The silk chiffon maternity maxi gown

I finished Holly’s silk gown on New Year’s Eve, so this is officially my last project from 2011. If you recall, it’s Burda 08/2008 #125 and is one of the designer maternity patterns from this issue (and in my opinion – a really nice maxi dress whether you’re pregnant or not!).

We muslined the bodice portion of this (minus the drape pieces) back before Christmas, and made a few changes: taking a few tucks out of the neckline here and there, and increasing the bust space on the standard size 44.

I totally missed the chance to finish this for her Boxing Day birthday, but I figured I’d be still in time for any January parties before the birth in late January, and we were even scheduled to go over for dinner last Friday, where I was going to bring the dress along and sew up the hem on my little red machine after we ate (the hem is just raw here, as I can’t do that without her wearing it).

Only she gave birth early, on the morning we were supposed to meet! It’s a good thing this dress is not obviously a maternity dress, and I think it’ll still look really good on her for the next few months at the very least.

She picked out the most exquisite dark purple silk chiffon from Ditto Fabrics for this dress, and it’s entirely lined in black silk satin (charmeuse), which means it just flows and drapes like an ethereal dream. It was my first experience sewing silk chiffon, and I was expecting it to be a PITA, but it was surprisingly well behaved. The narrow hem edges on all five drape pieces took a while, but it took a crease nicely and didn’t shift which sewing. Even the invisible zipper in back was easy to install since I cut the Centre Back pieces on the selvedge to avoid fraying. I treated the lining and chiffon as one at the zipper (since the chiffon didn’t seem stable enough to support the zip on its own) and then completed the centre back seams separately further down.

To be honest, the hardest part of this entire pattern was dealing with the ginormous skirt pieces. I mused on twitter during the process that sewing the skirt felt like sewing curtains! The skirt pieces were far too big for me to cut at home, too, so I brought them into the office while everything was quiet over the holidays and cut them out on the big lunch table there!

I hope to eventually get photos of Holly wearing this to show you, but until then, I thought I’d just get these on my dressform before I forgot all the details. And since we can’t go see the new baby until we’re both over this *#&%^% flu, it might be a while…

PS: Why is it that there was no wind at all until I went to photograph a wispy maxi dress outside??

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