McCall's (Hilary Duff) 5880 pattern and got to work. And if you've ever worked with real silk you'll know what I mean when I say "work"! Instead of putting in a few hours, I ended up spending days working with this very simple pattern. Because of that damn silk! What I did was:
- Hand wash the silk in cold water and then air dry (of course I'd no sooner hung it out to dry on our stern when our 'neighbor' started up his diesel engines thus spewing stinky fumes all over it).
- Trace the entire pattern onto freezer paper (ink on the paper side).
- Press the shiny side of the freezer paper pattern (with a dry iron) onto the 'wrong' side of the silk. I placed my silk fabric on top of an old bed sheet so it wouldn't 'shift' like a batch of mercury!
- Cut it out and then sewed it with the paper still attached (this helped keep the fabric from puckering and getting yanked down into the feed dogs) This pattern was simple enough that it actually worked. I still used a metallic (sharp) needle. Removed the paper which was painstaking yet worth it. After the paper was removed, I double stitched my seams.
- I did not use a back zipper (it's not needed,) and I didn't attach a neck band; I made casings and strung a cord through them and tie it at the back.
- It took an entire day to hem!!! I ran Q-Tips drenched in liquid starch all along the hem line and then hit it with a dry iron (silk setting). I straight stitched an eighth of an inch from the edge, turned the fabric up on the stitched line and top stitched. Doesn't sound like much but there was the lining too.
- A wide piece of grosgrain ribbon was used to cover the elastic on the empire waist. Hook and eyes hold it in place at a side seam.