Friday, February 08, 2013

Make something out of silk month

Little Hunting Creek has challenged herself to sew something from silk in February. Since January was my month to buy silk, I might as well join her to sew it up in February.

 Behold, 6 separate 5 yard pieces from the barrel of silk rolls near the door of SAS Fabrics near Los Angeles. All silks $2.99/yd.  That is not a typo.  The decimal point is in the correct position.  But, seriously.  Had it been any other store, I might have spent $90 for 3 yards (a blouse length) * $30/yd.

Large-scale roses on a silk crepe de chine in some of my favorite colors.

Silk habutai aka "China silk" in pink or black on white. It also comes in teal on white, similar to the teal of print #1 above.  Silk habutai makes an excellent breathable and static and cling-free lining.  Prewash before sewing and it's washable, too.

I sent a photo of silk print #3 to Shams and she sent me back to SAS to buy her some more.  She got all 4.3 yards left on the roll.  (You have to move quickly if you see something you like at SAS.)

I can't figure out what to make out of this watercolor-effect crepe de chine.  I don't have a fancy dress for those evenings when Bad Dad wants to dine out at fancy places.  (He reads the food and arts sections first, and dumps the sports section in the recycling bin without glancing at it. )

Print #6, another habutai, would make a lovely scarf to accompany this linen blouse I found at a thrift shop.  Two of the buttonholes had frayed so I embroidered hand-sewn buttonholes to reinforce them.
I've already used some of this piece to line a cotton stretch poplin sundress.  The poplin was also purchased at SAS for $5.99/pound.  I traced the pattern from Burda Style Magazine, 2011-02-101.  You can purchase a pdf of the bodice from the Burda Style website.
 After sewing a size 40 bodice with a center back invisible zipper, and lining it meticulously in silk, I realized it was too big.  I recut a size 38 bodice, self-lined it in stretch poplin, and omitted the zip.  Now, only the skirt lining is silk.  No one can tell the silk is there from the outside, but it feels lovely on.  I even added side seam pockets.

Burda's picture of the dress mislead me into thinking that the bodice is snug.  It's actually quite loose and looks better with a belt.

I know it's not a blizzard, but we did have some weather excitement today in Los Angeles.  We received two short bursts of hail.  Iris and her classmates are at Astrocamp this weekend, where they arrived safely, inching their way along mountain roads in a school bus while 8" of snow fell around them.

I hope you have a safe and warm weekend.  And join us in sewing with silk.

You can see the dress on me in Promotion Ceremony Dress.  I wear this frequently and receive compliments every time.  Best of all, it has useful pockets.  FWIW, I throw the dress in the washing machine and line dry it.  So far, the silk is none the worse for the wear.


  1. What beautiful silk!!! Priced by the pound? How fortunate for Mr Hunting Creek that there is nothing like that here. I love the idea of lining a cotton dress in silk. How luxurious. I've taken all my silk pieces out and am matching patterns based on amount of silk on hand. Actually like a math problem if you think about it

  2. What gorgeous silks your purchased! You got some real deals there. I can't imagine living near a store with such great offerings. I'm jealous. Sewing something from silk sounds like a fun project.
    Snow - yes, here in central Massachusetts it is snowing. About 6 inches so far, and the pace is just picking up. We're in the 18" to 24" zone. The only thing I care about is electricity. I really don't want to lose it!

  3. Oh man, I am so jealous of your silk haul! I never have enough for all the lining I want to do. If you go back, I will gladly paypal you for whatever you can get...

    What a cute little dress! It is like an incantation for Spring.

  4. I think I've seen SAS Fabrics, but never during business hours, and I had no idea it was such a cool place! I think I need to go to Hawthorne next week!

  5. Wow! Is SAS in Hawthorne on Hawthorne? it looks like a great place to shop!

  6. SAS is on the SE corner of Hawthorne and 135th St, near the Hawthorne and Lawndale border.

    They are open 10-6 M-F and shorter hours on Sat. Closed Sunday.

    No photography is allowed on the premises.

    The barrels are a mix of poly and silk with no guarantees of actual content. I've bought and taken some home to do flame tests and found that quite a few of them are 100% silk.

    If you know your fabrics, you can take an educated guess. So far, I've been wrong on a few that I thought were poly and turned out to be silk; one I thought was silk turned out to be poly.

    But, really, if the poly is of such high quality that you can't tell it from silk, and it is $2.99 a yard, it's still a good deal.

  7. Thank you! I'll be in the area for a short time early next month. I'll try to visit (it's actually closer to my hotel than the downtown LA). Many thanks for the details!


  8. @ Rose. Send me your email address so I can meet you there.


Comments are open for recent posts, but require moderation for posts older than 14 days.