no picture).
For the boarder, I decided that I needed big plain shapes to coordinate with the business of the top section. I had to do the boarder in 4 sections, using my stretcher bars. First I drew the shapes with disappearing ink, traced them with the resist, let it dry, and then painted the blobs burgundy and the outside blue. I sprinkled salt on the wet dye, to give it texture. After I completed all the sections, I steam pressed the boarder between paper, using my steam iron and paper on the top and bottom of the boarder. This helps set the color.
I was hoping for brighter colors, but the dye mixed for painting and then steam set, resulted in lighter colors. I dyed the rest of the fabric burgundy, according to stovetop instructions. This I cut into strips using my ruler and rotary cutter for the robe front edging, sleeve edges, belt and ties. I folded it in half, pressed it and serged the raw edge side to the robe. You could fold it over and try topstitching it, but it can be tricky to get silk to behalf like you want it to. The silk liked my serger better than my regular machine.