What do you do when you have beautiful silk and an itch to sew something new? Let me tell you, Papercut’s Sway Dress just might beat out whatever’s next in your queue.
For us here in the Northeast, it’s the last waning days of summer and this dress is perfect for the weather we have right now. It’s light, breezy, and easy to wear. The construction of the dress is pretty simple: only four pieces (plus facings), great directions, optional pockets and belt loops, and two lengths…more on that soon.
We have had this particular silk in the shop for a bit and every time I would pass it by I would stroke it, wondering what it could be. The pattern is random and the width is small. I knew it could be a knock-out *insert garment here*, I just didn’t quite know what that magical garment was.
Then one day I was rearranging the patterns in the shop and picked up the Sway dress. I realized this was what that silk was meant for. I think I might have heard angels singing even. Maybe.
I set to prepping the fabric and getting the dress started. I traced the pattern for the shorter version, not realizing how truly short it might be. I assumed that since I was short, everything would work out just fine. For the most part it did. I think because of this choice I was able to squeeze the pattern pieces onto my narrow fabric. Once I was out for the photo shoot, I realized it was pretty darn short. Since it was already done, and we were on location, a short dress it was going to be.
As I said earlier, construction was a breeze. I opted not to break up my busy print with center front and back seam allowances and placed both on the fold. Now my dress consisted of only two pieces plus facings. Done. I interfaced the facings with silk organza. Since I knew it was to be a summer dress, I didn’t want anything too bulky or hot. I sometimes find fusible interfacings sticky in the heat and I wanted breathability.
This dress has the added benefit of being reversible. I neglected to tell my photographer that on the day of the shoot, so you only get to see one side in action. However both ways look great. I prefer a v-neck, but the scoop neck option is there if I decide I want a change.
The tricky part of the dress is the hemming. That circumference is a beast! I pulled out my trusty BERNINA hemming foot and it was tear-free. If your machine has an option for one of these feet, it is a great investment. It knocked down maybe an hour or more of hemming to about fifteen minutes or so.
Have you made the Papercut Sway dress or seen a version you love? What do you think, should I now make this a tunic or should it stay a short dress? I can’t decide!
All Photos by Ashley Shea Photography