shantung silk


Here are some new fabrics I’ve recently added to my collection! 

I’ve mentioned it on wordpress, but i’ve sort of been in this sewing rut where i’m not very motivated or excited about my projects. This happens to me a couple times a year and it’s really frustrating. But I finally feel some enthusiasm towards sewing again and I have some fun things planned for these materials!

The top picture is satin faced chiffon and embroidered lace. These will be paired with taffeta and jacquard to make up an 1880′s evening dress. The middle fabrics are a floral satin (that was a dollar a yard) and silk dupioni, which will hopefully become an 18th century court gown. The final photo is a silk shantung with velvet flocking which will be paired with black micro velvet.

I also got some yellow taffeta for an1890′s dress, and a striped taffeta for another 18th century dress. And both of those will be based on dresses i’ve tried (and failed) to make before!

Simone D’Aillencourt with artwork passing in dress by Simonetta Fabiani, Rome. Vogue, April 20, 1960. Photo William Klein.

Simonetta’s youthful style held a special appeal, especially in the buoyant silk cocktail dresses, elegant debutante dresses, and ball gowns she created in the 1950s, with their emphasis on the bust. Her youthful sportswear included a two-part playsuit with cummerbund and bloomer shorts while her more grown up fashion was headed by a silk shantung dress-suit with tiered collar.


Sleeves! These are so huge and silly. They are made the the silk dupioni and edged with bias cut damask, the same fabric which will be used for the main dress.

The next step is slashing these around the wrist, turning over the edges, and piping them…the whole process kind of scares me, but hopefully it will all go well! 

Mea Culpa…

I prematurely heralded the onset of spring the other day when I noted that the time was perhaps upon us to break out our slubby shantung silk ties. The err of my ways was brought into stark relief yesterday as I trekked into San Francisco in the midst of a torrential downpour only to arrive at Cable Car Clothiers a day before I was actually scheduled to pop in. Just to be safe, I will probably wear a wool tie when I do go in.