I had a fun time getting the neckline on New Look 6498 to behave – but here’s the finished project – a complex neckline and a bird motif! Double trouble!
I made this out of a sari I bought in Hyderabad, India in April. If you’re not familiar with saris, here’s a picture of the whole thing as I laid it on my lawn to dry (after a soak to remove starch that’s applies during manufacturing. (Bonus – that’s me in the background in the “Brooklyn” skirt from Seamwork Magazine.)
The whole sari weighs 15 ounces and the finished dress weighs 8 ounces. The solid green piece in the foreground is used to make the close-fitting top worn under a sari. I love the emerald green and knew I’d use it for the contrasting neckline and waistband in New Look 6498.
The sari – made of a linen/silk blend – is airy and transparent, worn draped and pleated to cover while providing airiness to deal with the hot weather in India. This makes for quite a sewing challenge, as the fabric frays easily and cannot accommodate the usual interfacing for structure. My solution was to use Solvy transparent dissolving stabilizer to tame the neckline and waistband. I treated it like an underlining (tried it on a swatch first) sewed it on, sewed up the neckline and waistband, and then soaked it off. It provided enough support to sew up these tricky bits, didn’t show through and then was removable once the sewing was done.
When I made a muslin of this dress, I discovered that the dress has a high bust, typical for Big 4 patterns on me. It is also pretty low cut. So I needed to lengthen and shorten the bust at the same time! Yeah, no problem! I thought I could solve the problem if I made the fit on the bust as close as possible. On a muslin, the midriff band cut across the lower part of my bust, making a very unflattering fit. I lengthened the bodice and front band 1.5 inches, just so that the midriff band would start right under my bust, and I straightened out the neckband a half-inch at the lowest point so I could sew it up a bit for more coverage. Finally, I took in the midriff band 1/2 inch on both sides for a closer fit. It worked! I am very happy with the fit and the placement of the peacocks on it.
Since a lining would have ruined the airiness of the dress, I wear this with a long slip I bought at a vintage shop years ago. I moved the back invisible zipper to the side so that nothing breaks up the back peacock motif.
Back view, with my dog, Jake, photobombing. For more on this dress and the sari, see my blog, Distaff. Cheers!