My silk is 36" wide.
Step 1: Dye the silk
- In a pot, add enough water to cover your silk. Add a splash of vinegar, about 1/4 cup vinegar to 4 cups of water.
- Submerge the silk in the pot, making sure it is completely saturated.
- Let stand for about 30 minutes.
- Add food coloring to get desired color.
- Simmer silk for about 10 minutes, watching closely and stirring occasionally.
- Let stand until most or all of the dye has been absorbed, and it is has cooled.
- Rinse silk, and hang to dry.
Step 2: Drape and cut bodice pieces.
- Beginning with your uncut piece of silk, gather the raw edge of the silk, and pin it to the shoulder.
- Pin the waist pleats where you would like them.
- Mark around the waist 1/2" below where you would like the waist to fall.
- Cut along your marking.
- Use the newly cut piece as a template and cut an identical piece. This will be the bodice lining.
Step 3: Sew bodice.
- With right sides together, sew the two bodice pieces together, around all sides except the bottom (waist)
- Turn right side out.
- Carefully pleat the shoulder edge, making it as wide as the back elastics. Sew down.
- Carefully arrange the waist pleats, pin, and sew down. Trim off any excess fabric.
Step 4: Drape and sew skirt.
- Fold the remaining silk right sides together, lengthwise, and sew down the open edge. This will create a long tube. Turn right side out.
- With the seam hidden on the inside, begin wrapping the tube of silk around the hips of the dress form.
- Leave the back loose. This will be gathered on the elastic.
- Bring the end of the tube up, pleating into the waist. Pin.
- Sew around the top edge of the skirt, though all layers of fabric paying special attention to the pleats.