Brocade Dress

I wore this dress to a wedding in Philadelphia back in May. My husband’s cousin got married, and I needed a dress that looked formal yet allowed me to dance the night away at the reception. I purchased this beautiful blue and gold brocade from Mood and made Vogue 9252, a high-low dress with a lined bodice and in-seam pockets.

Vogue 9252 dress
Vogue 9252 dress front

The brocade is just stunning in person. There is a slight 3D crinkle texture that is visible in a few of the photos I am posting. It also has a very soft, flowing drape, so I interlined both the bodice and skirt with silk organza to give the dress more structure and volume. The wrong side of the brocade is just as beautiful as the face, so a matching blue silk organza seemed like the perfect choice for interlining because it allows some of the wrong side of the fabric to be visible at the hemline. The bodice is lined with silk crepe de chine, and now, I want all my clothes to be lined with silk because it feels so good. If you haven’t tried sewing anything with silk lining, try it. A bodice like this doesn’t take much fabric to line either. However, the silk crepe de chine does creep if you try to cut it with scissors, so I use my rotary cutter instead to keep the fabric on grain while I am cutting it.

Both the organza and crepe de chine were also purchased from Mood in the color mazarine blue. The seam allowances in the skirt are finished with hong kong seams using pre-made, gold lamé bias tape. The hem is also bound with the same gold bias tape too. Half-inch wide navy horsehair was used in the hemline to provide more volume at the hem.

Vogue 9252 dress inside
The finished vertical seams of the interlined skirt before it is attached to the bodice. The pocket bag is inserted and the edges are serged.

While I already knew brocade frays like mad, I was very surprised how badly the bias tape frayed. If I could get it in place on the first try there was minimal fraying, but the lame did not tolerate seam ripping well. While I would have loved all the seams to be perfect, but there are a few wavy seams that I chose to leave in place instead of risking overworking the fabric.

Vogue 9252 uses cup sizes in addition to regular sizes to get a better fit. I used the size 10 with the B cup pattern pieces based off my overbust measurement. For reference, I have an overbust of 30.5 inches and a bust of 32.5 inches. Zero alterations were made to the pattern. In actuality, and based off my underbust measurement, I am a 30D which actually has the same volume of a 34B according to sister sizing. So maybe the cup sizes for the pattern are based off a 34 band size? Bra sizes are confusing.

Vogue 9252 dress side and pockets
Vogue 9252 dress back
Vogue 9252 dress back

I was in a bit of a hurry to finish the dress in time, and I didn’t notice the back waist seams don’t align at the zipper until I was getting ready at the hotel. I felt like an idiot even though I know no one else cares about that (or even notices). My husband however, noticed because I have taught him so much about clothing over the past few years. At least the mistake was on my back so I didn’t have to look at it while I was wearing it. And, most importantly, I can fix it before I wear the dress again.

Vogue 9252 dress hong kong seams

I threw in this silly picture just because I have to show off all my hard work I put into the inside of the dress.

The horsehair trim is encased within the hem and is not visible. After the raw edges of the hem were bound with bias tape, I stitched in the ditch of the binding to secure the horsehair braid to the lower edge of the wrong side of the hem. The hem was turned up, pressed into place, and hand stitched using a slipstitch catching only the organza interlining.

Vogue 9252 dress with hong kong seams

Special occasion garments are my favorite things to sew. It is such a treat to get to work with fine fabrics. Would you agree? Have you done any special occasion sewing lately?

Tutorial: How I Applied Trim on My Jasika Blazer

Thank you so much for the overwhelming responses to my Gucci-inspired Jasika Blazer in the past week! I tried to respond to each any every comment as best as I could. I had numerous questions about how I sewed the trim on my blazer, so I thought I would put together this tutorial. If you have questions about fabric and trim sourcing or my review of the pattern see my first blog post about my jacket here.

Supplies:

  • 1″ Petersham ribbon
  • 1/8″ lip-cord trim (available on Amazon and Etsy)
  • Tailors chalk
  • Clear quilter’s ruler
  • Walking foot
  • Zipper foot
  • Fray check (optional)
  • Lite steam-a-seam 2
  • Rotary cutter (optional)

First, remove the seam allowances where the trim will be applied. I like to use a rotary cutter to avoid jagged edges.

Here, I am using the pocket flap as my example for instructions, but the steps are the same regardless of the area of the jacket. Baste or sew the fashion fabric to it’s corresponding lining or facing with right sides together (1/4″ SA). For example, I have the pocket flap basted to the pocket flap lining with right sides together. For the collar, you would sew the upper collar to the lower collar right sides together etc. On my instagram post here you can see the lapel facing basted to the lapel before the trim was applied.

I like to use a walking foot for this because it guarantees the fabric layers will not shift. I used to think walking feet were only for quilters, but I use it for any sewing project that requires precision.

