Project MyWay #30–Silk Shantung Evening Gown

Steph 9-09Hi! I’m back. Sorry for the extended hiatus, these have been difficult times as we lost our dear Mamacita (Oma) a couple of weeks ago.

In the meantime some sewing has been going on, the biggest project was a dress for my daughter who attended a fancy fund raiser last September.

I’ve always had a hard time fitting my #1 daughter, Stephanie. She’s built the opposite of me, boob-y on top and very slim through the hips. I’ve tried all kinds of full bust adjustments with marginal results. She wanted a strapless dress with a princess seamed, fitted bodice and this time I was determined to fit it perfectly.

I turned to the fitting chapter in my good ‘ol Vogue Sewing Book and got by far the best results yet. I made a muslin and fitted it to her and then used the muslin as a pattern and as an underlining. I boned the bodice but was sorry I did–she has more than enough to hold up a well fitted strapless dress and the boning had the effect of flattening her out on top. The boning made it very hard to give the dress a good final pressing.

The results were pretty good and it was a lot of fun to make this dress. I used an old Neue Mode pattern, a basic strapless gown that I had in my stash and took each step carefully and paused several time for fittings (not so easy because Steph is away at college). I used some silk shantung I found on sale; taffeta would have worked a little better, but with the underlining the shantung was okay. I felt like a couturier!

This is Steph in her messy apartment with her sister Jana…

TTFN!Steph and Jana 9-09


  1. Hi
    I love the fitted evening dress you made for your daughter. I made my daughter’s wedding dress a while ago now and was going to bone it but decided not to as it tended to get the same boring flat look you described.
    I just stumbled across this website and I am feeling inspired to sew again. I used to be a designer’s assistant in a Sydney fashion house many moons ago. I am going to explore your blog as it looks like you may have already gone down the road that I intend to go on to. Fashion for older women is a bit like a mindfield. You really need some background knowledge to create yourself a wardrobe otherwise you end up just making things that look hideous on you simply because you don’t look the same anymore. Thank you and I’ll be curious to check out your discoveries.

  2. Hi, very pretty slim-line dress and nice color. I know how hard this was to sew and make it look professional. That fabric can be a test.

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