One of the highlights of my recent trip to the East Coast was sewing with my friend Anna in her bright and sunny sewing room. Oh if only my apartment got that much light! Not only does Anna have a collection of vintage sewing machines, but she also has a cutting mat with rotary cutter and sharp scissors on a designated table for tracing patterns and cutting fabric. Le sigh. She suggested a number of projects that would be quick to sew in between dinner dates and, oh right, work, and one of them jumped out at me as absolutely perfect: a silk slip. On a recent trip to Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics in Berkeley I bought my first silk, but procrastinated using it because my scissors are getting dull and I had no idea what the heck I was doing. Between Anna’s rotary cutter (the only sane way to cut silks it seems) and the fact that she seemed to know what she was doing, there was no competition and I jumped at the opportunity to try my hand at making something silky.
Anna suggested the pattern from Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing, which you can find here. It isn’t so much a pattern as directions for how to cut out a rectangle of fabric with the correct dimensions for your specific size and desired skirt length. I used french seams for the sides and fold-over elastic for the waist (here is a tutorial on using fold-over elastic). Despite my utter terror for sewing with silks, the whole process was fairly straightforward and I can’t wait for another excuse to use fold-over elastic. While I’ve promised myself a silk sorbetto, perhaps the rest of my silk could become another silk slip for wearing around the house, because the first one has been surprisingly comfortable!
Brown silk (less than a yard!)
Brown fold-over elastic
In addition to making a silk slip, Anna helped me fit a pattern for a pencil skirt and let me use her lovely fabric cutting table to trace the Thurlow Trousers shorts pattern I bought at Gather Here in Boston. Now if only I could clear off my living room table so I have room to make something!