Next, using a quilting ruler, mark 1/2″ from the edge. on all the edges where the trim will be applied.

Switch to a zipper foot. Center the lip-cord over the chalk line and sew into place. Hammer all areas that will have intersecting lip cord. If you don’t have a hammer, the handle of heavy sewing shears or a clapper work nicely.

Hammer intersecting corners of lip-cord again after both layers have been sewn into place. Now would be a good time to use Fray Check on your trim if you haven’t already. Cut away excess trim in the seam allowances.

I know I am going to get a lot of eye rolls for admitting I used adhesives to baste my trim in place, but there was simply no other way! I tried hand basting all layers in place before sewing, and they still shifted and made the mitered corners a mess. I suspect this is from having to use a zipper foot to topstitch the ribbon onto the jacket. There is not enough surface area with this foot to get the stability you need to stitch through 4 layers of fabric without them moving. I did look into getting a binding foot attachment for pre-made bias tape, but my local Bernina dealer was kind enough to tell me it wouldn’t work on petersham ribbon. The attachment is over $200, so it wasn’t worth trying out if it wouldn’t work. I think the manufacturers of the RTW Gucci jacket must have a foot specifically (maybe even a specialty machine) for applying flat trims to bind seams as there are a few Gucci jackets out now that have this trim on the edge.

Instead, I used lite steam-a-seam2 to baste the ribbon in place before topstitching. It is basically an iron-on double-sided tape. I have used the regular Steam-a-Seam, and this version is specifically for light weight fabrics. I bought mine at Hobby Lobby, but Amazon has it here. If you use the regular on sheer fabrics, you run the risk of the adhesive seeping through the fabric!!! And, no, this product did not gum up my needle.

I cut the sheets into several 1/4″ strips. The adhesive is backed by paper on each side.

Peel off only one side of the paper and place the steam-a-seam adhesive side down where the petersham ribbon will go. I like to center the steam-a-seam on the fabric and the trim to have more contact with more layers of fabric. Iron it into place.

Peel off the paper backing, and repeat for the other areas.

For large spans of trim, such as the lapels and center front of the jacket, you may wish to leave on the paper backing on as long as possible and remove it in a few increments to not pick up lint. Here you can see the adhesive has been ironed on to the fabric and the paper pulled away.

Repeat the application of the steam-a-seam on the reverse side of the pocket flap or area where the petersham is to be applied.

I used 100% rayon petersham ribbon. Rayon cotton blends are stiffer and therefore, more bulky.

Fold the petersham in half and iron. I like to use this hack that I use when I make bias tape. I take straight pins and pin them into my ironing board to form 1/2″ “slots” that I pass the ribbon through. My iron fits in the middle, and I can set the iron down and pull the ribbon through with minimal effort to make sure the fold is actually in the middle of the ribbon.

Smooth the ribbon onto the right side then fold it around to the wrong side. Above, you can see the left corner needs a more hammering as the ribbon is not laying flat. When you get to an area that needs a mitered corner, use your fingernail to make the crease in the ribbon. Keep applying the ribbon in one continuous piece until you have all the trim in place for that area. If you mess up, you can peel the ribbon off the steam-a-seam as many times as you like and stick it back down! Since you ironed it to the fabric earlier, it will be permanently fixed to the fabric and will not peel up with the ribbon when you need to readjust it.

When it looks good, give it a good press, and topstitch the ribbon down using a zipper foot. Get as close as you can to the edge of the ribbon. It is very important to topstitch slowly! Sew as slow as you comfortably can, and try not to backstitch to much. Mistakes will be highly visible!! Hand sew the miters closed with a slipstitch.

closet case patterns jasika blazer peak lapel

I applied the trim to the pocket flaps, breast pocket welt, and collar before they were attached to the jacket. Applying the trim to the lapel required the most creativity as I had to change up the order of assembly according to the instructions. Below, is a picture of the ribbon stitched to the beginning of the peak lapel right sides together. I had to apply the ribbon here before I applied the lip cord so the lip cord could end tucked under the ribbon as seen above.

On the front of the jacket, the lip-cord on the lapel facing side ends a few inches below the button, and the jacket front has lip-cord ending a few inches above the button. This means for a few inches, there is lip-cord applied to both sides of the fabric. (This can be seen in the first picture of the blog post.) It was difficult to get that many layers of fabric into the correct place, but I made it happen. Topstitch on the right side of the garment at all times, as it will not look as good on the reverse side. When topstitching the trim on the front, you have to flip the jacket over half way down the jacket as the lapel facing becomes part of the inside of the jacket.

closet case patterns jasika blazer gucci
closet case patterns jasika blazer gucci

What do you think? Will you be trying this technique anytime soon? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments.